DIY Fireplace Mantel and Hearth Makeover

DIY Fireplace Mantel and Hearth Makeover
To get to where we are now, we painted the brick, built a deeper mantel
and put in a new ceramic tile hearth.
This is a pretty photo heavy post in order to share the process. Hope you hang in there.
I’d like to share the evolution of our
fireplace with you!
This was our initial
(what it looked when we closed on the house)
We immediately painted the entire house.
There was an abundance of Hunter Green.

After eagerly (and prematurely) busting out the hunter green tile, I proceeded to cover up the hearth for a few years because I was undecided about what to do next? Sometimes just picking something is overwhelming.  Choices are hard!
One day, I got so sick of the orange toned, shiny brick.
I spray painted it!
Which worked like a charm.
After that, I decided on some pale aqua paint as an accent.
It lasted about a week.
It was replaced with this richer, deeper aqua.
It was much better!
Time Lapse (cheater style)
Fast forward to building a new, deeper mantel.
The previous one was so shallow,
I could hardly put a thing on it!
Not good for decorating at all.
We doubled the size.
It’s perfect now.
We used a table saw and a miter saw on this project.
This is my personal handy man!
It was actually sunny that day {shocker!} so we put up some sun protection to work under.
We needed a big board and I knew I would be painting it white so we went with a Melamine product. It was much less expensive than wood and we were assured it was not warped or flawed. It was the perfect choice for this project. 
It needed to be trimmed out though!
Here we are putting the mitered cuts together.
WeJim milled some clear vertical grain Douglas Fir stock pieces into custom trim with this cool tool! A router bit.
(because lets face it, they never let you use the tools if they are around! At least my husband and dad don’t.)
Whenever we go anywhere with a tool department, I am happy to let my hubby buy whatever tools he wants :)
In fact, I encourage it!
The new hearth piece was installed and attached right on top of the old shallow one.
We glued and clamped it down.
 This is what was covered up under the hunter green tiles.
A new hearth frame was built and some chunky, fat trim was installed.
Then the boys did the lining and fill to prep for the cement.
(At this point, we still thought we were going to use the marble.
You can see some sitting there with all the tools, etc…)
We were so excited to have a gorgeous marble hearth!
Alas, when we opened the marble up, we discovered we had two completely different lots.
– We loved one. (stunning white & grey)
– Hated the other. (tan and brown. yuck)
That whole story would  practically be another whole post so I’ll fast forward to what we ended up with.
It was neutral, in-stock, and weJim took it home and installed it the same weekend!
Austin helped Jim by running all the cuts out to him, bringing them back in, and putting them where they belonged to be laid.
All set and waiting for grout.

Installed and grouted.
After the boys did all of the above, it was my job to: Prep. Prime. Paint. Photograph & Post.

Here it is.

Our yummy FAT mantel.

I’m undecided on decor… I just popped up a little something up real quick so she wasn’t naked for her pictures.
I was so over due in sharing this and I really wanted to get this post up… in 2012.
If you have any questions about how we did anything in particular that I was not clear on, just ask.
We 😉 will be happy to answer.
Thanks a bunch for checking out how we did our DIY fireplace makeover.
I sure enjoy the visits!
Update: The latest incarnation can be seen here.




  1. Melissa says

    I LOVE the wall color above the mantel!!! Would you mind sharing which paint/color/finish it is? I’ve already read through trying to find it…my apologies if I’ve just overlooked it. Thanks! :-)

    P.S. I’d also like to know the color of the aqua door with the huge diy welcome sign?

    Thanks again! :-)

  2. Melissa says

    I LOVE the wall color above the mantel!!! Would you mind sharing which paint/color/finish it is? I’ve already read through trying to find it…my apologies if I’ve just overlooked it. Thanks! :-)

  3. Michelle says

    Pretty! What are the dimensions of your raised hearth? Height/width/depth? Thank you!

  4. Maggie says

    I LOVE the color of the mantel (the whole thing, of course); the contrast of a sharp aqua color against crisp white is one of my absolute favorites. Will you share with me the name of the color used (of both the final mantel and the earlier “oops” lighter aqua color)?? Thank you!

  5. says

    Oh, wow, you guys! Shannon, you will have no trouble decorating your new, wide mantel! I came back to see how you finished the hearth. We really need to redo ours because some of the tiles are cracked. It looks fabulous, and we make a lot of trips to Harbor Freight, too!

  6. says

    Your mantle renovation is AMAZING. I love the final look, the aqua on the wall is perfect! AND I have to say this reall gives me hope… I don’t have perfect mantle right now…. but someday someday someday maybe I can copy you and DIY one!!! AND sweet friend a special heartfelt thank you for linking up!!! It means a lot to me!

  7. says

    It is beautiful! Bigger is better 😉 I can’t wait to see her dressed up for fall! What an awesome crew you guys are. There is nothing that Fox Hollow and Company can’t do!!! Love it all!

  8. says

    Hold on a second while I pick my jaw up off the ground. HOLY WHITE AQUA SMOKERS SHANNON! This Fireplace is a Beaut! The tile you picked out is perfect, paint on the wall…stunning screaming awesome! I love everything about this fat mantel! Everything..feed it some m&m’s because it deserves them! :)

  9. says

    WOW, WOW and WOW!! I didn’t even know you could do something like this to make an existing mantle bigger! I have a skinny minny of a mantle too. It is chunky vertically, but does me no good for decorating, so I sort of pretend it is not there….kind of like the unfinished projects that live all over my home.

    The new tile work is gorgeous, just gorgeous. You are lucky you have a talented carpenter right there in your home!

    I am really confused though, why did you paint that lovely Green and Red over? Truly, people have some interesting decorating choices! 😉

  10. says

    Ok now that I picked my jaw up off the ground, I can speak! WOW Jim…you ROCK sir indeed! Shannon this makes a HUGE difference. Just think of all the fun you are going to have decorating this puppy for the Holidays!~ Nice job. Hey, I’m home now, yay, I have a lot of catching up to do. You were my first stop!~

  11. says

    WoW Shannon…what a transformation indeed! They say good things comes to those who wait and boy did it ever come to you(after all that hard work). Love it, Love it, Love it! Now just think…Christmas is right around the corner but I know you’ll have it decorated for Fall and Thanksgiving first. Have fun with it!

  12. says

    You did a great job. It looks fantastic. I love the whole thing. If you get tired of it you can always paint the brick hunter green..which, of course, means you would have the paint the turquoise wall above it a cranberry color- just sayin’…..xo Diana

  13. says

    Y’all did a fabulous job bringing that up to date. We are DIYers, too and my husband built our mantel when we built the house. I had him make it deeper a couple of years ago because it was too skinny for me to put much of anything on it. Good thing we have husbands who can build things. Yours looks great.

  14. says

    It looks terrific, Lilo! Too bad about the marble. I know how much you were looking forward to using it. :( But, I love the tile! It all looks fantastic!!!!! Jim and Austin do GREAT work! :)

  15. says

    So you tell me I don’t have to comment on all your post and then you put up THIS ONE!!??? LOL! That looks fantastic! Its so perfect. I know it took a while, but oh man was it worth it. You are gonna have so much fun decorating it for the seasons!
    I love it!
    Magnificent job young lady…(and you cute little handyman too)
    Love ya girl

  16. says

    Love your fireplace makeover. The wall color is so pretty. The fireplace itself looks amazing…especially when you look at the before. No offense, but that before was really bad, which must make the after feel all the more awesome. I really like how that clock looks inside that frame. Great job!