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DIY Fireplace

I built a fireplace! And you can too! Here's how...

I think we have all opened up a recipe or tutorial and you have to sift through 1000 words of how their mom's sister's cousin-in-law once told them a story about how Dwight Schrute told them a joke and that reminded them of a time when they were younger and ate at a restaurant and that influenced their recipe.

Y'all... this blog isn't going to be that, ha! Lets get right to the meat and potatoes! Inspiration, step by step process, end result, and my thoughts.

So let's start with the inspiration photos

How beautiful is this fireplace?! The moulding, the brick, the trim, the color... If this fireplace could talk... Ugh.. how can something like a fireplace be robust and delicate at the same time? Anyway, this was a major inspiration for me. Im not sure of the origins of this photo but it was recommended to me on Pinterest and it stopped me in my tracks!

This was also an inspiration for me. I loved the corbels, the natural wood mantel, the brick.. just something so timeless about it all!

So how did I build it?

Well I'll tell you, I had help, ha! My dad worked in drywall for over 30 years so I knew I needed a master course before I tried my hand solo for such a big project. I think everyone has that project that is a little daunting... for me, its drywall. But I learned soooo much and now I know future projects will be a breeze!

So let's build!

We started by measuring the exact center of the wall and cutting the baseboard out for the exact width we needed (making sure to account for the frame as well as the drywall which will add an additional 1/2" to either side.

From there we built the bottom of the frame and attached it to the floor using concrete anchors. Notice where the cords and plugs are. I wanted the fireplace to hide this but I needed access to it. I'll show you how I solved this issue later.

Next we build up!

Now the frame goes up. We used 2x4s for the whole thing. Attaching it to the backwall at the studs as well as the ceiling. I don't want this thing shifting at all! Also, we made sure to add additional support where the mantel will attach and making sure the hole for the fireplace insert was perfect. Not too tight of a fit. We ended up adding more supports up higher as well as the at the ceiling on either side but I didn't get a pic of that. Sorry!! I'm still learning this part of the process, ha!

Next was the drywall part. Our ceilings are 10' at the top so I used 10' drywall to minimize the cuts we needed. Cutting it was pretty easy, just measure, score with a knife, then bend at the cut. It pops and is very satisfying!

We put that up and attached it to the frame with drywall screws making sure to only slightly sink the head of the screw. You don't want the head of the screw flush with the drywall because once you mud it, you'll see it. But you also don't want it too deep to where you need more than a couple coats of mud to cover it. We also cut a hole on the right side to allow for access to the cords without taking the insert out (this will eventually be "covered" with cabinets which will also give me access to the cords with a hole as well). I really felt that this was the point in the project where I could see my vision coming to life!

Next up was the mudding. My dad did this part and I watched. But overall it was easy and I could have done it myself, lol

Just get some mud on your trowel, place a thin layer on a seam, place your drywall tape on top of that to cover the seam, then another thin layer of drywall mud. We used quick setting mud. You want it thick enough to cover the tape but thin enough that you don't have to spend hours sanding it down smooth.

Then to cover the screws, just a thin layer of mud over each screw. You may need to do a couple coats of mud but let it dry COMPLETELY before applying the second coats.

You'll also notice the metal corner bead we used for the left and right corners. This was to protect the corners but I ended up adding trim there so it wasn't entirely necessary. But we careful if you do use it, it is SHARP!

**Also, you could skip the drywall part and just use plywood and/or shiplap if that was the end result you were going for anyway. **

After all that, we sanded all the mud so it was smooth, then textured the drywall to match the walls so it looked like it wasn't an afterthought. You could use the can stuff (it would be a lot less messy, haha!) but my dad had one of his old hoppers so we mixed up some drywall mud and water and sprayed it up. Then let that dry.

Next we fitted the insert, attached the mantel, and chose a brick pattern. This was difficult. I originally wanted to brick the whole thing (but WHOAAA thats pricey!). Then I thought I would just brick the bottom under the mantel. But I could not find corner pieces for the brick. Like...anywhere... So I had to improvise. I used a tile saw to make the few cuts I needed and I think it turned out well!

Next we added trim. If you refer back to the first inspiration picture, you'll notice some beautiful trim work at the top. I replicated it as best I could and I just love it!! A little extra work with all the angled cuts but it was sooooooo worth it!! I'll let you in on a little secret...shhh... its my favorite part of the fireplace! That one detail gives it a more antique feel and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out!

The trim at the bottom is all 1x4s and 1x2s and the trim on the corners is shoe moulding!

**Peep the kids cup, ha!**

Next was picking the paint color. We swatched 2 different colors and ended up going with the more vibrant, bold, earthy green. It is called Shade Grown by Sherwin Williams and it is sooooo lovely! I have already incorporated it again in the dining room (another post for another day!).

Then it was time to grout the tile, finish painting, and step back to see what was created!

Eventually, I'll add cabinets to either side of the fireplace but for now, this is my view and I am so dang proud of it!! Thank you guys for following along!

Fireplace Materials and Cost Breakdown:

10 - 2x4s

1 - 4.5 gallon drywall compound (we didn't even use half)

6 - 4" concrete wedge anchors. I bought them individually at a local hardware store for like $1 each but this is the link for something similar at Home Depot

3 sheets of 12' half inch drywall - if you shiplap, you wouldn't need this

5lb box of 2 1/2" screws

2 - 10' corner bead

2 - 1lb boxes of 1 1/8" drywall screws

1 roll 250' sheetrock tape

This list does NOT include the cosmetics: paint, paint brushes, trim, brick veneer, etc. Just the structure.

Total for all of the above when purchased in November 2021 = $320.76

Mantel link in the color Provincial

Fireplace insert

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