There’s something so, what should I say, sweet or cozy about a fireplace. But what do you do if you don’t have a real fireplace? What about if you don’t have room for a real one and can’t afford an electric one, but you have all the scraps of wood and your Dad has a shop with all the tools you need?
You build yourself a “faux” fireplace/mantel or whatever you want to call it. My 3 year-old niece was watching me build it and she even guessed what it was. She came up to me and said, “is that a fireplace you’re building?”. So it must have looked somewhat convincing.
I was trying something out here with the mantel that I didn’t end up doing, just so this doesn’t confuse you too much.
I drew up different patterns and tried different ideas out. I knew it couldn’t be much wider than 45″ and not much deeper than 8″. My living room isn’t huge and I didn’t want it to get too cluttered.
I had a bunch of 3/4″ good one side plywood on hand. I cut the mantel, sides and front from this. The bottom I used a 2×10 which I cut down to the right length.
Some of the wood was a little poor so I boxed it in at the bottom as you can see here. I just cut pieces of plywood and covered the bottom front and side and topped it with trim. Now you’ll never know how beat up the wood was!
Please ignore the horrible saw horse with a big red “X” on it. My little brother did that when he was younger…not sure what the reason was…probably just a phase …I didn’t notice that it was sitting right there, but I was using it.
The only supplies I actually had to buy was the pine casing and the pre-painted pine quarter round…and of course some nails for the finish nailer . This project took me part of one evening and half a Saturday to finish. It might have gone faster if I would have had my plan completed instead of figuring out every detail as I went along.
Here you can see I was attaching the pine tongue and groove with a finish nailer.
This shows a close up of the top of the mantel. So far so good, I’m thinking…
It looks much better once the back is closed off and that eye sore is gone! I hadn’t known for sure if I wanted the back closed off or not, but I thought it might make it look more real and I can always paint the back darker later on.
I just used plain casing and quarter round. Our local building store didn’t have any fancy schmancy supplies on hand and I really didn’t feel like waiting and ordering them in. So I figured it was ok to have it more plain…
My Dad did carpentry all my growing up years so I got him to help me with a few things, namely cutting the 45 degree angles and attaching the casing and quarter round. It’s so handy to have someone around to help with things like this! Thanks so much Dad!!! I owe you BIG time!
I primed everything and let it dry which I find is the absolute hardest thing to do…the PATIENCE part is what gets me! We have a fan in the ceiling which was going so I think that helped.
This is the back. I really didn’t want to show it to you, but in order to keep it “real life” I’m going to show you the back and you can just ignore all the errors…
The primer is dry and ready for the real paint job! This is the fun part…except for the drying time of course…but now it’s soooo close to being finished.
I don’t have any pictures of the next part, but I just took some brown craft paint and dabbed it on the edges and basically anywhere else I thought might look nice. I painted two coats with left over paint from my house remodeling project. Once the two coats were dry, I sanded the edges and tried to distress the whole mantel a little bit. I sealed it with two coats of clear polyurethane and joy of all joys!!!! It was FINISHED!
Yeah!! Can you believe it?! Me either!
So what is your opinion on this? Is a “faux” fireplace OK?
I’m more than thrilled with mine as it seems to just complete the room. I’m not happy with the decor I put together for it, but it’s coming…I usually shuffle things around from room to room throughout the year, so I’ll eventually come up with something I like. Right now I need a pumpkin and some gourds, maybe a fall bouquet as well.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a happy Wednesday!