Over the fireplace

decorating a mantel

Hey hey! I mentioned yesterday that I was feeling the NEED for some DIY up in here. (Hea?) I’ve been planning a project for months now and just needed to figure out the details – mainly the exact materials I wanted to use.

Ever since we covered our corner fireplace last year, I’ve been planning a treatment over the mantel to finish it off a bit. It has looked just a bit nekked to me all this time, but I wanted to do something I knew I would like long term, so I waited:

walled off corner fireplace

I was just SO thrilled to not have that annoying corner fireplace anymore, I was fine with a little nekked. (Can you be a little nekked?)

I wanted to do something different than my normal wainscoting squares, and I finally figured out exactly what I wanted to do yesterday and got ‘er done. I started with these baseboard pieces from Lowe’s:

baseboards wall treatment

They come in eight and 12 foot lengths and are about 5.25 inches wide. The design couldn’t be simpler – just one board across the top, mitered at the corners, then two side pieces coming down:

I was lucky because the measurements allowed me to use ten boards horizontally, and they fit perfectly in the wall space above the mantel. I didn’t have to cut any of the boards down on a table saw to make it work. Which is a good thing cause I don’t have a table saw. ;)

The only hiccup I came to was how to mark where I had the screws for the mirror that hangs above the fireplace. They were already exactly where they needed to be and in studs, so I didn’t want to have to redo the whole thing.

Sooo, I grabbed some lipstick, painted the front of the screws with it, then I placed the board that was going in that spot directly on top of them to get a mark for the holes on the back:

hanging mirror hanging a mirror

It worked like a charm! I just drilled the holes where the lipstick was and then took the screws out of the wall, put the board up, then put the screws back in through the board. Does that make sense?

The design was so simple it took me less than an hour to get it up:

horizontal planks wall

(You can see the screws for the mirror up on the top.)

Since I kept the middle basic, I just cut a bunch of 42 inch boards and nailed them up – super easy!

Of course the project that I think about for months takes all of an hour to do. :)

I LOVE how it turned out!:

wall treatment over mant

Confession time though – I haven’t even painted it yet. Primed boards are worth their weight in gold, I tell you WHAT.

I want to be careful about painting it because I like that you can see the “seams” between the boards – I don’t want the paint to fill any of it in, so I’ll need to take my time with it.

And who am I kidding, you can’t even tell it’s not painted unless you get close, so it will most likely be eight months from now before semi gloss touches it’s surface. For REAL.

I had to notch out one of the boards to make the outlet work, but the accessories cover it well:

wall treatment over mantel 

And if anyone ever noticed it…well you know what that means. THEY GET A COOKIE.

I think it is the perfect finishing touch to the fireplace wall that I now LOVE:

wall treatment over mantel

Let’s look back on the transformation, shall we? I put up molding above our old corner fireplace years ago, then as I mentioned, we had the wall (and a REAL mantel) put up last fall:

 image[42] IMG_8703_thumb[12]

Now it’s what I’ve always dreamed it would be…sniff.

wall treatment over mantel

It took about $60 and an hour to do – and after all this time I have a fireplace that makes a statement instead of hiding away in a corner. ;)

I think fireplaces can be so hard – so many I see in blogland look effortless but I find something that works and stick with it…forever. I like the accessories I’ve had up there so unless major inspiration hits, they’ll be like this till fall. Do you struggle with what to do on your mantel and above your fireplace? Do you change it up often?

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