Sunday, December 9, 2012

DIY Barn Beam Fireplace Mantel

Work in the basement has continued, and we are now working on the fireplace in the family room! This fall we purchased an old barn beam from an Amish family that lives near my hometown. We only had to pay $50 (we had priced out similar beams in our area and they were $300-400!), so it was a great deal!

Here is the fireplace wall before we got started with the mantel:

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Here is the old beam. It was really dirty when we bought it (it had been stored outside with other a lot of other old wood). This photo was taken after hubby gave it a good cleaning. (See those boxes on the right wall? That’s the fireplace stone!)

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The beam was several feet longer than we needed, so we were able to try out a few different wood stains on one end. Initially all of the stains went on really dark (almost black) but when they dried, they looked like this:

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Here are a couple of the fireplace stones that we used to help us pick a color. (We decided on Early American and did 1 coat of stain with 3 coats of poly.)

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Hubby figured out a way to install the mantel from behind so it appears to be floating on the wall. He had cut out the drywall and attached a board to the wall where the mantel would hang. After we lifted the mantel up into place, he carefully held it up while I reached in the sides of the wall behind the mantel to drill the bolts into place (through the board).

2012-12-08 Mantel

I love it! If you look super close at the photo below, you can kinda see the artwork hubby drew as I started talking about decorating the mantel... :)  You can also see the little hole he cut in the drywall to allow access to bolt up the mantel.  There is a hole on both sides, but they will be covered by the built-in cabinets.

2012-12-08 Mantel

Here’s a sneak peak at the fireplace stone that we have out on the floor (with the mantel before it was stained and hung) so we can work on the stone placement. Now we just need to get the cabinets built and installed so we can get this stone on the wall.


I absolutely LOVE how this is turning out!  What do you think?


  1. Very nice. Looking forward to hearing about your stonework experience. :)

  2. wow, love the color and the character!

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