As you may remember from this post–in order for me to finish my friend’s den, on my list of things to do was to build a beam styled mantel to mimic the “wood” beams that are on the ceiling of he den/family room.In order to do so, I had to come up with a plan to cover the old brick (?) mantel with a sort of slip cover.
We had contemplated painting the beams or removing them, but opted instead to try to make them work in the room.
So, after painting her fireplace, it went from this:
and then to this, after building a slip cover-mantel/beam:
Since the previous mantel was made out of cement brick and because I hadn’t planned on doing any masonry demo (nor do I know how to, lol) I built a mantle slipcover.
So here’s what I used:
- 3-8’ long 1×6 pine boards (Her mantel was 6’10” long, huge right?)
- liquid nail/caulking gun
- nail gun (I used a good ol’ fashioned hammer)
- nails (I used finish nails)
- foam brush
- rags (to clean liquid nail and to wipe stain)
- saw (I used a jig saw)
- Drill and cement screws (to anchor box to existing mantel–Unfortunately, I don’t have many pics of the process because my camera died!!!)
Here’s what I did:
I cut each board about an inch longer than the existing mantel (so 6’ 11”) and used the remainder of one of the boards to cut the sides of the box/mantel, which were each 6 1/2”
Next you should ( I say should, because I did this after I built the box, but It probably would have been better to do this prior to building it) beat up the wood some, let the kids wear off some energy(with supervision of course 🙂 or take your frustrations out on it with a hammer, a razor or some scissors as I did.
I then began to build my box.
I placed one pine board on the floor and lined the other on its side in front of it, liquid nailed it, made sure it was flush, and nailed it together. Spacing and hammering the nails about every 12 inches along the board. I then liquid nailed the sides(short pieces) and nailed them in place as well.
After the boards are nailed, be sure to wipe up any liquid nails with a damp cloth, because it is a pain to get off later.
Next, flip the half of box over and do the same as the first step, this will be your bottom of the box/slipcover. This last piece of wood should fit nicely in between your two side pieces.
Now you will have a box, minus one side . . . slip this directly over the existing mantel and secure it in an inconspicuous place ( like the top) with masonry/cement screws).
It should look like this (minus the stain, I told y’all I just get a head of myself sometimes):
I then began to stain the “beam”. I used two different stains because I’m indecisive and was getting anxiety trying choose one in Home Depot to get the color I wanted.
The stains I used were Minwax Polyshades Bombay Mahogany first, then Minwax Ebony (this comes out just as it’s named– ebony, vey dark!) Although I was going for dark, I wanted to still see the wood grain to mimic the ceiling beams.
As you can see in these pics, the left side of the mantel is darker than the right. This is what it looks like before it is wiped and smoothed, so you can control the depth of color.
Note: Although the end result came out great, if I were to do this again, I would miter the corners so that the wood fit together more seamlessly).
So what do you think? I was thinking of going over the actual fireplace with a creamier antique-y type of paint just to lessen the brightness and contrast of the fireplace, but overall I like it! Please share your feedback, I thrive off of it!
See the progress below: