Building a Faux Fireplace

I was scrolling through some old posts and realized that last year sometime I hinted at sharing details with you on building a faux fireplace...and...I still haven't done this. This is a long time coming as I built my second faux fireplace at the end of 2016.

You can read how I built my first faux fireplace back in 2012 here. I would actually call it more of a faux mantle. 

I still use my original faux fireplace. It has found a lovely spot in my guestroom. It adds a nice little cozy area for my guests.

It wasn't long after building my first fireplace that I knew some day I would build another one. I loved the original one but wanted to build one for an insert.

I researched designs and styles and plans to try to come up with something for my living room. I used Pinterest a lot for inspiration. Meanwhile, I kept planning, dreaming and waiting to build this fireplace. I checked into pricing to see if I should just buy a fireplace with an insert.

I loved the challenge of building my own though and decided to go for it.

First of all, I sketched up a plan of my living room to see how much room I would have for a fireplace. My living room isn't huge which is why I finally decided to go ahead and build my own. This way I could build something which would fit just perfectly into my house.

I wanted to draw up plans to share with you all, but I haven't found a simple way to draw up proper plans. I'll share the overall measurements for the fireplace to give you an idea. Please remember that I custom built this faux fireplace to fit my small living room. If you build your own, you will want to make sure that it fits your space.

I checked into inserts to see what was available at the time. If you want to put an insert in your mantle, it's very important to buy this ahead of time or at least pick out which one you're going to buy. This way you can build your mantle to fit the insert.

I decided to go for an open log insert since it was the most afforadable option at the time. I ordered this insert from Electric Fireplaces Canada.

One Friday night I decided to go ahead and build this fireplace. It was a very last-minute decision which meant there wasn't time to buy supplies and I was forced to use wood that I had on hand. I built this fireplace using leftover scraps of plywood and pine. The lumberyard was closed so I made my own trim and decorative pieces using pine wood and a router table.

I halfways sketched up a design for the fireplace. In the end I measured and drew and changed things as I went along. It's probably not the best way to go about building something, but it's what I did this time. I didn't think to take many progress pictures as I went.

Below you can see the fireplace when it's starting to take shape. The main parts of the fireplace are made from plywood scraps. 

Here you can see a close-up of some of the pine trim/decorative pieces which I routed using a router table.

I added more trim to the fireplace since I didn't want to have raw edges showing. 

I caulked the fireplace and then primed it. I didn't keep track of how many coats of paint it took. I suspect the standard amount.

Below you can see the hole that I drilled in the back of the insert. This allows the cord from the insert to go through the back. I painted the insert area black in hopes to make the fireplace look a little more real.

And now for the final reveal...

This is the finished product almost 2 years later. 

I'm very happy with the insert. I love the ambiance it gives. There's nothing more cozy during a cool fall evening, then to curl up by the fire with a blanket, a good book and a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate. The fan is a little noisy, so if you're the type who doesn't appreciate the sound of a fan, this insert might not be for you. The heater on the insert gives off a lot of heat. There are lots of great options for other fireplace inserts if this isn't your style.

If you've been toying with the idea of building a faux mantle or fireplace, I hope this gives you the inspiration you need to build your own.

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”



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