Friends on Friday: Fireplace Update (Episode 1)

Last weekend I headed over to my twin sister, Monique’s, house to give her a little guidance on doing a little bit of carpentry work and sprucing up her fireplace a bit.   After much consideration she wanted to add a country-cottage-meets-beachy charm by planking out the wall above the mantle.  We had scoped out a few projects that had done this beautifully!


wood plank wall fireplace starburst mirrorSource


Here’s a look at Monique’s fireplace (don’t mind Epic being on – I’m a sucker for kids movies).

MQ FireplaceShe has that same dental molding that Thrifty Decor’s chick does (second image from above) and she really didn’t want to do anything to change the mantle itself or the detailed moldings.

Like any project we started by finding our materials, taking measurements and putting together a plan.  We decided to go with this flat pre-primed MDF baseboard from Lowes.

Lowes Product

It’s durable, won’t warp, the color of the wood won’t bleed through like it would with pine and it’s really affordable.  My Lowes had it for $14.72 a piece – not $11.12, so I’m sure every location will vary.  The plan we came up with only required 6 boards, however, so this was still only $88.32 for the whole project (everything else we had on hand).

First step was to clean off the mantle and mark all the stud locations like we did for my bedroom plank wallMQ Fireplace

MQ Fireplace Then we measured about 6 times over again and went to make our outside frame cuts.  First we cut one vertical edge to make sure the height was accurate, then cut the horizontal piece and the 45 degree corners.  This part was a bit tricky since we had to flip the board over to cut each 45 angle.  My miter saw couldn’t reach to cut through each board in one slice at the angle, but we got it worked out without wasting any pieces!  We used my nail gun to get the top horizontal piece up first, while using one vertical piece and the levels to make sure it was located where we wanted (as well as being level), then put it in place by nailing at each stud location.

MQ Fireplace MQ Fireplace

After that, Monique was on her way measuring and cutting, measuring and cutting all on her own for the inside pieces!  She did great!

MQ Fireplace MQ Fireplace MQ Fireplace MQ Fireplace

The last row gave us a bit of trouble and it was then I found my yearning for a table saw.  The boards needed to be cut down in height by just 1/8-1/4″…  just a smidge!  Instead, Monique sanded them down which probably took as much time as the entire project but she got it done so they fit nicely.  I jigsawed out a square at the outlet and we were done!  She jumped right onto starting to cover the nail holes and caulking, but that’s where we called it quits for this weekend!

Plank Wall Fireplace Plank Wall Fireplace Plank Wall Fireplace

There’s still a bit of sanding to do, an outlet extension to put in (and switch that cream colored outlet to a bright white one) and then painting, etc before mounting the TV on the wall.  I think it looks fantastic right now, though, and will look even better when it’s finished!

Monique, you did a fantastic job and thanks for letting me help you out with this project!  I can’t wait to see it all pulled together!

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  1. nice job !!! The right tools for the right people…………GO GIRLS…….LOVE IT !
    Common sense, planning, attack and achieve.! Hooray!!!!!
    Remember: no problems to solve, just solutions.
    Semper Fi !!!1

  2. I love it so much it’s almost a shame to put the TV up! The guidance was perfect – learned how to use a chop saw and a nail gun all in one day – and now I’m addicted!! Almost immediately, I went out looking for my own miter saw and nail gun so than I can do all the little enhancements around the house. Awesome selection on the product by my DIY crazy sister – the white MDF was perfect, super easy to use (minus sanded off 1/4…grrrrr) and then only required on coat of paint to bring it all together!

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