Next spring I plan on applying a clear sealer to the heater so the the colors - blues, greens, yellows, reds, white, oranges, browns - of the stones "pop". You can get a sense of what that will look like by simply spraying the stones with water, which I did in the photos below.
(Click on any of the photos to make them bigger.)
|The firebox side, showing the clean stone.|
|How the stone looks when wet.|
|Oven side, dry clean stone.|
|Oven side, wet stone.|
There's still one big test to come - Does it work? Early signs are promising, as there's a nice draft from the chimney.
We finished about a week ago, and the mortar still needs to cure for another 10 days until I can start curing it with a series of small fires. That'll take another week. Meaning I can't really use it to heat the house for a few more weeks.