Fireplace Facelift: Beautiful Mantel Built With Scraps

Kammy's Korner
by Kammy's Korner
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:
Kammy's Korner
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 9 questions
  • Ruth Eilenfield Ruth Eilenfield on Mar 07, 2018

    Where do you get the styrafoam pillars & beam?

  • Jmr15231038 Jmr15231038 on Mar 07, 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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2 of 228 comments
  • Kiturah Humphrey Kiturah Humphrey on Mar 31, 2018

    You did a fabulous job. I love it.

  • Myb50160860 Myb50160860 on May 03, 2023

    Oh my, what can I say that has not been said already about how clever, and beautiful it turned out. What people when they put their minds together can achieve. You two should go into business.