Updating the Fireplace

11 September 2012

Oh, how I envy the bloggers that post their projects right away.  I am not one of them.  This was our summer project though, and it is still technically summer.  That has to count for something, right?
Our anniversary falls just before school gets out each year, so as an anniversary gift to each other (really Jon's gift to me), we tackle the projects that we have been putting off during the school year.  Enter...the fireplace project. 
Our fireplace mantle was original to the house (think 1991 builder grade, not 1791 antique...but, oh, how I dream...). It was fine. But only just fine. The read brick is nice, but there is too much of it, and it just looks like a dark hole in the already too dark room. 
Every room The living room has been a work in progress since we moved in. I believe in doing it right, and not just having furniture or things just to have them. I want to love the things in my house, even if it take me a while to get there.  The fireplace was one of the things that needed to go from just okay to something I loved. 
Knowing exactly the "feel" that I wanted, but not exactly to to create it, we headed to Home Depot.  We got a sheet of MDF to frame out the new mantle, and some molding to add the umph.  We bought about a foot more than my careful measurements dictated, since we figured there would be a learning curve on making the cuts and figuring out exactly what we wanted.
Jon cut sections of the MDF to frame the new mantle, and we screwed them right into the brick. 
He then cut the molding (both the decorative edge, and the base molding along the bottom) with a miter saw and attached it with finishing nails. 
We patched, primed, painted it a semi-gloss white to match the rest of the moldings in the house, and voila!
I have absolutely no idea if this is the proper way to create a fireplace mantle, but since we already had the top part, we didn't want to monkey with it too much. 
And now we have a mantle that I LOVE!!!  The brick is just perfect now, and the white really pops.  The whole room looks lighter and finished now.  Now I just need to go through the Pinterest boards to see about decorating this beautiful new mantle for the fall.

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