Those of you who have been following my blog for awhile or those of you who are in my friends and family know that I have been waiting for over a year now on a beautiful HEART PINE mantle. My mantle is going to be about a foot thick and is made from reclaimed floor beams from a 200 year old barn in Georgia. Can you say gorgeous? My contractor first had to find someone who let him use his planer (sp?) on it and that took about nine months because his friend who had the extra large planer needed to have a blade replaced on it or something like that. Well, my mantel has been planed, but now the contractor is building brackets. I’ve given up hope on having a mantle for Christmas, so I had to take matters into my own hands.
The fireplace before. It’s a Buck Stove, which is great in the winter, but really ugly year round. It sort of has a little shelf on top of it, but there are these ugly brass knobs on each end of it that make it hard to decorate around. The shelf isn’t proper mantle height either. I could have bought a pre-made mantle, but then I would have to drill into the brick and I didn’t want something that permanent because I would have a beautiful mantle one day. I also didn’t want to spend more than $15.
So I started thinking one day; what if I built a box to sit on top of the shelf? Kind of an upside down window box? It would add height to the shelf, cover up the ugly brass knobs and be a great TEMPORARY solution. The only catch was that I had to sell my idea to J.D. I’m not the best at verbalizing my ideas, so they usually end up with me running my mouth and trying to make hand gestures to describe what I am thinking. It took a trip to Lowe’s and learning how to use the circular saw, but she finally grasped what I was thinking!
TaDa! We did it! It took one 8ft long by 7 1/4 (I think) strip of mdf and a strip of 48 inch wood laminate meant for shelves (that’s the top). I think we cut two 18.5 inch sections of mdf and then two 7.25 inch pieces and glued them into a box and then used finishing nails to secure them. We then attached the wood laminate with glue and nails and brought her inside to try her out.
I decided she needed a coat of black paint, pronto!
I basically coated the entire thing with Zinsser primer. Zinsser makes a primer that will adhere to anything, even laminate, without sanding. I discovered that stuff back in February when we started priming our ugly knotty pine paneling. I let the primer dry/cure for two days and then I spray painted multiple coats of gloss black paint.
Here she looks all decorated for fall:
Seriously, I could just sit on the couch and stare at my fireplace all day long. I love it! I know my mantle is far from perfect, but it is meeting my needs until my beautiful reclaimed wood one comes home to me!
I think that sister of mine is finally learning how to interpret my crazy gestures.
Edited to add:
PS. Did you know that either spelling of mantle/mantel is correct? After I published the first time, I realized that I had used both spellings and I had to check!