Every once in a while, I pinch myself that I have a fireplace. Sure, it’s electric, but as I’ve talked about in this post I’ve always dreamed of having a fireplace. 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 ever 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 really 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 together with pocket hole screws and wood glue.
Next, I attached 1×3 boards along all of the edges so that it would protrude from the wall. I also used pocket hole screws and glue to attach.
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 part, and also the challenging part because there are so many directions you can go! I wanted to get the base built so that I could 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 wider 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 at this point 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 ended up finishing it with a 1×6 board that is sitting on top of the crown
Once the mantel was built, I filled in all my nail holes with wood filler, sanded it down, caulked, and painted!