My wife and I are halfway through renovating our kitchen. We have removed the plaster from the walls (including the chimeny), and replaced it with dry wall. We have left the chimney that vents the furnace exposed. We like the exposed brick and want to finish it. The problems are: there is a small crack about six feet high that runs down to the floor, several bricks are chipped or broken (mostly on the corners) from the removal of the plaster and the most of the bricks are dusty with no finish on them. The mortar on the sides looks very good, but the front will need some work. My wife was told by a friend at work to take it down and replace it. I think that less work would be needed, but I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions about how to replace the brick, how to finish the brick would be appreciated.