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Who doesn’t absolutely love a beautifully decorated fireplace mantel! ME ME ME- I’m sure I’m not alone! In most homes a fireplace is the focal point of the room. We took our “builders special” incredibly boring fireplace and turned it into our dream fireplace. This Fireplace makeover not only saved us hundreds and hundreds of dollars but it was a project I was able to do while 7 months pregnant! If I can do it with a GIANT baby belly you’ve got this!
- Our Cost: $460
- Contractors Quote: $2,100
- Savings: $1,640
Because every fireplace makeover is different and there is no standard size I wont be sharing too many measurements. This is the one part you’ll have to measure and determine on your own.
WHAT WE USED FOR OUR FIREPLACE MAKEOVER:
- Miter Saw
- Table Saw
- 1×4 for interior framing
- Nail Gun
- MDF- This is how you get a smooth finish
- Trim pieces of your choice
- 1X6 the width of the mantel (top)
- Crown Molding -The frame on the top is crown molding framing the 1X6
- Cement board– if you plan on adding stone to the perimeter of your fireplace, this gives it something to stick to
As I said before this is a project built by a pregnant lady in her 4th trimester YOU-CAN-DO-IT!
STEP ONE: DEMO OLD TILE
This is the fun part.. We love demo in this household, there is nothing better than smashing tile & making a mess. Remember its all going to work out! We removed all of the tile and ended up using cement board to frame around the fireplace- that soon to be beautiful new stacked stone needs something to support it.
Tip: The height and width of our mantel was determined by the amount of stacked stone we wanted framing our fireplace. I LOVE stacked stone im pretty sure i love it a little too much.. so I went for a little extra BUT the stone was the most expensive part of the whole project.
STEP TWO: FRAMING
This is arguably the most important part and also the part where I may have recruited some help from the hubby! When framing the interior and exterior of your fireplace mantel you want to ensure everything is perfectly level..I also used a pencil and that fancy beam level to draw my lines on the wall- just a little tip for making your life easier.
After that came the assembly! I measured the height of my fireplace mantel then cut two MDF boards that would form the exterior sides then did my top board. BAM you have your frame which should also be level. To secure the boards to the interior framing I used screws that would then be covered by trim pieces and paint.
If your seams and boards do not connect perfectly don’t worry! Mine didn’t either but a little patch and paint and a few trim pieces to cover up those bobos does wonders.
STEP 3: ADD TRIM PIECES
This is where your creativity comes in! See all those trim pieces? Those are completely customizable. Go to your Home Depot or Lowes both have an entire section dedicated to trim, there are hundreds of options. Seriously I must have stood in that dang isle for two hours. It took 4 employees asking me if I needed help probably because of the prego belly and one nice older man man saying “Okay walk me through your project” for me to decide.
Bless that man because Id still be standing there today deciding on trim If I didn’t “talk it out”.
Once I cut and assembled the trim I patch and painted the seems followed by a light sanding. Holy Moly my project started to take life!
STEP 4: PAINT
By this point I was about a week and a half into it..I was tired.. my feet started to look like those little sausages you have for every holiday party.. It wasn’t pretty! However I was determined to finish and have my fireplace mantel dreams come true even if it put me into labor HAHA!
I took my sweet time painting, this is sooooo important! Ugly paint strokes or a cheap paint brush will serve you no good!! Even the cheapest projects can be made to look like professional jobs with a quality paint job.
HINT: Use a Paint & Prime – it is a little more expensive but requires less coats.
STEP 5: STACKED STONE INSTALL
We have arrived at the final step! Depending on what you choose to use you may or may not have to use a tile cutter. We used a wet saw to do this.. but this wasnt our first tile job so unless you plan on a beautiful bathroom remodel or kitchen backsplash you can probably get away with a tile cutter. They are less than $50 and perfectly usable for small projects.
You’ll need to get either a premixed or powdered thin-set mortar. This is the glue that will secure those stones in place for a lifetime. Once you have everything you need get ready for your final challenge which may look liek a game of Tetris.
Most importantly have FUN! Your fireplace mantel makeover will turn out amazing and will be sure to wow all of your guests!