DIY Farmhouse Trim Above the Fireplace

10 Materials
2 Days

A few months ago I finally got around to painting our black "starry night" 90s fireplace.

Here is where we started. Starry night, right?

Then I painted the marble for a fresh look.

At this point the wheels in my head kinda went off the rails. Much to my husband's trepidation, I kept going.

I added decorative ogee trim, birch plywood ripped down to size, and a coat of white paint. I'm so in love!

Here's how the mantel looks dressed up for the holidays. I live in Georgia, where there is an abundant supply of magnolia foliage.

I made this gorgeous garland by wrapping leaves and branches around a rope using floral wire.

Okay, enough glamour shots. Let's get down to brass tacks.

Tools Needed

  • Stud finder
  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • Nail gun
  • Caulk gun

Start by ripping your pieces of 1/4" plywood to form the framework of your overlay. If you know the exact dimensions, you can have someone at your local home center rip them for you; last I checked, this service was being suspended due to Covid restrictions.

This is where having a table saw comes in handy. In addition to the five pieces of plywood applied above the fireplace, I added two pieces along the side as well.

I opted not to use Liquid Nails on the back of the trim just in case it needs to be removed at a future date. The trim was secured to the wall using 1 1/4" brad nails. Mark the locations of your studs beforehand to limit the number of nails needed.

I pre-primed the trim beforehand.

Once all of the plywood trim was up, it was time to add my ogee trim. To do this, I simply cut all of my trim at 45 degree angles to form picture frame boxes.

Don't worry about the gaps where the mitered corners meet; once you apply a little wood filler and sand away with your sanding wedge, it will all flow together seamlessly.

I also applied a piece of trim where the first plywood strip meets the mantel. These corners were cut at an outside 45-degrees.

As before, the ogee trim was nailed to the wall with 1 1/4" brad nails. All of the seams and nail holes were filled in with wood filler. Then I sanded everything with my 120-grit sanding wedge.

I gave everything one last coat of primer. Then it all received two coats of Benjamin Moore paint in Chantilly Lace.

The space between the lower trim and the fireplace was simply painted white – no fancy footwork here. I did have to make a slight notch on the right side with my jigsaw to make room for the gas control.

And that's it! Did I mention that I spent a whopping $47 on this project? It pays to hold on to extra materials.

Can you start to envision where the TV would live? Or should I say, will live? As sneaky as I think I am, I'm pretty sure my husband sees right through it 😊

Now that I have a beautiful back drop to work with, I have so many fun mantel ideas in the works.

Suggested materials:

  • Liquid Nails (IF this is a permanent solution)
  • 1 1/4" brad nails
  • Wood filler
See all materials

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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