DIY Fireplace Mantel Creation

6 Materials
5 Hours

We recently updated our master bedroom and closet. I started to get the room set up the way I wanted with one challenge; a huge wall with nothing on it. I couldn’t figure out how to arrange pictures, decor, anything that would really make sense. So I got to thinking – how about a fireplace mantel?

I had an old antique door lintel that may just work? Up-cycled fireplace mantel?? It would fit my desires of something inexpensive, low in profile, yet add visual interest.

I picked up a 2×8 and a 1×6 and built very simple mantel “legs” using the 1×6 as some trim to make the base beefier.  

This was brand new pine, and I wanted to attach it to chippy, old, crusty (most definitely lead) paint. Even the best attempts at faux finishing weren't going to make this match. However, I gave something new a try, and it WORKED!  

I used Dixie Belle Driftwood as the base coat of paint. Once dry I applied Crackle Medium. It’s like thick clear glue. I applied it thicker and thinner in spots to vary the look.

Then I painted over with Dixie Belle’s Cotton. It’s their whitest white paint which matched the trim in my bedroom. As Cotton was drying, magic happened. It started cracking and making the COOLEST finish!  

Once my mantel legs were all crackly and dry, I attached them to the lintel with some metal straps and wood screws.  

I also attached this old dresser back splash. It added a little curve to the mantel's straight and boxy look. It also (almost) covered up those old painted numbers.

Add stained pine for additional interest!

You can either attach this to the wall or just lean it.

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Suggested materials:

  • CRACKLE   (
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Jenni Ingram
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