Have you ever been Pin-spired? You know when you’re on Pinterest and find the solution to a problem and eureka you’ve been Pin-spired. So maybe I made up the word (shoulder shrug)? But that’s what happened to me after finding this awesome pin and blog, Addicted 2 Decorating. There I found the post on how to make a DIY fireplace mantle. She had made exactly what I’d envisioned and had a great tutorial. I decided it was high time that my fireplace needed its very own DIY rustic fireplace mantle. Unfortunately for me, I have a very unique fireplace from the 50’s. That meant I had to come up with my own version to suit my “unique” fireplace.
It’s fair to say that most people like the hand hewn rustic old barn wood mantels. I LOVE them, but they don’t love me back (price wise). Knowing that I could produce the same rustic look for a fraction of the cost; I asked my dad to come over and help me as we where eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new nephew and had a few hours to kill.
Previously I painted the brick on my fireplace. You can find the directions on how to paint your fireplace here.
This post may contain affiliate links. I do not promote any products that I do not use myself. All opinions are 100% my own.
DIY FIREPLACE MANTEL
Tools I used:
- Drill with drill bits
- 3″ wood screws
- Minwax Jacobean 2750 stain
- wood putty
- Sand paper Assorted grit
- Miter saw (I had to make mitered cuts)
- Nail gun with compressor with 1 1/4 inch nails
- Level– I used my 24″ level
- Stud finder
- Pocke hole Jig (if your lucky)
When it comes to purchasing wood I always try to buy local. I bought all my wood from a local wood shop called Mr. Plywood. How very Portlandia of me. After spending a lot of time browsing, I decided to use cedar fencing…Yup good old fencing. I chose it for a few reasons: cost and overall rustic look. When selecting the wood, pay very close attention to the overall straightness of the wood. If you want it to fit tight against the wall then it needs to be straight! Here is a great article on how to pick good lumber. I wanted it to look like a barn beam with lots of knots and gnarls. Total cost for the wood fencing was about $10.00 for 8 pieces. You will need a 2×4 for a ledger board and stringer supports.
To start this project I first sanded the boards thoroughly, using 150 grit then 220 grit sand paper for a smooth finish. Then the fun part. I dinged, gouged and dented one side of 6 boards to make it look like barn wood. When it came to choosing the front facing board I chose the piece with the most “character,” it has large knots and gnarls. After beating up my wood. LOL. I made sure that everything was still very smooth and applied one coat of Minwax Jacobean 2750. I allowed it to dry and then sanded the wood with 220 grit sand paper and wiped it clean before applying my final layer of the Minwax Jacobean 2750.
While waiting for the stain to dry, I marked off where the studs where above my fireplace with a stud finder and pencil. This is where I was going to hang the 2×4 ledger board that would be the support for the mantel. Once I found the studs I screwed up the ledger board using 3″ wood screws and then attached the supports in place. I made a mistake in not screwing the supports on the ledger board before putting it up. Hind sight…
***Next time I’m getting a Pocket hole Jig to make the holes for the shorter support boards it would have made for a faster job. Because I didn’t have a jig I drilled pilot holes and then screwed the pieces together.***
Assembling the mantel was a bit of a challenge. My dad and I decided it would be best to attach the boards one by one so we could ensure that everything was level. This worked very well for us but I wish we could have assembled it all together and then mounted it. I am NOT a Woodworker/Carpenter! I say that because I know that there are better more efficient ways of doing this. I’m a DIY’er and nothing more.
To secure all the board’s together we used a 1 1/4″ nails spaced 4 inches apart. Each board was nailed in individually with a nail gun, as shown in the pictures above. I did not use screws to secure the boards. I wanted to be able to use a nail set and cover the nail holes with putty, to make this mantle look like it was made from one piece of wood.
NOTE: Everyone’s fireplaces are going to be different lengths and dimensions, therefore I am not going to provide the exact measurements for my fireplace. Also you may not have studs to screw into so you will have to find another way to attach your mantel.
Now Santa finally has a place to put all that coal. LOL! Leave me a comment if you have any questions or just simply want to say hi!