DIY Fireplace Mantel and Hearth Makeover

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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.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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! :)

  3. 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

  4. 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!