DIY Fireplace Mantel

We are moving right along with our projects. I still have 500 going at once, and my house is currently a disaster zone, but we are making progress. It’s slow but it is progress. 

Today is all about our DIY fireplace mantel. I haven’t shown this side of the living room very much because we had to do a rough modification on the mantel when we moved in but, now that it’s finally done, I can share it more often.

DIY fireplace mantel

We had a very shallow mantel on the fireplace when we moved in but, once we figured out that our big flat screen tv would have to sit on that shallow ledge, we knew that it would need some work.

The tv placement was a huge discussion between the hubs and me when we first moved in (although every project seems to be a huge discussion). πŸ˜‰  The previous owners had a tv on a small stand next to the fireplace but I knew that would’t work for me. We did discuss hanging it on the wall above the fireplace but the hubs didn’t want to do that and we still would have had to find a place for the cable box (why do they make them so big in this day and age?).

DIY fireplace mantel

Unable to come up with a solution, we used a rough cut piece of plywood that was wide enough for our tv to sit on the existing mantel. 

DIY fireplace mantel Since this is the only spot in this room for a tv, we were going to have to make this work.

This is what it looked like for 6 months while we searched for an inexpensive solution. Not pretty.

DIY fireplace mantelIn the end we decided to try to add another level to the mantel with a wider and longer solid piece of reclaimed wood. The goal was to make it look like it was always there while giving our tv a place to live. We weren’t interested in rebuilding or adding fancy moldings or corbels, we wanted to preserve the original look and keep it simple. 

We looked everywhere to find a piece of solid reclaimed wood that was thick enough, long enough and wide enough, while keeping the budget in mind. We looked in architectural salvage shops, Restore, estate sales…

Everywhere we went, we looked. After a few months we knew that if we were going to get a thick solid piece, it would have to be new wood…from a lumber yard…and more money than we wanted to spend.  

DIY fireplace mantel

With a new plan I went searching our local lumber yard and found exactly what we needed. A beautiful piece of white pine that was thick enough so it wouldn’t warp (fingers crossed) and wide enough for our tv. It cost more than we wanted but the lumber yard planed and smoothed it out for me so, in the end it, was worth the $91 we shelled out.

Since it was already cut to size and sanded smooth, all we had to do was to attach it to the existing mantel using some well placed screws from underneath. No ugly screw holes to fill and it’s very secure. 

DIY fireplace mantelI caulked and primed and painted, with leftover trim paint, and our new mantel looks like it’s been here since the house was built. Plus the tv fits perfectly. 

A DIY fireplace mantel makeover to accommodate a flat screen tv in a small living room. A simple and easy fix using a large piece of white pine and paint. www.chatfieldcourt.com

I’m still not thrilled with the tv sitting on the mantel, but when you have a small house and you want to watch tv you make due. 

A DIY fireplace mantel makeover to accommodate a flat screen tv in a small living room. A simple and easy fix using a large piece of white pine wood. www.chatfieldcourt.com

Finn’s favorite pillow in his favorite spot. I think he loves the fireplace.

A DIY fireplace mantel makeover to accommodate a flat screen tv in a small living room. A simple and easy fix using a large piece of white pine wood, caulk and paint. www.chatfieldcourt.comThe fireplace is still a work in progress, it’s one of the 500 projects I’m currently working on, so I’ll do a full reveal when it’s done. Hopefully next week.

A DIY fireplace mantel makeover to accommodate a flat screen tv in a small living room. A simple and easy fix using a large piece of white pine wood and paint. www.chatfieldcourt.comI think we accomplished our goal with our new DIY fireplace mantel.

How do you feel about putting a tv on a fireplace? 

Happy week my friends!!!

Catch up on a few of my other recent projects

DIY open shelving in the kitchen using rustic reclaimed wood. www.chatfieldcourt.com

DIY Open Shelving in the Kitchen

Tips for getting a designer throw pillow look without paying designer prices. www.chatfieldcourt.comWho Doesn’t Love a Good Throw Pillow

Linking up at Between Naps on the Porch, Savvy Southern Style

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20 thoughts on “DIY Fireplace Mantel

    • I don’t like them either Susan. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find an easy fix. We have a basement and open space next to the chimney so we were able to drill a hole in the wall and snake the wires through there. Hubs hooked up an outlet for the wires so everything is safe.

  1. Having same dilemma at our new house. LR Is small, fireplace current “focal point” tv sitting on small cabinet to left…hate it! Feel TV too high to comfortably watch if on mantle…LR is 16 by 16 with front door and 2 other doorways with cutout to see into kitchen! I have GOT to have solution!!! Thanks for posting yours!

    • I hear you Phyllis. Our living room has been a huge challenge. It’s not the space of my dreams but you can only do so much. I’m not a fan of the tv on the mantel but have you tried yours up there to see if you are comfortable watching it. The only plus is that you can watch a fire and tv at the same time.;)

      Good luck with your room. I’m working on ours now so I’ll be sharing more.

  2. I have the same question Susan has, How did you hide the cords? No I do not like TV on fireplace but like you said, in a small house not much choice. I do not have a fireplace so I am struggling to find an attractive alternative to the ughly TV stand from the 90s I am currently forced to use. Thanks for sharing this DIY. Most decorators and DIY do not address TV placement.

    • I’ll share the same answer I gave Susan… Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find an easy fix. We have a basement and open space next to the chimney so we were able to drill a hole in the wall and snake the wires through there. Hubs hooked up an outlet for the wires so everything is safe.

      I’ve had those tv stands too and I wasn’t a fan. We used an old dresser in the last house, that I found on Craigslist, and I loved the extra storage. Maybe something like that would be a good solution for you.

  3. Hi — What a lot of work for the new mantle and it looks beautiful. However, I agree with SH. We’ve got a large screen TV I our bedroom and all the cords are in the wall. The Comcast box is in the glass console below the TV and you really don’t see it because it’s with a lot antique pieces. I would have thought your husband would have like not having all those cords showing and it’s really quite an “easy” project for someone to do. My husband helped with this project and he too did not want wires showing.

    We’ve done the same thing with a dual lighting system in our guest bedroom and it looks sooooo much better than having wires showing.

    • Yes, our cords are in the wall. Fortunately we had open space next to the chimney, down in the basement, so we were able to easily snake the wires down to an outlet my husband installed. Now I’d like to get rid of the box but that won’t be happening anytime soon. πŸ™‚

  4. I don’t like a tv above a fireplace either, but you do what you have to do and I think it’s better than taking up limited space with a tv stand. Like most of the others, I wondered how you hid all the wires without going behind the wall. If you came up with a good idea, please let me know.
    I do like the double thickness mantle – it adds some “heft” to what was kind of a puny piece of wood. Good idea and well worth the cost.

    • You’re so right Pat, it is better than having it on a tv stand. πŸ™‚

      We were able to snake the wires down the wall to the basement. There’s an open space next to the chimney so it was an easy fix for us. Sorry I don’t have another solution for you. We tried to figure something else out, so we didn’t have to drill a hole in the wall, but there was no good solution.

      Hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

  5. If you can build some bookcases on either side, a tv can live there at just about any height you want, and with the new thin tv’s, they don’t have to be all that deep. If that isn’t an option, I personally prefer my tv in a cabinet/armoire I can close. However, for those with no other options, one of the enclosure cabinets that hang over the tv and slide to open look great. I believe Ballard has them, and there are tutorials on how to make them floating around on the internet. They can even be made out of foam core board, painted or decoupaged, and just lifted off when you want to watch the tv – it appears as if you have a beautiful picture there.

    • Thanks so much for those great ideas, Karen. Our room is tiny so bookcases won’t work, the same goes for an armoire. I think we’ve found a good solution for now and I’m happy with the way it looks (far better than before πŸ˜‰ ).

  6. Brenda, Florida

    I don’t like a TV over the fireplace either, but we have to do what we have to do. I guess I would remove the chair to the left of the fireplace and find some sort of a cabinet that would accommodate the TV with storage under it to hold the box and wires. Just a thought. Have a great week.

    • You’re right Brenda. We have to do what we have to do. Thanks for the suggestion but a bookcase won’t work with the size of the tv. The basement door is right there and anything too big will block it. Sigh…it is what it is. πŸ™‚

  7. I do not have a fireplace but I have read that one of the most important things is to have the mantel wide enough to block the heat from the fireplace.

    Also, in my daughters home, they have all their components in the room behind the TV. They make remotes that work through the wall. One remote for all-cable and DVD player.

    • Yes Rose, you are correct. The mantel should be wide enough to block the heat. With our new addition, I think we will be ok. Our fireplace isn’t in working order, yet, but it’s a good reminder to take the extreme heat into consideration when your tv is on the mantel. Unfortunately our small dining room is on the other side of the wall so there isn’t any open space to put the boxes. Thanks for the great suggestions though. πŸ™‚

  8. Moving is never easy, there are always so many new decor challenges. I think you guys did a great job with the fireplace. I can’t wait to see the other 499 projects!! πŸ˜‰

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