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I don’t remember much from my High School home design class, but I do remember that the fireplace is suppose to be the focal point of the living room. With that being said, it’s time to liven up this boring wall.
I used Sketch-Up to draw up an idea. First a nice chunky mantel will be installed, then add stone to the wall. That will really help create a focal wall.
This mantel is made from knotty alder to match the cabinetry and railings in the house. These awesome chunky corbels (providence contemporary bracket) are from Osbone Wood Products in alder.
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- 2 – corbels (providence contemporary bracket – Osborne Wood)
- 1 – 1″ x 10″ x 8′ knotty alder board (actual 3/4″ x 9 1/4″)
- 1 – 8″ knotty alder casing
- 1 – 1″ x 6″ x 8′ knotty alder board (actual 3/4″ x 5 1/2″)
- 1 – knotty alder crown molding
- 1 – 2″ x 4″ x 8′ board (actual 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″)
- 4 – drywall anchors – optional
- 1 1/4″ brad nails
- 2″ brad nails
- 1 1/4″ screws
- 3″ screws
- 4″ screws
- wood glue
- pre-stain conditioner
- Estimated cost of the wood and corbels is $210.
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First I measured everything out and drew up the sketch, to make sure everything would end up symmetrical and even. The 2×4 will be the main support for the mantel.
I cut a piece of 2×4 to 62″ and cut 5 pieces that are 4″ long. Spread the 4″ pieces evenly along the 2×4, and secure from the back of the 2×4 with 3″ screws (make sure they are countersunk or sucked into the wood). Mark the studs in the fireplace wall, level and attach the mantel support into the studs with 4″ screws. (I attached it at 45″ from the step)
To reduce the risk of making a major mess while staining the wood, I decided to stain all of the boards before the final cuts. The boards were all pre-planed and looked pretty good. I sanded each one in the direction of the grain. I applied pre-stain conditioner to the boards, then stained them with Wisconsin Oak EZstain (the same as the cabinets) and let it dry overnight.
I was not lucky enough to have studs where I wanted to place the corbels, so I installed drywall anchors*.
I cut the bottom board to fit nicely against the wall (both ends have a 45 deg cut.) Then I glued and secured the bottom board to the corbels with 1 1/4″ self tapping screws.
I cut the front board (casing) to fit snug along the bottom board and with a 45 against the walls. I put the routed edge of the casing down, to add a little more detail to the mantel. I nailed the front to the bottom near the bottom edge with 1 1/4″ brad nails. I tried to limit the number of nail holes, since they’ll show (probably about 4-5). Then I nailed the front to the mantel support 4″ 2×4’s near the top. If you keep them with 2″ or so of the top, then the crown molding will cover these nail holes.
I cut a 45 deg angle on each end of the top board to fit snug against the wall. I used 1 1/4″ brad nails to attach the top to the 2×4 supports and to the front board.
I used a Kreg Crown Pro* to assist in cutting the crown molding. It was my first time using it, and it was really handy and made it easy to cut the real wood molding right the first time. 🙂
Don’t you think that looks great?!?
I used a Q-tip to touch up any areas that needed stain. I love those corbels.
Apply polyurethane to protect the surface.
I wish the pictures did this fireplace mantel justice. It looks so beautiful in real life. Now onto the stone!
Download the fireplace mantel plans
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The corbels were provided by Osborne Wood Products for this plan, I definitely recommend their products.