We have a house that was built in the late fifties. It has a fireplace downstairs which is brick. Someone painted the brick with red latex paint and the mortar with black latex paint. It rubs off but would be horrendous to clean completely. I would like to cover the front with a thin coat of cement (1) or heat resistant mortar and build a new front with local stones from the beach... Is this possible or will the cement just fall off. I'm pretty sure the bricks are a integral part of the fireplace, so I don't think removing them is possible and I don't want to spend very much on the project since we basically don't use this fireplace.