Fireplace Upgrade for the Mantle and Hearth
Before we sold our rental home, I wanted to recover the outside hearth because fingernail polish was spilled on it and would not come off of the cement I put on. I also needed to replace my mantle because it randomly started warping on one side and was not level. These are such easy fixes and I will show you what I did.
Materials Needed For Fireplace Upgrade
Fixing the Mantle
First thing for the mantle is to build a base out of 2X4s. I wanted this to overhang an inch on all sides. To build a base you just measure how big you need it and make a kind of box. The one side against the wall, then you add 2X4 the length you need every like foot or 8 inches, what you think you need, for the base to be structurally sound.
Remember to use a drill bit before sinking the screws in or the boards will split. I used 3 inch screws.
We have little slated concrete above the fireplace, so I’m shimming it with a 1/2 inch mdf piece.
I attached the base to the studs. I wanted it a little taller so the molding on the fireplace isn’t covered. So I added an extra piece of pine on top of the base.
You won’t see that top piece I added. It’s going to be covered by another piece of pine.
Next, you add a piece of pine to the sides of your mantle base. I used a brad nailer to do this.
Next, you add your front piece! I just used pine and a brad nailer to do this.
I filled all the holes with Dap plastic wood filler. Then, I sanded them down.
I found this stain combination from @comestayawhile! I used one coat of Varathane provincial and two coats of antique white.
Fixing in the Outside Hearth
I’m going redo my feather finish on the fireplace because there was a mishap with fingernail polish. I did a feather finish over a year ago over marble. Here is a link of how I did that.
First, you want to tape the area all off, just like you would painting. I could not find a bucket and only had a paint tin. You mix it up and want a peanut butter consistency.
There is no special technique, just spread it around.
After it dried, I sanded the rough spots. When I seal the concrete it will be one color and not show the sanded spots.
After the concrete is dried and sanded you can seal it. You need to let it cure for 48 hours after you seal it.
This was such a fun and easy upgrade to the fireplace. I am so excited the new owners get to enjoy it.