I searched hundreds of faux mantles online for just the right one to build! I ended up coming back to the very first one that inspired me...Mimi's! I revised it to make it deeper by using 1x8's for the depth. I used 1x6's for the inside box depth so that I would have some space behind for extension cords, etc. I also decided to insert wood ledges above the box (on the inside) so that I could put Christmas lights in for a soft glow, which I love. After building the top trim as shown in the plan, I decided that I wanted to "beef up" the mantle portion so I screwed 1x3's along the front and sides of the mantle top. I love how it turned out! I even ended up building a duplicate one for a friend that saw it and loved it! I am pretty new to woodworking and have 4 kids, so it took me much longer than it should have, but it was well worth it!
Built from Plan(s)
$60, plus Annie Sloan paint and wax
Estimated Time Investment
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Type of Wood
I beat up the mantle top to give it a well-loved look. Then I did Minwax Dark walnut over the entire piece, then sealed it with one coat of poly. I then used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White over the base. I distressed the edges and corners before sealing with Annie Sloan clear wax. I used 4 coats of poly on the mantle top (after 2 coats of stain), just to be cautious! In retrospect, I should have bought an actual wood sealer, perhaps, before painting over the stain? I had to use 2 1/2 coats of Annie Sloan and I'm told that it usually takes one coat, sometimes two. In the end, I am extremely happy with the outcome, though!
Recommended Skill Level