February 26, 2014

Building a Fireplace Mantle

When we bought our house, it was definitely a fixer-upper.  Almost every light fixture in the house was a globe and the wood finishes and details were very 80's modern.  I envisioned chandeliers and crown mouldings and a little French Country romance and over the years, we are slowly getting there.

I wish I had a picture of the two fireplaces that are in our main floor rooms but I wasn't blogging then and they were ugly.  There were no mantles; the fireplace opening was simply surrounded by a piece of wood. Very stark and contemporary.  And so not Moi!

So I designed two matching mantles for these rooms and Mark, who I affectionately like to call my assistant, built them.  Ha!  What would I do without him?!  :)

We started by building a rectangular box, without a back,  in the appropriate dimensions and then adding moulding to the bottom and crown moulding to the top.  We then added a board that would be the top of the mantle.

We added another bit of moulding to the center.

Before we attached any of the pieces to the fireplace, I sprayed them all with a faux stone spray paint, giving them a more realistic finish.  I then painted them and added dark glaze, antiquing the details.

Mark attached a board to the wall, anchoring it to a stud.  He then attached the mantle to this board, hiding it.

We added corbels that I found at Hobby Lobby.  They are decorative only and don't actually support the fireplace.
We also added this fluted trim along side of the piece of wood that already surrounded the fireplace. Fortunately the combined width of these two pieces was about the same size as the corbel.

I used a stencil and tole paints and stenciled the tile with a fleur de lis pattern.  The heat from the fireplaces has set the paint.

We added two pieces of moulding to the wall above the family room fireplace to emphasize the height.  Then painted between the boards to match the mantle, giving it a more French Country feel.
This is the matching fireplace on the opposite end of the room.
Both fireplaces had brass gas log surrounds which I painted with an oiled bronze paint.

And now, we love them!  A visiting friend thought they were 'stone' although I think the edges are a little sharp for that to be believable but they're dramatic and romantic, giving a much more elegant feel to the rooms.
My husband's a sweetheart!  Whenever he finishes a project, he always looks at me and asks, "What's next?!"  Love him!

I have finally finished staining the end tables he made and hope to get them  posted by the end of the week.

Love and blessings!

" The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed." Exodus 3:2

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  1. Your fireplaces are gorgeous. Beautiful surrounds and wow, I am totally impressed at how creative you are. Hugs, Marty

  2. What beautiful work!! Love the mantels!

  3. AMAZING fireplace!!! How beautiful. Your husband is very talented, and your vision was divine. I just adore the fleur-de-lis and detailed stenciling on the tile.
    Great feature at Feathered Nest Friday!

  4. Hi Lynda. I just discovered your blog at Feather Your Nest Friday and am now a follower. :) Your fireplace is stunning. And I think it's very sweet that your hubby is so willing to help make your vision a reality. I love your blog and plan to spend more time looking around. I'm leaving a comment on your Master Bedroom post, too, which I hope you'll see. Blessings ~ Nancy @ A Joyful Cottage

    1. Hi Nancy! Thank you so much! I just visited your blog and will be following you, too!
      love and blessings~

  5. Beautiful ! Love your light blue chairs too.
    God's blessings!

    1. Thank you, Eileen!
      love and blessings to you, too!

  6. Excellent! I loved every single word of your blog. Actually I am planing on getting a combination fireplace for my newly built house.
    Combination Fireplace