A few months ago, I wanted to change the look of our faux fireplace. I started first by adding a single stained board to see how it looked. After deciding I loved it, and wanted something more substantial, we decided to build a DIY Faux Beam Fireplace Mantel Cover. Which was really easy, and really inexpensive. Our split level home, built in 1959 is what I call a basic stacked box. It’s all squares and angles without the charm of anything architectural, so we’ve been adding it as we go along such as this transom in between our kitchen and dining area. This house didn’t come with a fireplace, so about 10 years ago, I added a reclaimed faux mantel for interest. I love how it looks, and it really is a great focal point when you come in the front door, and it’s so fun to decorate for the changing seasons.
You can see a video below of how it looks completed in our home, and styled for the holidays different ways, and continue to the rest of the DIY.
I felt like our mantel though was starting to look a little dated, and I wanted to give it a face-lift with a chunkier looking mantel and give it more presence. We recently added foam crown molding to the room, and I love how the mantel and crown molding look together.
Building a faux beam mantel cover is actually fairly easy, and it fits right over your existing mantel. We used pine common board, so the total cost was right around $20, which is so little to make a huge impact! Hubby cut all of the boards and assembled for me, but I also love that our local home improvement store will cut the boards for us so it’s ready to assemble at home if you don’t have access to a saw.
You’ll basically need 4 boards. A mantel “top” board, a front “skirt” board, and two small side pieces (from the same kind of boards) to make your cover. We already had the first board cut and stained since I had tried it out a few months ago. I had picked a board that was the same width as my existing mantel, and then had it cut it so it stuck out an inch longer over the ends. When we built the box, we decided that would become the front board since it was already stained.
See this project: Stripping the paint off of our faux fireplace surround to natural wood
The new mantel top board was cut slightly smaller (the depth of the boards) so the side pieces could be inset in the faux mantel cover.
We measured the small rectangle area between where the two boards joined and cut the pieces to size. If you buy a longer board, it’s easiest to cut them off of that so they match in thickness.
We put them together with a finish nailer, and once the new boards were stained to match the old boards, we fit it over the top of the old mantel and secured the DIY faux beam mantel with a few screws from the top. I added a dab of dark brown paint to the top of the nails, but most of the time I have enough decor pieces covering the top that the screws won’t even be seen. Check out this post to see how I replicated a wood look with paint.
I know you guys have seen a lot of changes with art and mirrors above this mantel. Last year I had a wintery chalkboard canvas. This year I decide to put my grandmother’s mirror back up to add some holiday glam (though I know you guys really miss that bread slice mirror! 😉 ).