Fireplace Mantel

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Project by Richforever posted 12-25-2008 02:25 AM 8533 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The old 1950’s narrow brick fireplace just didn’t fit with other projects going on in the home. This is the new mantel made from select pine and stained rosewood. It has three coats of gloss polycrylic finish.

Pocket screws hold everything together in the fields. The escutcheon boxes are edge-beaded and attached within sliding dovetail slots. A 45 degree lock miter router bit made all the right angle joints. There are 62 painstakingly cut dentils glued to a small trim board under the crown molding so that the dentils stay off the surface by 1/8 inch so as to cast a shadow. The inside corners of the moldings are coped for a good fit. The base molding hides the faces of bricks in the hearth, and was routed with a special bit, and matches all the base molding in the house.

Fireplace mantel & trim

The marble pillars were tough. They are made from 2×4’s and routed pieces of mdf and drywall mud. They structurally support the escutcheon boxes and mantel shelf, which was raised 6” and extended out 3 1/2 inches so that Grandpa and Grandma’s clock could have it’s rightful position.

Never did faux painting before, so had to get a book. It took four tries. Three types of left-over house paint was mixed and used to match the tone of the green slate hearth.

Molding, dentils, escutcheon box

I changed the metal and glass fireplace doors to metallic gold to match the mirror. The pillasters in the over mantel are made from mdf. The cornices are blocks of 2×4’s. The sconce lights are from Rejuvenation, and I had to wire them down from the attic on a separate circuit. The mirror came from a place on the east coast because I couldn’t find an oval one around the northwest. It cost more than the rest of the project combined.

Fireplace Mantel

Faux Marble Pillar

Fireplace Overmantel

Total time was two and a half months. (The living room survived all the plastic sheets, paint, tools, sawdust, etc.).

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

11 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5111 days

#1 posted 12-25-2008 02:32 AM

This is a wonderful project- one which you should be beaming over. The attention to detail that you put into the build is outstanding. This piece would be a compliment in any home.

Nice job!!

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View mtnwild's profile


4598 posts in 4817 days

#2 posted 12-25-2008 02:57 AM

Magnificent! Really! Excellent design and choice of materials. Great attention to the details.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5604 days

#3 posted 12-25-2008 07:09 AM

Nice project. Looks original.

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4977 days

#4 posted 12-26-2008 09:19 AM

In the first photo ,The pink of the bricks and the red of the mantle really clash .The brass doors might stand out better if you paint the bricks white to mimic the mirror area . JMO The mantle itself looks great !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 4738 days

#5 posted 12-26-2008 12:56 PM

looks great…you’ve done a very nice job…..

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 5010 days

#6 posted 12-27-2008 05:32 AM


Thanks for the input. I think a lot of the tone of the bricks in the picture is due to the flash when the picture was taken. Normally the bricks don’t show up in the room lighting – especially when the sconce lights are used because they are in a shadow.

I may try putting white paper over the bricks to get a better idea of the effect, since I just finished the walls next to the mantel and they are white double-tiered raised panel wainscoting. Thanks again.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5690 days

#7 posted 12-27-2008 05:35 AM

A great job on the mantle. Nice finishing job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4977 days

#8 posted 12-27-2008 05:59 PM

I wasn’t thinking about camera flash …sorry The mantle work itself is great to say the least : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Mytoya's profile


212 posts in 4504 days

#9 posted 08-13-2009 03:20 AM

You have done a great job. I have been trying to faux paint marble for years now. Nothing I did looked anything like marble. Great Job!!!!!!!!

View AngelofDeath's profile


116 posts in 4365 days

#10 posted 01-13-2010 10:36 AM

i was going to ask where you got the pillars…but after reading that you made them I am amazed…great idea…. super thrifty… nice job

View Jerry's profile


221 posts in 4828 days

#11 posted 11-13-2010 02:37 PM


-- Jerry - Rochester, MN *Whether you think you can or you can't, you are probably right* - Henry Ford

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