Fireplace Fun: Part Two

When last we left the Great Fireplace Installation of 2009, most of the wooden trim had been attached, and the fireplace was getting an extra coat of paint...

Little did I know the unexpected challenges I would face!

The first one, was the molding which went around the frame itself. Even though the fireplace frame was built to its largest size, the top molding that came with it for some reason was still many inches too large to fit. Yes, I would have to cut it to size.

I cut it to size all right...

An inch size smaller than I needed it to be! So I had to cut an extra inch off to add in there, and putty over the oops. Sigh... and I thought I'd measured carefully, too!

I also puttied in places where the various molding pieces didn't fit together snugly...

Then I attacked the central place where the fire would be. I'd batted around a number of different ideas for this, but eventually decided on a sort of trick-of-the-eye paint job...

You can see it a bit closer here. Using black and brown paints, I painted a "floor" and a "brick" back for our chimney...

It's amusing to me, given the wall is really just plain plaster and concrete.

Well, that went quite well, I thought-- So I admit, I wasn't quite prepared to face the problem with the five-foot mantel shelf. Here it is. It looks nice, doesn't it?

And yes, it looks very nice there on the floor. But up on the fire surround brackets, where it's supposed to live, that was a whole other story. The five feet, apparently, of this five-feet surround is at its very largest part-- the top! Meaning, the slope to the base of it is nowhere near five feet.

As it was in a box-- a bit larger than five feet was that box, I might add-- I didn't even imagine that the base would be way too small for my fireplace. It looked a bit like that old Chris Farley Saturday Night Live skit, "Fat Man in Tiny Coat."

And with the next mantel size up being six feet, I wouldn't have enough room on either side of the mantel to fit that! What was a girl to do?

Well, a girl was to wander around too many stores looking for an answer. And staring at planks of wood. And checking out standard shelving and finding they came in four feet max. And staring at more planks of wood.

Eventually, I came across the only solution that would work...

Stop staring at the planks of wood, buy one, and cut it to size.
So here we are. With a simple mantel shelf and everything else just about in place. I have a few small finishing touches to do, and then I'll show you all photos of the full room once things are back in their places.

Lessons learned from the project?

  • Always measure twice and don't cut wood when you're tired.
  • Mantels are sneaky and are not to be trusted.
  • Ibprophin can be an ambitious fireplace builder's best friend
  • You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it! (Also if you start at planks of wood long enough.)

I wish you all the best on your next project, and thank you so much, folks, for joining me on mine.

This coming Wednesday, I have some interesting goodies to share with you from some Saturday adventures... Because, really, sometimes a girl needs to get away from the fireplace....



Lois said...

Jenn, I should have warned you. You really need to watch out when it comes to mantels.
They are sneaky little buggers. But by the time I got back to reading one of my favorite blogs it was too late. You had already started on your adventure. Sigh! I’m sorry. Next time I won’t stay away so long.
I think I will take your advise...where is the ibuprofen anyway?...all the work your doing is giving me a headache.
It looks great and I am so glad it's your project and not mine.
Good luck with it. I can't wait to see the finished job.

That Girl Ang said...

Jen! I'm impressed and can appreciate the work... WOW!

Shabbychicdiva said...

Love your blog. Come visit me, I have an award for you:-)

Kellie said...

I love this! Very creative

Richard said...

You did a great job on the fireplace and mantle, and an equally fine job in sharing with us how you did it! Thanks,

Jenn Thorson said...

Lois- Ah, well-- I appreciate the thought, anyway. :) Sometimes we just have to learn about the erratic behavior of mantles for ourselves.

Ang- Oh, thank you. I know you folks work hard on your own projects and know these things don't happen in a day. I appreciate that.

ShabbyChicDiva- Gosh- aren't you thoughtful?!

Kellie- Hey thank you for visiting!

Richard- Shucks! Glad you enjoyed it.

Chari said...

Hi Jenn...

I was just coming by via a friend who told me about your fireplace project! I have recently embarked on the same adventure...adding a faux fireplace in my living room! I had been searching and searching for ideas, etc. when my friend told me of your project! Wow...I love, love, LOVE what you have done! It's really beautiful and I love the romantic french ambiance of it! You really are a creative and talented lady...doing this entire project yourself! Bravo, my friend!!! Now...I can't wait to see it in the room...put together! I am adding your blog to my list of blog follows so I won't miss it!

Thank you so much for sharing your creativity and talents with us! I would love for you to come by when you get a chance and check out what I have done!

Warmest wishes,
Chari @Happy To Design

Jenn Thorson said...

Chari- Oh, best of luck to you in installing yours! I'm so glad your friend passed the site along and you've found it helpful. Here's hoping your project is going smoothly! I know full-well what an endeavor it is!