This month’s DIY project was to makeover a part of our basement. I knew that it was time to finally give this fireplace a makeover. We had been talking about adding a Fireplace Mantle to this plain brick face and this month’s challenge was the perfect excuse for us to get it done.
I am so happy with how this turned out and feel like it really finishes off the basement. I always felt like the room was a bit lacking and felt like the Fireplace could be a great focal point, but the weird shape of the bricks on the ends made it so that a pre-manufactured Fireplace Mantle would not work without us having to make some adjustments to it. So…of course…we designed one based on some inspiration pictures and made one to fit our existing Fireplace.
**One note of caution though…we do NOT use this fireplace for fires. The drafting has never been good on this fireplace in the basement and we have three others in the home (crazy right?). This fireplace mantel is for show only. So if you are going to be using your fireplace to build real fires, be sure to check out the safety building code for fireplaces so you don’t start anything on fire!
I will attempt to share with you how we made ours so that you can see how you could possibly use that to make one for your own individual home.
DIY FIREPLACE MANTEL MATERIAL LIST
FIREPLACE MANTLE SUPPLIES
Here are the supplies you will need to make your new fireplace mantel.
- Wood working clamps
- Gorilla wood glue
- Nail gun
- Caulk gun
- Sand paper
- Interior paint
- Paint brush
- Foam roller
- Paint tray
- Painters tape
HOW TO MAKE A FIREPLACE MANTEL
The two side box pillars were designed to adjust to the changes in the wall and brick depths. For instance, the outside of the boxes was 2 1/4 inch deep, and the interior of the boxes was 3 3/8 inch deep. The front of the boxes used a 8 1/4 inch wide board with the side boards glued on each edge so the total with of the box was approximately 9 5/8 inches.
I used the 2 inch mdf strips to cover the seams you could see on the front where I attached boards together. The boxes were 49 7/8 inches tall from the floor and 37 1/2 inches from the top of the brick seat of the fireplace.
The mantel had a shelf of 7 1/4 inch deep by 78 7/8 inches wide. The width of the lower part of the mantel was 71 5/8. To ensure the same overhang of the shelf over the crown molding, each side of the shelf needed another 3 5/8 inches (71 5/8 inches + 3 5/8 inches + 3 5/8 inches = 78 7/8 inches of the top shelf). See picture below for further illustration.
Clamp and stapled 2 inch mdf strips to cover seams on edges and for decoration (above 2 pictures and one below).
We tested to ensure the mantel properly fit on top of the boxes before finishing the other parts of the mantel.
After all the trim and the crown molding have been nailed on, you will want to caulk around all the cracks and nail holes with some painters caulk and wood filler. Sand down everything to a smooth finish.
Paint the mantle. We painted it in a white paint color in a semi-gloss finish to match our Wainscoting.
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