I’m so excited to jump on today and share our DIY Modern Wood Mantle with you all. I say “we” because I couldn’t have done this alone. Not because it was particularly hard, but because this was a really long project for us. If you were to just build the mantle it would probably take you a few hours, BUT, in true Jess fashion, I decided to re-do the entire fireplace, shelving and everything. Oh man…
In the last 24 hours I painted the entire fireplace white from black, I stained all the shelving and Glen made me a mantle. I’m not joking when I say that we’ve been going non stop for hours. We started at 12 yesterday, stopped at 10 PM last night and then started again this morning at 9 AM! But do not worry, the actual mantle took the least time out of it all!
The best thing about this mantle is it’s hallow on the inside, so it’s not super heavy. Also if you’re worried about how you’re going to hang a massive wood chunk that weighs a few hundred pounds – this eliminates that fear As the hanging process is way easier!
What You Will Need for Your DIY Modern Wood Mantle:
- 3 Pieces of 1″ x 8″ x 8″ in clear pine ( if you want a more farmhouse look, buying knotty pine is a lot cheaper )
- Gorilla Glue ( Wood Glue ) Dries super fast and super STRONG
- Pine Wood Veneer to cap the ends ( Hides all the seams ) If you can’t find this, you can also buy wood filler, but if you’re staining it, the stain will penetrate darker on the filler
- We used 2″ brad Nails with our brad nailer. But, if you do not have one, you can use nail/hammer.
- Stain. We used this mixture we came up with 5 years ago.
- Varnish, we used this varnish. Make sure you buy water based.
First thing is first, if you do not own a circular or table saw, you will need them to make all your cuts at Home Depot. You can also rent one and you could use a hand saw.. but this will take a lot more time.
For our specific fireplace we cut our 3 mantle pieces to 73.5″, but you can cut yours to whatever fits on you fireplace. As for the 3 end end pieces, we cut them to 5.5″ x 7″. Since I’m in Canada, all these measurements are in inches.
I decided to do a collage of photos instead of full res images so you can easily see in one place how we put this mantle together. As you can see it’s SUPER straight forward and easy and hallow in the middle.
If you have a brad nailer it will make the actually building of your mantle take under 30 minutes! The long part is staining and waiting for drying times. You will also need a hand sander. You can sand by hand, but again, will take a lot longer. For a more professional finish, I highly recommend renting or buying a sander.
In the 8th photo, you’ll see Glen putting a piece of wood Veneer on the ends to cap them and make this look like a seamless piece of wood. You can totally skip this step if wanting, but we didn’t want to be able to see the cracks and since wood filler stains darker, this was the best option for us.
Lastly, Glen made an L shape brace to hang the wood mantle on. Once these two braces are on either side, slide your mantle over. Once the mantle is on, we shot a few nails into the braces to make sure it was secure.
We stained our mantle in our custom Beachwood stain that we made 5 years ago, here’s the blog to the exact stains and measurements. That blog was one of the first blogs I wrote on here back in 2016 ( I started the blog in late 2015 )
And without further ado… here’s our new mantle!
Whenever you start a new project, you question if you made the right decision as the process is usually pretty ugly, but I’m seriously in love with how it turned out. Since our home is darker and doesn’t have a ton of natural light, the white really brightens it up. I’m also SO glad I stained the shelving. I originally was going to paint it all white, but I’m so glad that I stained it to break up all the white.
Thank you for reading today and let me know what you think of the changes in the comments!
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