This is such an EASY DIY project that anyone can do! No experience with power tools required (unless you cut your own wood)!
When we moved into our home a few years ago, I had wished that there was a fireplace in our dining room. We have one in the master and the living room, it just felt odd not to have one in the dining room. The room was screaming for a fireplace. Some of you know that our house was built in the early 1900s and has a lot of charm from that era. It turns out that our dining room was actually a kitchen with a wood stove when it was first built and the chimney is still covered on the wall by a metal plate right where our mirror is hanging now.
With our ceilings being so tall, I wanted to add more height to the room, and give it more interest with textured pieces. My husband’s grandmother actually gave me the mantle that we screwed into the wall. They got it out of an older home the fire department was going to burn down. The mantle was beautiful and I was excited to sand and paint it to bring it back to life. I chose to paint it with a black oil paint, high gloss, to give it a shiny look. I love black accents and I thought that it would go great with the other decor in our home.
After painting the mantle, we put it up and a few years went by without painting our dining room. Life got in the way and I hadn’t had the time to think about what I wanted to do next or when I could actually do it. We finally got the project done this year and I am in love with the result.
I wanted the mantle to look even more realistic with stacked birch wood “inside”. I painted the wall on the inside of the mantle matte black as well, so it would look like the wood was actually stacked in. I wanted it to also look like there is a depth to the inside, which is why I didn’t stay with the same paint color as the walls behind the stacked birch.
For the sake of time and uncertainty, I did not cut the baseboard and I painted that black as well. I hesitated before painting the baseboard because I wasn’t sure if it would look how I had imagined it. I ended up liking it painted much more than it staying white. I also took the birch all the way to the floor, it looked odd to me having it stop at the baseboard. The pieces looked like they were floating. You can find the wood slices here. You can DIY the wood slices, but I did not have the tools or time to do this. It was very easy to install these. I used Liquid Nails Paneling Adhesive to secure the birch to the wall. This will hold instantly depending on the size of your birch pieces. I had a few slide, but was able to reinforce them by the others that were below.
I love the end result and it definitely adds more of a cozy feel to our dining room. I love the play of materials and color that it brings into the room. It also reminds me of the style I’m trying to display with the character of the home itself. You can shop many mantle decor and the birch pieces on my LTk account.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope I’ve inspired you to revive an old mantle and create your own faux fireplace!