$75 Fireplace Makeover

One evening this fall, my friend Julie decided it was time to tear out her  fireplace facade.  The builder used sheet rock for the mantel and a tile surround that Julie did not care for.  After living with it for several years, Julie was done and off it came!  Not sure how to proceed, their fireplace stayed like this for a few months.

I figured with a little wood and some effort, I could give her fireplace a new look for not too much money.  Julie took me up on my offer and we started planning.

Kevin and Layla at The Lettered Cottage were our inspiration for this project.  They did something similar with their fireplace and I hoped to create something like it for Julie.

The first step was getting rid of the the gold on her fireplace insert. You might remember my post a few days ago when I did the same thing to our fireplace. With a little high heat spray paint, the gold was gone in a flash!

Thin plywood was measured and cut into a triangular piece for the mantel top.

The same plywood was used for three different sections that became the background of the new fireplace (see numbered picture below). I don't have a table saw, so I brought the measurements with me and the kind people at Lowes made the cuts for me.

I used a primed 1x6 for the mantel and 'L' brackets were attached to the back.  By attaching the L brackets to the mantel top and face, I could avoid having to drill holes through the front (which equals less touch up work in the end).

Once the mantel face was hung and the mantel top was nailed down, I cut molding with mitered corners to trim around the fireplace insert.

After all of the molding was nailed into place, the corners were spackled and the edges caulked.  Then the entire mantel was painted white.

The new mantel was fun to decorate with a splash of bright colors too!  Julie painted some of her existing accessories and I helped her put it all into place for an updated look.

And one last look at the before and after...

It's amazing what $75 and a little bit of work can do!


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