Let me tell you a story all about how… I gave our fireplace a little character with this DIY floating fireplace mantel! I had been wanting something to update our builder basic fireplace for quite some time, and the holidays were a catalyst to finally put something into motion (I needed somewhere to drape my DIY faux olive branch garland!) Turns out, you don’t need to spend a lot of time or money on a custom floating mantel or shelf. This whole project cost less than $50, and I’ll tell you how we did it!
One trip to Home Depot + one Amazon order and we got all the supplies we needed for this project! I specifically wanted a smaller mantel in depth, since we have our TV mounted pretty close above the fireplace. This project was really about aesthetic versus function. Just enough mantel to allow for a holiday garland and a little decor, but really to give a basic facade some depth and interest.
Head to Home Depot for a standard 2″ x 6″ wood board, and bring your desired width measurement with you. Find someone in the lumbar department and they will cut your wood to size for free!
Now that you have your custom cut board, it’s time to prep your wood. And I’m terrible and didn’t write down what grit sand paper we used to sand the board down. However we did a grittier (is that a word?) pass first, then a finer grit until it was smooth. Super easy. This step took less than 10 minutes.
Before applying the stain, make sure you wipe down your board with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust. Then, apply your stain in the direction of the grain with a foam brush. I would test it out timing wise as to when you wipe it off, as the stain will take on a darker finish the longer it sits. We went side by side here, and wiped down after each side was complete to achieve our desired color.
Once you’ve waited the suggested 4 hours of dry time, you can go ahead with a clear shellac top coat to seal.
Since we wanted the easiest form of mounting we could find, we opted for these 3″ brackets, and used 3 total for our project (our mantel was cut to 67″ wide). I completely forgot to snag a photo of drilling the holes for the brackets to go into (I blame quarantine brain fog), but we had to get resourceful. If you have a large enough drill bit, perfect! However, we had to go in and out with our largest bit a number of times to get the hole wide enough to accommodate the bracket peg size. But if you need to use this method – it worked!
Precise measuring and leveling here is key. Once you have your brackets mounted, line up your pre-drilled holes and go in at an angle to insert the board and mount your mantel flush to the wall.
For around $50, you can have a totally custom, floating fireplace mantel! Seriously, this project was pretty easy even for the most un-DIY DIYer’s! Let me know if you try it out!