Hey folks, Christmas is right around the corner. Sarah is already playing Christmas music (she actually started playing it back in May), and I can only stand it from about December 23 through the 26th. But that’s a whole other subject/post/story. I want to talk about fireplace mantels, or surrounds, they’re also called (which I just learned.) They have a huge (almost instant) nostalgia factor connected to them, which makes them an invaluable piece of furniture. Traditionally, mantels are a part of a working fireplace. Fireplaces equal warmth, a place to gather with friends and family, and just feel make you feel great about life. We wanted to add some of that goodness to the office living room. Since this house doesn’t have a fireplace or mantel, I built a fake one. Even though it doesn’t fulfill the same basic function as a real one, it still provides a sense of warmth to the room. Plus, in a couple months we can hang stockings on it (which Emma and Elsie can stuff with goodies for all of us ;)).
I’m not going to get into any measurements or detail on the build since you would basically need to know how to frame and install trim, and I would have to draw a blueprint, and use power tools, etc. This is just to inspire you and show what can be done if you don’t have the pleasure of having an actual fireplace in your home. Check out the process below. It was really fun to build (actually took me back to when I used to do finish carpentry…man, that was over 10 years ago.)
One thing about painting this thing: I painted it with semi-gloss first, thinking it would be fine acting as a primer (I thought it would make the green pop a bit more). I don’t know if it was the color or what, but the green would not stick (both paints are interior acrylic), and I ended up having to do three or four coats. Even then, it didn’t turn out 100%. Anybody have a clue on why it did that? Was it just because I used semi-gloss as primer? If I redid it, I would just paint a couple coats of the green or use Kilz.
There you go. It took about a day to build, a couple days to get a decent paint job, and we had ourselves a fireplace surround. It really does add a sense of familiarity to the room, which will last all year long. – Josh