The fireplace makeover Part 2

Whew! What a whirlwind! This is going to be a meaty post with tons of pictures and run-on sentences, so strap in:)


I have been staring the fireplace in the face for two years now. The style of brick was very popular in the early 70s, as all my neighbors have it on the outside of their homes. The problem(s) here is that the fireplace is overwhelming the room, demanding attention for all the wrong reasons. The brick is multi-colored, ranging from light tan to espresso and there was nothing to break up the expanse of it like a wood mantle.  Further more, the multi-toned brick came from the manufacturer just like it looks, but the light/dark smudges were applied to only the surface of the brick. Some even had small indentations where it seemed like they dipped their thumb in stain and smeared it on.


The fireplace inspiration has come from many hours of scrolling pinterest ( a shocker to no one) and talking it out with a few of my construction/design minded friends. Also, anyone who came to our house in the last six months got the “ok, but here me out, this is going to built out to here, and this part will be covered….” spiel, including frantic arm waving. As I counted down the days to when my friend was coming to help, I gathered all my materials and painted the exposed brick


Once she got here and everything was set up, we started with building out the top part, above the ledge that served as a mantle. I needed to build the whole thing the same depth from top to bottom for the next phase (bookshelves) so bringing the recessed part forward had to be the beginning.

group 1

I used a combination of 1x2s and half inch MDF which turned out to be a really great product to work with due to it being so smooth. I know plywood would maybe have been the traditional route, but I wanted to avoid painted wood grain as much as possible with this project.

Once the top was complete, we then needed to build out the sides of the lower part, ensuring the bottom would be flush with the top. Our building code states combustible materials need to be 6″ from the opening, which gave me the spacing direction I needed for the surround.


This is the point we really could see the vision; once all the ugly brick was covered, we could focus on the mantle and trim


Bracing for the mantle was applied, as well as trim to the exposed inside edges



At that point, it was 6pm and we had scheduled a party at our house, and my friend was going to visit someone while she was in Fargo. She got back at 10:30 and said “.. if your up for another round??” YES. I am always up for more diy!! We applied more trim, essentially putting pieces on until it looked right.



Finally, we were left with the finished raw fireplace; she had to head back to the cities and my brother showed up with the bobcat for the bushes about 25 min later. I was so wiped from our whirlwind weekend, I didn’t get it painted for a whole week. But after one coat of primer, two coats of paint and a half tube of caulk, the fireplace is in its final glory:


The next phase is to add built-in bookshelves to either side, with doors and crown molding and lights. Then new flooring and wall trim and more paint and a different entertainment center and maybe a new coffee table and and and and….. well, you know how it goes:)

B&A fireplace






2 thoughts on “The fireplace makeover Part 2

  1. Pingback: 2017 Recap! | DrunkOnHome

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