So one of the other things that I’ve not liked about this house now is the mantle.
It’s got graffiti on it from previous residents, many screw holes, deep scratches, it looks dated and it’s pulling out from the brick. I really don’t want to put any effort into this mantle because I don’t like it, so it was time to replace it.
It was just affixed to the hearth with 6 nails into the mortar. That probably explains why it was falling out. When I removed this, I just needed to pick up slightly and it came right off the wall with no resistance.
Dad and I didn’t use any nails in the construction of the mantle. It required a lot of glue and a lot of clamps. One of the problems using glue is that it drastically slows down how much work you can actually accomplish in a day.
After the glue was dry, I was able to sand the excess glue down and get a nice smooth surface pretty quickly with a palm sander.
I opted to use a wipe on polyurethane coating. It’s easy to maintain, seals well, can be sanded off easily in the future if I decide to change the finish and it allows the wood to still feel like wood.
While the mantle was drying, dad and I installed the bracket that we made on the hearth so I could complete the installation on my own.
I am extremely please with how this mantle looks. I increased the height of the front face by about 1.5″ when we built this mantle compared to the original mantle and I think that has made quite the difference. Also, note the above photo is not centered over the fireplace. This was taken while I was test fitting it. I’m sure I’ll post a centered and completed photo later when I put something new on the mantle for the holiday season.