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

Farmhouse Friday: Favorite Flea Market Finds

I absolutely love antique stores, resale stores and thrift shops. I love looking for specific things, but I also love finding random treasures too.

Recently, I found this pretty and unusual desk in a Habitat for Humanity store. For a split second, I considered buying it.

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Then, I spotted this pair of French toile chairs that would be darling in a little girls’ room.

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It made me wish I needed them. In the end, I said goodbye to the cute desk and the darling chairs and walked away.

But, I digress. I mentioned that I sometimes go in a store searching for specific items. On this trip, I was in search of a new large piece of art for our living room.

I didn’t find what I wanted, but I did find these two neat paintings.

There are a handfull of items I am always on the lookout for in a resale shop or flea market. There are a few things I love to collect and I almost never pass up. Today, I’d like to share those lovely treasures with you.

milk glass

1. Milkglass

I have several pieces of Fenton milk glass, and while most of my collection has been passed down to me from my grandparents and great grandparents, I also frequently purchase small pieces when I encounter them. I have passed on milkglass pieces just as often as I’ve purchased them, in an effort to keep my collection small.

pottery

2. Seagrove Pottery (especially blue)

I was raised in Central North Carolina, so I’m very familiar with Seagrove pottery. I remember being absolutely gobsmacked by how expensive the pottery is on Ebay, so I am always excited to find a piece for sale in a flea market or resale shop. I’ve emassed a decent collection from yard sales, thrift stores and family members.

tea cup.jpg

3. Vintage tea cups and tea sets

You can often find one or two matching cups and saucers. You can do so many cool things with these- decorate with them, make bird feeders from them, make candles with them, gift them to a friend with a box of their favorite tea…the list is endless. I use mine beside my kitchen sink to store my rings while washing dishes.

quilt

4. Vintage quilts

Quilts often cost a pretty penny. If you find a nice vintage quilt that is still in great shape, buy it! That’s what washing machines are for! If it has a small tear, you can fix it. If it’s faded, use it for a picnic blanket. Vintage quilts also make great wall hangings.

picture frames

5. Vintage picture frames

Have you ever seen vintage picture frames with the glass removed and painted with chalk paint? I’m telling you right now, you should do this! These frames would be lovely in a little girls’ room painted pink. They’d also make a lovely statement wall on a staircase. Or just a cute collage wall in a hallway. Hang them up empty or with photos in them.

Other things I love to search for are antique signs and advertisements, household items like wash boards, and old license plates. What do you love to buy from resale stores and flea markets?

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.

Board and Batten farmhouse shutters: a ridiculously easy DIY

Board and Batten farmhouse shutters: a ridiculously easy DIY

Our kitchen had this awkward window above the sink, which looked into the dining room. It was random and weird, and I couldn’t decide what to do with it. I thought about putting a cafe rod and curtains there, but I really didn’t want to do that.

I wanted something more unique. I spotted some scrap wood in my garage and I had an idea: why not create some simple, rustic shutters? I measured the opening and cut the wood. Then, I bought some cute hinges and handles.

Here they are all laid out but not actually put together.

I constructed four shutters with crossbars like this:

I then painted them white, as you can see.

I attached the hinges on the insides of the shutters so I could accordion close them into the sides of the opening.

I absolutely love how much character these simple, rustic shutters add to our kitchen.

What rustic DIY have you recently created?