I hate my fireplace. I don't think that's a secret. Well, let me clarify. I love that we have a fireplace (it was one of my "must haves" when buying a house). I love that it's a central fireplace. I don't love that it's red 50's scored brick. Or that the grout is dingy.
My husband loves our fireplace. As in he won't let me paint it. He also would not let me attach a mantle to it. I'm not sure why, this has been one of those "line drawn in the sand things."
So after walking by it for three years and pretending that I don't hate it, and trying to hide it behind decor as much as possible, I finally did something about it. I know we will be fixing it up in the future when we remodel, but I didn't want to wait.
I made a freestanding "surround" and I kinda love it. It was super easy and you could use this same technique to make a faux fireplace for the holidays if you wish. The best part? I can take it off and move it or change it whenever I want. For $50 and one afternoon's work you can have one too. Here's how I did it...
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I wasn't sure if this was going to work (having no idea what I was doing) so I wanted to keep it simple. I also wanted to keep it cost effective as it isn't permanent. I used the following:
1 x 8" x 4'boards
1 x 4" X 4' boards
1 x 2" X 4' boards
1 x 6" x 6' board (for top of mantel)
I decided to go with a traditional style surround and try to keep it to as few cuts as possible. I purchased 1x8x4 thinking I wouldn't have to cut them down, but it was slightly too tall so my first step was to cut my 1x8 and 1x4 boards to the height that I wanted.
I then used my Ryobi airstrike to attach the 1x4's to the sides of the 1x8 to create a three sided column.
I did the same thing for the other side.
Next I used 1x2's to add a "trim." I cut the 1x2's to size and nailed them to the face of the 1x8 framing it, to add some interest.
Again I did the same thing to the other column.
Now that I had two columns I placed them against the fireplace to determine how far apart I ultimately wanted them. I lucked out and I was able to use a 1 x 8 x 4' board and not have to cut it down.
I used my Kreg Jig to make pocket holes on each side of the 1 x 8 and used them to attach it to the two columns.
I then added a 1x2 piece across the top to level it with the columns (If I were to do this again I may just do one large 1x2 across the whole thing, but you live and learn).
Finally, I flipped a 1x6x6 flat for the top of the mantel and put it across the top, I didn't need to cut it because of the size of my mantle.
I filled in the holes and gaps with wood filler and sanded and painted the whole thing white.
Is it perfect? No. Does it achieve what I want it to? Yes.
This would be a fun project if you don't have a fireplace. You could easily add a back and have a place to hang your holiday stockings.
I think it would also be pretty against a wall with a faux log cover like this:
One thing I've learned with my house is that you can still make your space what you want even while you're waiting for the big things to happen.
I could have waited for our remodel and continued to pretend the fireplace didn't bother me everyday, but this was such a quick fix and cost me around $50, so it will get me through until we can fix it!
Now....do I paint the grout? There's always another project!