This easy DIY Fireplace Makeover is a great project that can be finished in one day! Building a basic fireplace over mantel is easy and simple, but it can make a dramatic difference in the appearance of your fireplace. As you saw in our first fireplace tutorial, we used a grout technique and a white wash technique to update the look of our red brick. Once that was completed, we followed these steps to build the basic fireplace over mantel.

DIY Fireplace Makeover Supplies:

  • 2 1×6 boards (we used prefinished to decrease the amount of prep work)
  • 1 1×8 board
  • Miter Saw/Circular Saw
  • 2 Inch Finishing Nails
  • Hammer
  • Nail Punch
  • Wood Filler
  • Sand Paper
  • Caulk – White Paintable
  • Painters Tape
  • Paint Brush
  • Paint Roller
  • 1 Quart White Semi-Gloss Paint

Step 1: Starting Your DIY Fireplace Makeover: Building The Upper Mantel

First measure the width of the lower surround or the length of the brick (outside edge to outside edge). This will be the length of your 1×8 board. Cut the 1×8 board and then placed it on the wall using 6 – 2 inch nails and then sink them with a nail punch. *If you can try to find the studs, this will help anchor the board more securely. The 1×8 board will be the anchor for our crown molding, so we left an inch space from the top of the ceiling to accommodate the crown and to leave us with 6 inches of board left below it. If you are not adding a decorative molding, place the board at ceiling height.

*If you decide to finish this look with crown molding, the length of your 1×8 board will also be the bottom edge length of the crown. You will need to have extra length on each side of your crown molding to make your 45 degree angle cut upward.

FIreplace Over Mantel Board Measurements

Next measure the length from the top of the mantel to the 1×8 board. That will be the length of your 1×6 boards. Cut the boards with your saw and nail them in using the 2 inch nails. Finish this step by sinking the nails with the nail punch.

Step 2: Fill in the nail holes

Now that your frame is built, fill all your nail holes with wood filler (make sure its smooth and wipe off the excess). You can also sand these areas to ensure a smooth finish with the boards.

Step 3: Caulk your edges

Next, caulk along all the edges of the boards. Once you have let the caulk dry the appropriate amount of time, line your walls/mantel edges with painter’s tape.

Transform Your Fireplace – Paint the boards using semi-gloss white paint

Step 4: Time to Paint!

The last step is to edge all inside space and edges of the boards with the paint brush. Next use a roller to finishing painting the boards and middle wall space. We used semi-gloss paint because it matched the trim finish for the rest of our house. This will require at least two coats of paint.

After 1 Coat of Paint – You are almost done!

The Final Reveal:

In one day you can complete this easy fireplace makeover and transform the overall appearance of your fireplace! This basic fireplace over mantel can be a great base if you want to add more decorative molding (such as crown) or it can be perfect just the way it is, for a more simple elegant appearance.

The Finished Fireplace Makeover
Fireplace Makeover Before & After

Here are the instructions on how to redo your brick fireplace; How to Get Your Perfect White Fireplace and another great read; How to Design Your Living Room from Start to Finish!