Thank you for your patience. I know it has been a long time coming, but we finally figured out how to build a floating fireplace mantle, and we’d love to show you how we did it!
We still need to finish filling the nail holes and some touch up paint, but for the most part, it’s show-off-able.
Want to see how you can make one of your own? Watch our video!
It was surprisingly hard to find instructions online to build a floating mantle. We actually didn’t find any that looked like what I wanted, so we got creative and made things up as we went along.
Me: All I want is a chunky mantle that is classic and substantial, but not too simple-looking that fits well with the southern farmhouse feel of our home but isn’t distressed. And I need it to float in mid air and be sturdy enough to hold heavy stuff like Christmas stockings and giant candle sticks and not come crashing down on the kids.
Eddie: Oh is that all?
We went to Home Depot and I started taking out boards and holding them up to each other like a 10 foot long jigsaw puzzle until I figured out what I wanted. Then Eddie got to work with the “float in mid air” part.
First we used lag bolts to hang a 4×4 securely on the wall, into three studs. This is what we attached all of the painted pieces to. If you are going to use pressure treated wood for this step, make sure you use galvanized or stainless steel screws, bolts, and nails for the whole project.We left a 3/4″ gap on each side of the 4×4, so that our mantle would be flush with the wall when we covered it up.
Then we used our handy dandy HomeRight paint sprayer and painted the pieces we were using to build the mantle. Besides the 4×4, we only used four boards from the hardware store to build our mantle. However, we still need to go back for one additional board to cover the bottom.
a 1×10″ board (for the top)
a 1 x 6″ board (for the “skirt”)
a piece of decorative edge trim (for the top)
a piece of crown molding
Since our fireplace is an unusual size and yours is probably different, I’m not going to give you specific measurements, but I’m sure you can figure it out. It was a pretty simple process once the engineer (my husband, who really is an engineer) was confident we had a safe way to build it. First Eddie attached the 1×10 to the top of the 4×4, making sure it was level.
Then we put crown molding around the “skirt” as well.
All that’s left is to fill in the nail holes, caulk, and touch up paint. (We are planning to cut a piece of plywood to cover up the bottom as well.)
We put a baby bumper around the hearth to soften the sharp edges for the kiddos.
If you’re interested in how we did the rest of this fireplace wall, check out these posts. The stone hearth and the AirStone wall are also D-I-Y projects!
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