How to Build a Faux Fireplace

12 Materials
6 Hours

Hello, Fiddle Leaf friends! I’m beyond excited to share this DIY faux fireplace build with y’all today! If you follow me over on Instagram, I’ve been teasing this for awhile, and I polled ya’ll on what color to paint this beauty. So I’m excited to finally share that I chose BLACK (a chippy vintage black of course)! More of you chose black in my poll, too! You could really finish off this fireplace in any which way you choose, so I've left my painting process out of this tutorial (old chippy goodness ain't for everyone!). But if you want to see how I achieved the final look, you can head to my blog and all the details on the painting process are over there! I love connecting with you on my blog as well - it really is the highlight of my day!

Here is a close up of the finished product! This is actually a great build for beginners - the cuts are basic and assembly is straightforward. The entire thing is made of 2"x4"s, cedar fence pickets (1"x6"), a "'x6" pine board, 1"x8" pine board, and 1"x3" pine board (with the other decorative trim being optional).

Step 1

Assemble your frame with your cut to size (I used a miter saw) 2″x4″ boards, wood glue, and your power nailer/brad nails - use the above photo for my cut list. Make sure to use your speed square as you assemble to ensure all of your pieces are square as you attach them together. Once loosely assembled with nails, use wood screws to secure all of the joints (you can use clamps to help you if it’s easier). The screws will ensure your faux fireplace is super stable!

Step 2

Cut your cedar fence pickets to size (see photo) and attach those to the face of the faux fireplace with your nailer and brad nails. I suggest attaching the side pieces first, and then measuring and cutting your center pieces to ensure the best and most snug fit. Sometimes the measurements will be slightly more or less depending on the flaws in your wood. I then used a wood screw at the corners of each of the pickets for extra security. NOTE: I did not sand any of my wood pieces or fill in any of the screw or nail holes – I wanted the mantle to feel old and rustic, while still feeling elegant in design. If you want a super sleek look, I recommend sanding all of your wood pieces well prior to building/filling in all the holes with wood fill.

Step 3

Cut and attach your top pieces with wood screws, I first used two 1″x5″ pieces cut to 36.5″ stacked on top of each other, and topped that with a 1″x8″ cut to 38″. You could certainly use a 2″ thick piece of wood for either topper, I just didn’t have those available and didn’t want to go to the store unnecessarily.

Step 4

Cut and add (with wood glue and brad nails) your 1″x3″ trim to the bottom of the feet, and to the top and bottom of the front horizontal face. Don’t forget to miter your corners! Mitered corners make the faux fireplace look more elegant and finished.

Step 5

If you wish, you can add decorative trim (I had some left over from my Board & Batten project and decided to add it here). I used my brad nailer to attach it. Lastly, I added a decorative wood medallion from Lowe’s to the face with wood glue and brad nails.

Step 6

Finish however you like! This could be stained, painted, or left as is! No matter how you finish it though, it will add loads of character to your home!

Enjoy and happy building! Remember to head to my blog for more details on the painting process I used as well as how I secured it to our wall.

Resources for this project:
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Ana Ochoa - Sunrise Valley Farm Co.
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  1 question
  • Robin Robin on May 20, 2022

    What a great project! Did you put faux brick in the middle to look like it’s closed from a long time ago? My hubby hates our faux fireplace (I purchased a surround & mantle cause I’m not a builder) because he says we’re emphasizing the one feature our historic home doesn’t have 🤨 But I love it and it adds charm & character. I saw the faux brick techniques on yesterdays home talk, but wasn’t sure where I could use it… I think you gave me the answer!! Love it!!

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  • Ingrid Ingrid on Jun 10, 2020

    Not only does the fireplace look great, but I also really LOVE how you’ve decorated it! Most folks keep the accessories balanced in pairs. The asymmetry of your decorations gives the whole piece such energy. It looks great. Now I’m going to have to rethink my own decor set-up. 😉

  • Teresa Teresa on May 21, 2021

    Feels warm and inviting. And its accessorized beautifully.