This is what my fireplace looked like last week.
Then I did this mock-up to help me see how I wanted to make a faux wood mantel.
I went to Home Depot and bought my lumber. I had a 4x8 sheet of luan ripped into 3 pieces, one for the top, one for the front facing and one for the bottom cover. I also bought 3 8ft pieces of ½ by ¾ molding.
I glued and nailed a piece of molding to the top front of the facing, and to the bottom rear of the facing.
I placed the entire piece onto the mantel to get the right fit. (for the crown molding)
I glued and nailed the mantel top to the molding on the facing.
Almost there. I need to attach the bottom piece to enclose the entire original mantel.
Here, you can see the other piece of molding. It is at the bottom of the front facing (rear). This will allow me to nail/glue the bottom piece of luan to the front facing.
I used the third piece of molding to make braces for the end pieces. (I'm sure all of these have technical names, but I'm doing the best I can to explain it)
These small pieces of molding are recessed to allow the end piece to set "inside" of the top and front.
All squared up and enclosed.
The view from the front/end.
Looking up, inside the corner where the end meets the front. I attached another molding brace at the bottom so that I can attach the bottom cover.
I carefully removed the entire surround and laid it on the floor.
I glued and nailed the bottom cover to the surround.
I placed the entire surround back onto the mantel. As of now it is not fastened onto the original mantel. It is snug as a bug in a rug.
The view from the bottom.
With the crown molding attached. (glued and nailed of course)
After attaching the crown molding, there was a little triangle hole that needed to be filled.
Since I never throw anything away, I was able to find a small piece of a window I had shimmed off. It was the perfect size/thickness! I made a little pattern out of a piece of paper. I used my compound miter saw to cut off a triangle on each end of the thin piece of wood.
You can see that I put the triangle in place. I glued it.
A closeup of the mantel. Ta da! It's built! I still need to putty and paint, but I have more plans for the fireplace.
FYI I would have loved to "wrap" the crown molding around the corner onto the "end" of the mantel. My original mantel was almost 8 ft. To extend the new mantel top over the end on each side, I would have needed a piece of luan about 8 ft 2 inches. I did not want to piece each of the three long pieces I had ripped. I'm sure some of you (had you actually been here) could have helped me around it. However you were not here, and I was working alone, trying to hold, clamp, and nail all by my little lonesome!
Please let me know if I need to clarify anything. Stayed tuned for more updates tomorrow! If you check out my twitter or facebook you will receive more updates. I frequently have to go to the computer to google or find a reference for whatever I'm working on. So, while I am at the computer, I have to check e-mail, google reader, etc.
I also bought new baseboard and quarter round for the hallway. I didn't even touch that yet.
Check out updates here:
fireplace pt 2 (paint brick fireplace)