Every once in a while, I pinch myself to have a fireplace. Sure, it’s electric, but I’ve always dreamed of having a fireplace, as discussed in this post. You can also read about how I built and framed the fireplace wall in this post.
I’ve also always wanted a mantel. This holiday season, I’m totally going to put stockings up for the first time and do all of the holiday mantel decorations I’ve always wanted to do.
I went back and forth on the design for a while. Ultimately, I kept it pretty simple with a bit of crown. I’m happy with the way it turned out!
Building the Fireplace Mantel Base
I couldn’t find any specific instructions on how to get started, so I made it up as I went along. Luckily, it all worked out!
I created the face of the mantel out of 1×8 boards, cut to the height and width I wanted the mantle to be. Each of the 1×8 boards is attached with pocket hole screws and wood glue.
Next, I attached 1×3 boards along all of the edges to protrude from the wall. I also used pocket hole screws and glue to secure.
I wanted this to be firmly attached to the wall, so I drilled some 2×4 boards into the studs in locations I knew I’d be able to drill the mantel into directly.
Then I placed the mantel on the wall and screwed it to the 2×4 boards in places I knew I’d be covering later. The base was ready!
Adding Custom Finishes
Next is the fun and challenging part because there are so many directions you can go! I wanted to get the base built to experiment with different trim and molding to see how it went. This is totally up to each person’s preference, and you can style it however you’d like at this point!
I kept my fireplace mantel relatively simple; the image below shows the changes I made:
- Added 1×2 along the inside of the mantel (with the broader side facing toward the fireplace)
- Wrapped the bottoms with 1×8 boards
- Added a piece of square molding across the top
- Added crown across the top (I realized I wanted to add more height, so I added a 1×4 board. You can’t see it, but the crown is attached.)
- Then I finished it with a 1×6 board that is sitting on top of the crown.
Once the mantel was built, I filled my nail holes with wood filler, sanded it down, caulked, and painted it!