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  1. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Priming and Painting (and Final Installation)

    Return to Contents Anyone who's read a few of my project posts knows that I dislike painting. I'm too timid with a brush. I see videos where painters apply these long, smooth swaths of paint, but I'm never able to do that. I'm okay with a roller, but my wife detests roller stipple. (She doesn't...
  2. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Attaching the Shelf

    Return to Contents The mantel shelf is a thick slab of solid poplar 4" wide and 1 3/4" thick. The shelf sits on a 1/2" thick spacer that creates a stepped shelf. I don't know how much of a problem wood movement will be, but I decided to use screws to attach the spacer to the shelf in case that...
  3. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Gluing the Shell

    Return to Contents Attaching the inner leg sides and header bottom was the first step in the glue-up. Once the glue dried, I was ready to attach the legs to the header. The faces of the legs and header needed to be flat, so I had to glue them together face down. That meant that I wouldn't be...
  4. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Installing the French Cleat and Sizing the Inner Panels

    Return to Contents My preparation for installing the French cleat started when the tile installer was starting his work. He cut out the sheetrock holding the old tile surround, installed cement backer board, and affixed the tile to the backer. While the wall was opened up, I took photos and...
  5. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Building the Facade and Outer Shell

    Return to Contents The center portions of the legs and header are frames with inset panels. I resawed and planed a board to yield roughly 3/8" thick stock for the panels. Then I used my router table and a 1/4" straight bit to cut the grooves for the frames in two passes, shifting the fence...
  6. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Cutting the Decorative Notches

    Return to Contents The decorative notches that visually separate the feet from the "shoulders" and header are an important design element in this surround. They create shadow lines that make the surround more interesting. It took me a few tries (on scrap wood) for us to find the right width...
  7. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Dealing with Asymmetry

    Return to Contents One problem I had to work around is that the fireplace insert is very slightly off center with respect to the hearth (and the corresponding cutout in the carpet). There's about 1/4" less space to the right of the insert than to the left. We had a few options: making the...
  8. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Overall Approach

    Return to Contents Going into the project, I knew I wanted to build as much of the surround as possible in the shop and install it with a French cleat. I wanted to avoid the stress of building the surround in place, and I didn't want to risk damaging the newly-painted wall (which my wife had...
  9. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Design Considerations

    Return to Contents We recently gave our family room a facelift by repainting it with a new color and scraping off the dated popcorn ceiling texture. To complete the makeover, we needed to update the fireplace. My wife hadn't liked the old tile surround (a yellowish, shiny stone) for many years...
  10. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Introduction and Contents

    This series of journal entries details the design, construction, and installation of the fireplace surround/mantel project I completed recently. Contents Design Considerations Overall Approach Making it Level Dealing with Asymmetry Cutting the Decorative Notches Building the Facade and Outer...
  11. Projects Fireplace Surround/Mantel

    I just finished building this fireplace surround/mantel to complete a recent family room makeover. The room has new paint and fireplace/hearth tile, so it needed a new surround. It's made of solid poplar and painted with Benjamin Moore Super White (paint code OC-152 or PM-1), matte finish. It's...
  12. Entertainment Center

    I had been using a couple of room dividers against a wall in the family room to house the television and some stereo equipment. The more I thought about it the more need I had for a 'proper' entertainment center. I researched the magazines and the internet to come up with a picture of...
  13. Fireplace mantel and surround

    Solid QSWO construction of the mantel and surround installed on an existing fireplace. The client chose the wood and the basic design. The client wanted a "natural" looking finish, so I used only Tung Oil. All of the moulding and trim was custom-made by myself using QSWO. Also, I ran all of the...
  14. Raised Panel Fireplace Surround

    I installed this fireplace surround today. Poplar and MDF with shopmade moldings. Poplar pilaster column split in half to help reduce the depth of the mantle top. Pre-cat lacquer finish. This is the before pic. For some unknown reason some builders in this area build these ugly drywall...
  15. Very simple mantel/fireplace surround

    A few years ago, I had just started into woodworking with my first two projects ever…a drafting desk and a bar for my basement. Well, shortly after that I had to move from a spacious house to a small apartment due to a work relocation, and one of the casualties of the move was the vast majority...
  16. a fireplace surround project...

    a fireplace surround project…could be more but I thought the brick should show as much as possible.
  17. another fireplace surround w/ mantle...

    We did the entire wall with a combination of applied moldings and lots of millwork; Cabinets built into large coves gave us plenty of room for creating the art. The fireplace hearth is marble but doesn't show here. Except for the corbels and the rope trim, all the milling was done at our small...
  18. New fireplace surround

    A new fireplace surround to cover the old brick. Poplar & plywood, frame & panel. Finished with 3 coats of water based enamel and 3 coats of GF polyacrylic. The mantel was already there. Thanks GaryL for the tips. The reason for the clamp in the photo of the old fireplace is that I used it...
  19. Painted plywood mantle and surround

    I built this fireplace mantle and surround for my parents house last Christmas to replace the squat white brick fireplace that they have hated since they moved into their house. It was an interesting project because I built it at home then traveled ~350 miles to install it, fortunately...
  20. Shaker style fireplace surround

    A guy at work wanted a shaker style surround. His wife loved it and enjoys decorating it for the holidays.
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