Monday, February 4, 2008

Home Sweet Home: Family Room Renovation, Part II

Oh goody... completing this project was such a confidence boost. And now I get to brag about it.

After the new carpet was in, all that remained between me and complete domestic bliss (temporarily, at least) was to cover up the hideous brick fireplace surround and build a new mantle over the old one. Sounds easy, right? Actually, if I could do it, it couldn't have been too tough.

Here's the before picture, ignore the lack of carpet:

Once I drew up my ideal plan for the wall, I went to Lowe's and bought my materials - a 4'X8' piece of 3/4" MDF ("medium density fiberboard"; I had them cut it to my specs for convenience), another board, lots of trim and one length of decorative crown molding. We ripped off the existing trim on the front of the mantle, and left the rest to be covered up. I had my handy hubby cut out the actual hole for the fireplace, then I took over.

Before anything else, since the weather was obliging at the time, I masked and spray-painted the existing fireplace glass door frame, since it was ugly and we had to take it out anyway. I chose a hammered bronze finish, and it looked like a whole new thing when I was done. I used plastic wrap and masking tape to keep the paint off the glass parts, and it really worked well for that. Nothing leaked through the plastic.

I used heavy duty liquid nails and my husband's brawn to adhere the MDF to the brick surround. Once that was set, I replaced the fireplace screen on top of it, then jumped into the trim work. I put a piece of MDF on top of the existing mantle to be a new surface for the mantle. Another thinner piece of MDF on the front, attached to the top piece with some small L brackets. Under that I attached the decorative crown molding, securing the bottom onto the additional board I had purchased. Lastly, I mitered the corners of some door trim to frame the fireplace screen and edge the flat part of the new surround.

Well, it wasn't really "lastly", because after that I had to patch the trim nail holes and caulk where the separate pieces met, then paint 2 coats. But I was on a roll and I knew I would be soooo happy with it. And I am. Can you tell? Here's why:

I could just cry with delight.

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