Fireplace Mantel Makeover – Adding Crown Moulding to Our Existing Mantel

Add some crown moulding to your mantel to add more visual interest. It’s a quick and easy fireplace mantel makeover.

Our original fireplace mantel was pretty lackluster. The dark wood stain blended into the brick of the fireplace and it had no visual interest. So, I decided to give the fireplace mantel a makeover. I painted the existing mantel and added some crown moulding for visual interest.

fireplace mantel makeover

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I’ve been working on decorating our living room to better match my personal style and meet our needs. During this makeover, I realized that the fireplace needed something to balance it with the rest of the room. It is a very large brick space that sucks up a lot of light. It is also the focal point of the room.

We don’t want to paint the brick because it wraps around the corner into the kitchen and I really like the natural brick in the kitchen. So, I decided that painting the fireplace mantel was the way to go.

Originally, the mantel was just a large piece of wood resting on the brick “brackets.” It was stained the same color as all of the wood trim in the house, so it blended in to the brick. It did catch the eye at all and did nothing for my mantel decorations.  I decided to use some of the leftover white paint from my recent TV stand makeover and paint the mantel. It really helps break up all of the brick and makes the fireplace mantel more eye catching.

Adding Crown Moulding to our Fireplace Mantel

fireplace mantel makeover

Even after painting the mantel white, it still looked like just a white piece of wood floating on the fireplace. Adding crown moulding to the mantel would help it appear more “finished” and intentional. I went to Home Depot and picked up a piece of pre-primed molding for less than $5. I measured the length and width of the existing fireplace mantel and trimmed it down using a miter saw at a 45 degree angle. 

fireplace mantel makeover

Once all the cuts were done I dry fit them to the mantel, just to double check that all of my cuts were correct. Luckily, they were. I slathered the back of moulding in wood glue and positioned it on the mantel. The height of the moulding was 1/4″ shorter than the fireplace mantle, but that was the closest size I could find.

I don’t think it looks weird, so I rolled with it. Also ignore all the scuffed paint on the mantel, I was impatient and didn’t wait for everything to dry before attaching the molding and it got a little beat up. The wood glue dried overnight with the moulding clamped to it.

fireplace mantel makeover

I probably could have just glued the moulding to the fireplace mantel. But I decided to really make sure everything would stay together. I nailed the moulding in place using a nail punch.

fireplace mantel makeover

Once everything was nailed in place, I caulked all the little nail holes and seams with a paintable caulk. The final step was to finish everything off with another coat of white paint! I skipped sealing the fireplace mantel with polyurethane. It’s not a surface that is actively used. I only use this surface for seasonal decorating.

I waited 48 hours for the paint to cure before I put the fireplace mantel back and started decorating it. My first vignette, or “mantelscape” was clean and simple with pops of color to really bring focus to the fireplace mantel. 

fireplace mantel makeover

I love how much lighter everything on the fireplace mantel looks now, and the white really lets the colors from the bottles and teal frame really shine. What a difference!

This fireplace mantel makeover is definitely one of those “Duh” projects that I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner! Just compare it to all the other mantelscapes I’ve done!

Anyone else have a quick, cheap project that makes you want to kick yourself and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner? Or is that just me, the queen of procrastination!

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15 Comments

  1. I love your beefed up mantel! It does balance out the space much better!

    Oh, and we call that thingy a countersink (or really, a “where-the-heck-is-that-countersink-thingy-Kevin”), but I’m not sure what it’s actually called either!

  2. Look at you! That turned out so great. That little bit offers so much style and such a finished look. And, I love all those pops of blue you decorate with.

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