Simple Rustic Faux Fireplace

I've been pinning rustic wood fireplaces trying to find inspiration for my next "faux fireplace". I wanted or actually needed to build one for my basement rec room.

You can check out my first faux fireplace here and my second faux fireplace here. I'm still using both of those with the first one having just recently had a slight makeover to it. I'll be sharing this sometime as well as finally sharing the plans for building it.

This fireplace below was my inspiration piece. I ordered an insert similar to the one shown below and then found out that it was sold out.

Disappointing? Yes. But that's okay. 

Image above is from Twelve on Main

I adjusted my plans and bought one of Duraflame's inserts through Electric Fireplaces Canada. The model is Duraflame's 20-in infrared electric fireplace log set (DF1030ARU)

Here's a glimpse at what I quickly sketched up. Very plain and very simple. Drawing is not my strong point as you can see below.

This desk came with our office when we purchased it back in 2015. I immediately knew that it could be used or repurposed for something or other and snagged it for myself.

Here's another glimpse of this desk. I used the bottom half for building my Farmhouse Table earlier (I'll be sharing a post on this in the next while) and set the top pieces aside for later use.

I wanted the mantle to be rustic with a lot of character. I ended up using part of this desk top for my mantle.

Here is what I sketched up with the dimensions for you all. It's a super rough sketch, but it'll give you an idea of the size and dimensions.

I started with the base of the mantle or what I call the hearth. I cut this 13 1/4" deep by 46" long. I sanded both sides as well as the edges to make sure that there'd be no issues with splinters later on down the road.

I wanted a thin hearth so that the kiddos wouldn't trip on it.

 I cut the two pieces for the front and side. Both of these were cut using scrap GIS plywood that I had on hand. 

The sides were cut to 13 1/4" wide x 48 high".

The fronts were cut to 10.5" wide x 48" high. The plan says 10" wide because I wasn't sure that I'd have scraps that were actually 10.5" wide.

The corner pieces are not attached to the base in the picture shown below.

There's a whole lot that happened between the picture above and the picture below. I wanted to get this finished in one evening so I ran out of time taking all the step-by-step photos. I enlisted the help of my Dad just to get it done a little faster.

Below you can see the completely assembled faux fireplace waiting to be painted. The curve of the middle piece ended up being a sharper curve than I had drawn.

I didn't have enough plywood to cover the opening in the back, so we ripped some wood to different widths and planked the back. 

The fireplace seemed too plain without any sort of trim so I ended up using ripped and stained wood which was actually meant for framing my signs, to trim out the fireplace.

The top of the desk which I showed you earlier was made up from a few pieces. We had to cut the one piece a little shorter to use it as a mantle piece. It wasn't quite deep enough and we ended up ripping another piece from the desk to 2" wide and then screwing the two top pieces together to create a nice mantle top.

The actual fireplace didn't end up looking like my original plan, but to be honest, I liked it much better.

The mantle top has an extra piece attached to it to make it look a little thicker. This piece is 1 3/16" deep and 3/8" thick and runs the full length of the mantle piece. I didn't change anything with this top from the desk after cutting it to length except for sanding it smooth, staining and sealing it.

Below you can see the fireplace as it's drying.

Here's a snap in between coats.

I used leftover paint from painting my stairwell for painting this fireplace. The colour is Benjamin Moore's Amherst Gray. The paint which I used is by Dulux.

Here's a glimpse of the completed mantle. I love the warmth and richness of the stained top. Plus, I think it's so neat that it comes from an old work desk. It's repurposed wood that most likely has a lot of history in it.

The gray in this photo below is a fairly true representation of the actual colour in person. You can see the faux flames reflecting on the back of the fireplace. The insert provides lots enough heat to keep my basement rec room warm.

A thick sparkly rug from Winners does a great job of creating a soft place to sit in front of the fire.

Something important for you to remember when you build something for yourself. It doesn't have to be perfect. You can see that I didn't get this curve perfect, but it's a rustic fireplace. I was impatient and winged it with creating this curve. I used the lid from a large round garbage can to draw the curve. Not ideal, but it worked for me.

I thought I'd cut the curve with a jig saw and ended up using the band saw which worked just fine.

You can also see how we ended up planking the back side of the fireplace instead of using one straight sheet of plywood. I thought of using faux brick paneling, but I didn't have any on hand at the moment. 

Another close up of the beautiful mantle top.

This image will give you a better glimpse at the thin piece that was originally used to create a ledge to this desk top.

There's so many ways to style a mantle. You can easily create your own cozy space just by combining a few items from your home.'s the finished mantle in all it's glory. There's no natural lighting down here, so it's a little hard to get the colours to come out correctly.

I really hope this helps you to build your own style of faux mantle/fireplace. It definitely adds both character and warmth to a space.

Good luck with your own build. If you do tackle your own, I'd love to hear from you on how it worked.

Have a beautiful day!





Duraflame fire place insert: Electric Fireplaces Canada (DF1030ARU)

Paint: Amherst Grey by Benjamin Moore (Dulux paint company)

Stain: Dark Walnut by Minwax

Polycrylic: Satin finish by Minwax (for sealing the stained mantle)

Wood: Scrap lumber that I had on hand. GIS (good-one-side plywood) and pine

Other supplies and tools needed: Wood glue, screws, air nailer, orbit sander or sanding pad, mitre saw, jig saw or band saw, clamps

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