FROM SPARSE TO INTERESTING
Easily obtainable materials are key in this DIY project.
SHOP OWNER: Lewis Speer
LOCATION: Bothell, WA
The fireplace in my living room was originally constructed with only a tile surround and I thought it looked a little sparse. To construct the new mantle and surround, I used easily obtainable ¾” oak plywood for the background, oak solids for the vertical details, and shelf-top and oak molding profiles to build up the shelf sides.
I added a stamped maple trim piece to the waist of the mantle for interest (and by request). I used biscuits to tie the background together and beaded all round the inside of the background next to the tile. The sides of the mantle shelf are set in at 60 degrees so compound miters were required.
I sanded everything to 220 and did the final install; at that point my wife suggested the “store-bought” appliqués. I stained everything pecan in order to match the existing woodwork. The project is finished with two coats of two-pound-cut clear shellac, buffed out with 0000 steel wool, two coats of clear Danish oil, followed by one coat of Tung oil for shine. Finally I topped with paste wax. This was a fun project and has prepared me for a much more extensive project with a fireplace, media center, and bookcases in my family room. My wife is very happy with the living room and is excited about the upcoming project in the family room. So am I!
. . . Lewis Speer