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DIY Rustic Fireplace Mantel- Fireplace Makeover

Written by Alyssa Eliot

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Posted on December 20 2019

Ready to get your DIY pants on? You may remember this rustic mantel hanging up in the front of the shoppe. Many ask if this piece is for sale because of its simplistic and rustic style. Though it is not, hopefully, by the end of this blog you can make your own for your home! I love this simple and easy DIY rustic mantel. With all the right tools and supplies, you can make yours too, in just a few hours!


My cousin recently moved into a new home and the fireplace area was in desperate need of some TLC. The ceilings slope down to almost 5' tall on the left side of the fireplace, making this area a bit tricky to make visually appealing. You can see the before shot, there was a couple things that needed to be changed.

Problems to resolve:
1. The fireplace mantel itself was a tad too tall for this space. 
2. The gold trim around the insert is an eye sore and dates the home.
3. The paint/caulk job around trimming seams needs redone.


To begin this simple DIY fireplace mantel, I want to try and explain how this mantel works. I created a 2x4 structure to anchor to the wall and then created the decorative rustic wood to fit over the 2x4s like a glove.

We first have to begin with a blank slate. In this case, we tore off the old top mantel and the trimmings. There were only a couple studs behind the paneling so I knew we had to anchor our first 2x4 to these studs to make sure the rest of our mantel would be sturdy and hold weight. I cut our first 2x4 to the width of the front face needed and screwed the 2x4 to the wall with large screws into the studs.

Not pictured BUT a ton of you asked on my Instagram stories- how did we paint the gold trimmings on the fireplace surround? We tapped off the gold trimming and spray painted the gold with a high heat paint (made for grills). Super easy AND  an affordable update that makes a huge impact!

With our first piece anchored, I then cut 5 small 6" long 2x4s for the pieces coming out to support the rustic wood. You'll have to do some math to see how long your pieces need to be depending on the width of your top mantel board. Once they were cut to my needed 6" long, I used a Kreg pocket hole jig (aka: the best tool EVER). This jig makes pilot holes into the side of your wood to make the perfect pocket holes for your screws to tuck down into. This makes a seamless finished look and lets you screw a board into another for a perfect 90° seam.


I made 3 pocket holes into each of the small 6" 2x4s. After those were made, I screwed each of the small 6" pieces into my first 2x4 board. Our entire structure is now solid and we can move onto the rustic wood pieces to finish this project off!

I found the length I needed for my top and front board pieces and cut those both to length. After that, I found my measurements for my side pieces to cap off the sides and cut those to width. I put pocket holes along the boards and screwed everything together. Since we were painting everything black, we left the bottom part of the mantel open, however, you could finish yours off and put a bottom board on.

With our rustic mantel all ready, we were able to sit it up on our 2x4 structure and finish the project off. Our mantel fit like a glove and was perfect! Once everything was caulked and painted, we screwed the rustic mantel to the 2x4 structure to ensure everything was solid and happy.

ALL DONE! Yay! We will be decking this mantel out for winter and I'll be sharing the final finished product soon with you guys! It looks so great and it's crazy the difference it brings to the room. The new mantel feels refined and rustic!

Have any questions? Leave them below! 
Chat soon, Alyssa
 

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