First thing Nick needed to do was patch the mortar on the inside floor of the fireplace. The mortar between the bricks in the picture below was completely degraded.
While the mortar was drying the paint grade MDF was cut down to size. Starting with either side of the fireplace and making sure to cut around the vent openings. It was secured to the 2x4's with nails.
Once the MDF was on Nick got to work adding trim around the edges so as to create a seamless look.
Once the mortar was dry the next step was paint. Nick picked up a can of high heat spray paint in black at Lowe's for the project. He sprayed the exterior bricks, inside walls, and vents with the high heat paint. We still plan on either painting or staining the inside floor and the outside tile.
We still need to caulk, sand and paint. Plus we need to build the actual mantle piece, but we are well on our way.