Monday, November 21, 2011

Faux Mantel Over a Half Wall

Since we live in a bi-level house, we have a half wall that divides our living room from our entrance.  I love the open concept home but I wanted to have a wall behind my fireplace to create a mantel. I was not about to frame out a wall so I lived with a fireplace and no wall for a number of years.  This past summer a friend of mine gave me a wooden frame that may have been intended to be a glass fronted cabinet door.  However, it did not contain any glass but neither did it contain any holes for hinges or knobs either.  She said that I would come up with something to do with it and she was right. 

After a while, I realized this would be the solution to creating a faux mantel!  I do actually have a photo of the frame in the "before" state but it is on an SD card that has mysteriously disappeared!  ** Edited to add that I found the card so here is the before! **

I ordered some mirror to be cut to the correct size then got to work painting the frame.  Ever since I heard about Rustoleum's Heirloom White spray paint, I knew I had to try it somewhere and this was the perfect project.  I gave that frame a nice coat of paint and, once it was dry, sanded down the edges slightly to give it more of an antiqued look.  After a layer of clear coat, it was ready for the hardware. 

I followed the same technique I used to create my trapeze frames, using eye hooks and cable wiring and crimps.  After the eye hooks were installed, I inserted the mirror using glazier points stuck in the back.  What a neat and tidy way to hold that mirror in place.  When it came time to find the rafters that the mirror was to hang from, we ran into a little snag.  We knew that the rafters ran in a certain direction over our entrance.  What we were not aware of, however, was that right over the fireplace, the rafters ran in a different direction to accommodate the roofline, making it impossible to hang the mirror where I wanted it.  Well, difficult, not impossible. 

My dearly loved and super wonderful hunk-of-love husband crawled into the attic for me and held 2x4s in place in the exact location I wanted to hang the mirror, creating studs!  (This is not a finished attic, this is a hop-from-rafter-to-rafter-and-dig-through-the-insulation kind of attic!)  Once I installed the eye hooks in the newly formed studs, the mirror was ready to hang!  I love the new look!  I love the abundant decorating possibilities!  I love the new "wall" it creates! I now have a fireplace mantel complete with mirror!  Let the decorating begin!

As for decorating, well, I used to have 2 of those apothecary jars flanking the candles.  However, my sons thought playing frisbee was an indoor sport and the one jar was the casuality of such foolishness!  Grr.  For now, this will have to do until the Christmas decor comes out!

As usual, linking up to Sandra's Party! 


  1. I LOVE THIS!!!!!! What a fabulous idea :)! It's beautiful. AND YES, the decorating possibilities are endless!!!

  2. Great solution--it turned out fantastic!


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