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DIY RV Fireplace Surround

Walk through all the new RVs at any RV show and you’ll see gorgeous fireplaces with intricate stone surrounds. We had the fireplace already in our 5th wheel, but it didn’t have the beautiful stone surround. As a matter of fact, I often wondered why the space on each side of our fireplace wasn’t used for storage. I know that it was just unused space back there because I removed the fireplace one time in an effort to take a look at the shower hoses behind the fireplace. The fireplace, by the way, is nothing more than an electric/gas space heater built to look like a fireplace. So, if your RV doesn’t have a fireplace, you may be able to add one if you have the space and clearance to safely do so.
One option was to install a door on each side and use the empty inside space as storage. But, I didn’t need more storage and love the look of a stone surround, so I went with the second option, which was to install a DIY stone surround. There’s a product called AirStone, which is plaster molded to look like stone. It’s not as heavy as stone and is used in many houses, businesses, and RVs. I had been looking for it in-store at Home Depot and Lowe’s for months, but it was never carried in stock. I got lucky and found four boxes of it that had been returned to Lowe’s in my hometown, of all places. As we were loading two boxes onto the flat cart, the manager drove by in a forklift and told us she’d give us 50% off because they don’t carry AirStone in stores and she needs it gone. Score!
We also picked up a gallon of the AirStone indoor/outdoor adhesive and some filler 1x4 wood pieces to fill in the gaps on the sides of the fireplace so that the adhesive would have something to stick to. The first thing I did was wood glue the wood pieces into the gaps and let it dry for 24 hours.
I laid out the pieces of AirStone on the floor and measured over and over to ensure everything was going to fit. Along the top and bottom, there were some three inch spaces that needed to be filled and the AirStones were only in measurements of two, four, six, and twelve inches. Since we did this while we were visiting my parents in my hometown, my dad had a saw and cut the pieces I needed to fit.
Piece by piece, I applied the adhesive with a putty spatula and placed it on the wall, squishing it down, and holding it for a minute or so to let it set. Some of the larger pieces along the top tended to slide down a little bit, so I just kept pushing it back in place and eventually it dried enough to set. After all the pieces were set, I let it dry for 48 hours. Then, I finished it all off with some gray caulking. It was really that simple and the final result is absolutely gorgeous.
Tip: Have a bowl of warm water, a roll of paper towels (or small sponge), and a trash bag nearby to spot clean any messes quickly before it dries.

Update: The big test was how the AirStone would hold up after we hit the road. We’ve been almost 1,000 miles since install and none of the stones have fallen. One of the six-inch stones on the side of the fireplace cracked, but it still looks natural and is secure.

Update: It's been 5 years of fulltime traveling since I did this fireplace remodel and all of the AirStone is still holding up beautifully. Not one piece has fallen or chipped off. I have not had to do any further maintenance on this project and it still looks absolutely stunning. 


  1. Want to make a quick decoration using a fireplace candelabra? Here are some great ideas on how to use these versatile fireplace accessories to make unique decorations for many areas of your home Choosing the doors for a fireplace.

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