Fireplace Facelift: Beautiful Mantel Built With Scraps

3 Materials
3 Hours

The small granite surround on our fireplace was a pinkish tan granite, trimmed with narrow wood. I wanted something that made a statement but I didn't want to spend any money! We used scraps and things we found in our barn to build the mantel and I painted the granite with Zinsser's Perma-White paint.
My hubby went from "I have no idea how to build a mantel" to what you see in this picture in a matter of just four hours total! He wouldn't call himself a "handy man" but he does know how to use a measuring tape, a saw, and a nail gun.
We started with this. I was having a very difficult time trying to decorate above the fireplace. It all looked so hokey and boring and it needed to be a focal point in our large living room rather than the eye sore that it was!
For a background, we used the backside of some paneling (Left over scraps from our kitchen ceiling which you can see here:
We also used a scrap of crown molding left over from the kitchen to put under the beam. The beam (and the side pillars) is actually faux wood, made from Styrofoam. I sanded it to take some of the dark sheen off. Then painted the whole shabang white.
For the granite part, I used Zinsser Perma-White. It dries super hard, is self priming and adheres to tile. My fingers are crossed that it will stand up to heat since we are in the middle of installing a 100% efficient gas log.
Always use a foam roller, people! :)
The suitcases are packed and ready to move for the gas log coming in for a landing soon. Visit my blog for more details and photos of the process:
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 9 questions
  • Ruth Eilenfield
    Ruth Eilenfield
    on Mar 7, 2018

    Where do you get the styrafoam pillars & beam?

  • Jmr15231038
    on Mar 7, 2018

    Where do you get the decorative Styrofoam?

  • Ruth McAlpin
    Ruth McAlpin
    on May 18, 2019

    Love it.. I need a new mantel top as to set a tv on but I see them mounted on the walls all the time. I thought maybe there might be brick behind it so I’m not sure about a mount. Do you worry about the styrofoam melting when you actually use it ?

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