DIY Fireplace Mantel Makeover – Let’s get this thing started

From the moment we moved into our 1970s Colonial, I have dreamed of a grand fireplace mantel, a statement piece that is true to the home’s architecture, deep enough for Christmas stockings, art, and decor pieces. However, the mantel in our home is anything but grand. It is short, has few architectural details, and is a mere seven inches deep. In a word, scrawny! When we first moved in, we were young professionals with three toddlers, a long home improvement “to-do” list, and little free time or energy. The tired mantel had to wait for years… until now! It’s finally time to give my old fireplace mantel a makeover, giving it the colonial charm it was always meant to have.

The Simple, Unadorned Beginnings

DIY Fireplace Mantel - Let's Get This Thing Started - The Before (too short, too narrow and terra cotta tile!)
Mantel Before – Too Short and Narrow – No Presence!

The sad little mantel is so short and shallow there’s hardly any room for Christmas garland, let alone a large vase or houseplant. And while the paneling looks great painted, it’s hardly inspiring. It needs more.

The Plan

The rough plans fo the new mantel

I plan to keep the current mantel and bulk it up, making it taller, adding a longer and deeper top surface. On the overmantel (the area above the mantel), I’ll attach hobby boards vertically and horizontally to create a framed shiplap look.

I’m so psyched about getting started! I’ve already measured, sketched-out rough plans, and headed to Home Depot to buy lumber and trim. Follow along to see what happens next as I give my old fireplace mantel a makeover!

Got any questions or suggestions? Leave me a comment below!

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