Building a faux fireplace mantle, part 3

When we last left you, our beautiful antique mantle with its faux firebox looked like this:

Nothing was painted, no stone was laid. Things were kinda bare. And unfinished.

Our first item on the agenda was to paint it.

First, we caulked any cracks or areas we felt needed filling in. We painted the mantle and the adjoining boards behind it with white paint in satin finish.

Next, we installed Airstone to the surround and the bottom of the hearth.

This stuff is amazingly easy and fun to work with. Simply spread the adhesive on the back of the stones like you’re frosting a cake and press into place. You can also cut the stone with a hacksaw or circular saw.

We then laid faux slate vinyl tiles across the top of the hearth. We may upgrade it later to real slate but I am loving how this looks, and how little it cost.

We then painted the faux brick paneling with some matte black chalk paint. I just like the finish.

We still have a few areas to fill in and some trim to add, but all in all, I am loving it!

Stay tuned! The rest of our living room is about to change in a big way, and I can’t wait to show it to you!!

Have a great Monday!

Building a faux fireplace mantle

Building an antique fireplace mantle

Last month, I told you all about how my husband and I purchased and antique fireplace mantle.

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We have a long, blank and boring wall in our living room, that unfortunately is our focal wall when you walk in the door. I’ve always wanted a pretty fireplace on that wall but knew we couldn’t afford a real one. A faux one was the next best thing 🙂

Using a plan from Bless’r House as a model, we decided how large the mantle and hearth would need to be and we purchased the wood.

Here is a list of what we used to build the fireplace:

  • Antique mantle (found through local antiques dealers)
  • 2 plywood sheets
  • Faux brick panel
  • 11 2×4 boards
  • 2 1X12 boards
  • 1 2×12 board
  • Finishing nails
  • Deck screws
  • Drywall screws
  • Tape measure and yard stick
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Hammer
  • Power drill

We began by deciding how large we wanted the hearth to be and we cut two 2X4sat 64 inches long. We chose 64 inches because this made the hearth a tiny bit wider than the mantle itself. The cross pieces and sides are 24 inches.

fireplace hearth 1

We then cut a piece of plywood to fit the top of the hearth, but we did not hammer it down yet.

Copy of fireplace surround 3

We then carried the hearth into the house, placed it where we wanted it, and attached it to the baseboards. We then attached the plywood to the top of the hearth.

finished hearth

We then attached plywood strips and two by fours to the back of the mantle.

fireplace surround braces

After attaching the two by fours to the side, and the plywood strips, we cut out a surround from one of the plywood sheets. I attached it using small wood screws.

fireplace surround 2

I then attached 2X4s to the wall at the correct height to the wall. Be sure to hang these on studs, but if you can’t, make sure you use drywall anchors that can accommodate heavy weights.

Copy of Copy of Copy of fireplace no brick

I then attached the 1X12s for the side braces to the 2x4s.

Copy of Copy of fireplace no brick

I then put the mantle up beside these braces, and attached the two by fours on the back of the mantle to the braces. I used decking screws to do this.

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I then realized we had about an eight inch gap between the mantle and the wall.

Copy of fireplace no brick

Attaching a 2X6 to this space covered the gap and laid flush with the back of the mantle.

Untitled design (11)

We then cut and added faux brick paneling to the wall behind the mantle and on the sides so that the inside of the mantle couldn’t be seen.

fireplace almost finished

We have nearly finished the mantle. We now only have to paint, add the stone, and fill in some nail holes. Our living room looks so much better already! Can’t wait to share the finished product with you all!

fireplace almost finished

Restoring an antique fireplace mantle

Last weekend, I posted this picture on Instagram, leading my followers to wonder what I’m up to.

I’m going to go ahead and tell you that this project will take several posts, and I’ll be talking about it for the next few weeks…but I’m happy to scratch the surface today.

This absolutely lovely antique mantle has been in my garage for almost two years. I knew what I wanted to do with it but just couldn’t find the time. Story of my life. I knew I wanted it done by December so I felt compelled to stop dragging my feet and just do it.

Then, there was a whole lotta strippin’ going on, and not the sexy kind. At least this kind of stripper doesn’t smell bad. Just brush it on with a paintbrush and wait thirty minutes. Then, scrape that paint right off. You may have to repeat the process, if there are several layers of paint to remove. I had to do this three times.

Plus, the stripper gives everything a pinkish hue, which is also lots of fun.

I used low grit sandpaper and a plastic putty knife to scrape away the paint. I’ve almost got all the paint off.

And if you’ll tune in next week, I’ll show you the second installment. Come see us next Tuesday to see what I’m doing with this mantle.

Fall fun printables…for free!

You all know I love fall. I also love a good freebie. There are a number of ways you can get a super cute fall print on the cheap…for free, even! Here are a few fun fall decor items you can print, frame or even make yourself that you will love!

1. Magazine photo framed

If you’re like me, you subscribe to tons of magazines. Sometimes the fall editions have pictures of gorgeous fall scenes in them. Number one is just a pretty picture I cut out of a Country Living magazine and stuck in a frame I already had.

2. Google images search

All three of these super cute printables came from doing a Google images search. The print that says “we gather together” and “give thanks” both were found at On Sutton Place and the Apple wreath print was found here.

3. Pinterest

Number three, the subway art printable, was created by Make Bake Celebrate, and I found it by searching fall art printables on Pinterest. I already had the frame.

4. Hang a trio of prints/ use fall colored paper to mat

I have had these printable cards for a long time, and try as I may, I cannot find the original source. If anyone recognizes them, please email me so I can appropriately credit the maker. I love these pretty little fall prints with their cheery colored mats. They make me smile everytime I see them.

What is your favorite fall print source?

Back porch rehab: a mood board and a plan

Spaces

We have a wonderful covered back porch, but it’s a bit lacking in decor and comfort.

The space itself is great, but it’s bland and underused.

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And I know what you’re thinking. Summer is over- why worry about sitting on the porch now?

We live in Central North Carolina, and it’s so hot here in the summer we can’t stand to sit on the porch. Even if it’s covered. Even if it has a ceiling fan- which ours doesn’t.

I’d love to make this a cozy little sitting space, kind of like an outdoor living room. I’ve got so many good ideas of what I’d like to do. Take a look at my ideas and the inspiration I’ve pulled from  Pinterest!  Here’s what I think our porch really needs:

  1. A ceiling fan

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The porch in this photo reminds me of a nicer version of my own porch. The spaces are similar. I love that ceiling fan because it’s decorative, and because I definitely don’t love our hot, humid weather.

2. Porch rug and a coffee table

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I just love the porch furniture, the colors, and the general coziness of Suzy’s porch over at Worthing Court. It’s lovely- I just wanna sit there and drink my tea.

3. Pillows or cushions

See the picture above. Cushions and pillows make any porch seem cozy and inviting.

4. Soft lighting for fun and for evenings

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I realize this is a Christmas photo, but I love the soft lighting from the string lights. String lights are also just a very cool look.

5. citronella candles

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The mosquitoes in North Carolina are world-famous. They’re mean and they will get you. And since you’re well aware of my fondness for mason jars, I thought I’d try my hand at making a few of these citronella candle jars.

6. a new porch lantern

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Our puny, builder grade light fixture was broken in one of the hurricanes last year and we haven’t replaced it yet. I’d love this barn light lantern on our back porch. It’s such a cool look.

7. different wreaths

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There is nothing wrong with the wreaths I made, but I think they’re a little puny. This wreath is fuller and the colors are better and I think it’d look great on my doors.

 

We are actively working on making the porch cozier and better right now. I can’t wait to share it with you next month!