This living room needed a focal point, and I wanted to create some thing, functional and beautiful: a fireplace with lots of extra storage.

When I saw this beat up mantle on Facebook marketplace, I just knew it was the one. A questionable trip to a dark apartment basement later and it was all mine.

I started by using plywood to build a back, then smoothed on some tile adhesive with a trowel to stick on some large format tile giving it a real-marble slab look. 

For the base I added some bendable trim around the curved edge to create a lip, sealed with caulk, then poured Plaster of Paris, and leveled it out to create a stone-look base.

Behind the mantle, I use some plywood to make some simple built-ins: they’re 12 inches wide and about 20 inches deep. I added 1×2 boards on the front as a face frame for a finished look. While building, I ran electrical wire so I’d be able to install a plug at the bottom of the fireplace for a plug-in log heater as well as an outlet on the mantle for a TV.

I covered the front of the built-ins in pole wrap for a fluted texture. I stain the wood with a golden oak stain then sealed it with some matte polyurethane and painted the fireplace Even Better Beige from Behr. 

I added some crown molding and gold candle sconces as a finishing touch.

you’ll need…

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