DIY Rustic Beam Mantel

3 Materials
2 Hours

Solid beams are expensive and difficult to secure so I made a DIY faux beam to fit this underwhelming fireplace.

Our family room mantel was pretty boring. What better way to add some visual interest than a DIY rustic floating beam!

First, I took my measurements.

I needed three boards to fit around the existing brackets and two pieces for the ends. I determined my measurements and had my lumber cut to size at the hardware store.

I used wood glue and finishing nails to attach the boards. A few sets of hands makes it easier but clamps will do the trick. 

While the glue dried, I gathered tools to distress the wood. Hammers, screw heads, chisels and chains work great. Add as many gouges, worm holes and dents as you like.

I gave the entire beam a good sanding with 220 grit then removed all the dust with a damp rag.

I used Golden Oak for the stain and applied two coats. Be liberal with stain so it gets into the distressed marks and wipe excess off after 5-10 minutes.

Too keep the wood looking natural, I sealed it with a finishing wax.

The faux beam fit perfectly over the brackets and I secured it in place with just a couple of screws. 

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2 of 14 comments
  • Shansmow
    on Mar 25, 2021

    Thanks for posting this. My fireplace and mantle is just like yours but I was too chicken to just experiment. Now I know what to do and how it’ll look!

  • Robyn Garner
    Robyn Garner
    on Mar 26, 2021

    Nice job beefing up that teeny plank of a mantel!

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