How to build a Faux Wood Mantle for $20

How to build a faux wood mantle for $20

For years I have been wanting to update our fireplace and it first started with a whitewash then limewashing it (blog post coming soon).  However even after doing that it still felt blah!  Since the brick is tiered I couldn’t fully encase it, but I could build a faux wood mantle that would rest on top.

Here is what it looked like before

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The top of the brick mantle measures about 7.5 inches which is perfect because the actual lumber measurements are a little smaller than the size it’s listed as and I wouldn’t have to worry about ripping it. I headed to Lowes and picked up a piece of Common wood 2-in x 8-in x 8-ft;  Actually: 1.5-in x 7.25-in x 8-ft) for $8.00.  This is used primarily for framing homes and I cut it to the length I needed.  If you don’t have a saw either Lowes or Home Depot will cut it for you.   Why Common wood and not a quality wood like Cedar or Maple?  Because there are certain stains colors I like to use and I know exactly what they look like on Common wood.

 

 

 

For the face of the mantle, I used Common Whitewood 1-in x 6-in x 8ft; Actual: 0.75-in x 5.5-in x 8-ft.  It has a smoother surface than Common wood and generally has more natural detail to it.

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Faux Wood Mantle: Staining

My go-to stain colors in this order are Minwax Dark Walnut, Special Walnut, and Jacobean.  I tested the colors on the side of the wood that was not visible.  Dark Walnut was too dark, Special Walnut looked really dated and Jacobean was perfect!  I only used 1 coat and once that was dry I sealed it with two coats of Minwax Polyurethane in Clear Satin.

Faux Wood Mantle: Putting it all together

I made sure to cut the top piece longer than the fireplace so I had room to add the end caps and secured them with a nail gun.  You can also use L-Brackets but the nail holes are barely visible and once you fill them with wood putty you cannot even tell.

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With the assistance of my youngest son, I attached the Whitewood to the face of the fireplace

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On a scale of 1-10 I would rate this at a difficulty of 2. It was really easy to do, did not take a lot of time and completely transformed the look of the fireplace.

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Source List

Artificial Olive Branches-Ballard Designs

Bookends and glass lantern-Decor Steals

Clock and jute lantern-Pier 1 imports

Milk Can and black wood sign on shutters-Pickens & Pallets on Facebook

Botanical 20″ Pillow covers in Natural-Linensandivory.com (I have the Boxwood, Eucalyptus and the Succulent) and scotch guarded them well! I love the botanical pillow covers and have them in other rooms of my house that you can see here and here.

Gingham Pillow Covers 20″-Ballard Designs

Maui Jute Rug in Natural-rugsusa.com

Wall Ladder-home made

Buffalo Check Pillow Cover-Amazon

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10 thoughts on “How to build a Faux Wood Mantle for $20

  1. Thank you for posting this. I wasn’t sure what wood to buy as I am currently doing the same project. I’ll be picking the same wood as yours turned out lovely. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Vida! I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to be able to build it so I went with the least expensive wood (Common Wood) from Lowes. Make sure you lay the wood flat on the ground before you buy it to make sure it’s straight. I had a little trouble lining mine up perfectly on one of the sides but it’s hidden and doesn’t bother me 🙂

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    1. Hi Nancy! I did not attach it. The faux beam just sits right on top of the brick. The brick mantle ledge is 7” wide so that is enough space that I don’t have to worry about if falling off/tipping forward. However I would never place anything large on it like a mirror leaning like so many do in fear that it could fall off.

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  2. I love everything about this fireplace update! I am curious about the finish on the brick. Did you DIY it, or have it done professionally? I would love to redo my 1970’s red brick.

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    1. Thank you! This one here is a DIY whitewash. It was not as light as it shows here in the pic since it’s edited

      If you look at my Instagram account you will see a more updated pic where I used a Valspar Limewash from Lowes and I like it much better

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    1. I believe they make special Masonry screws that go into brick or the mortar. I would use google to see what you are able to find. I was lucky enough to already have the brick mantel for it it rest on.

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