I'm excited to say that most of the work is done on my faux fireplace that I've been building. I've got one coat of paint on and haven't decided yet what to use for the finish coat. I painted the bare wood with one cup of "swiss coffee" flat paint and 2 tablespoons of plaster of paris. I don't have great carpentry skills, but I'm good at figuring things out and following directions. Always have. I was the kid who cut up the cereal boxes and made the Captain Kangaroo craft projects.
I found this plan on Blue Roof Cabin where Mimi did a wonderful job explaining how she built hers. The pdf plans are available from Ana White. Give it a try if you like projects and have a wild handy streak. I just love mantels and wanted one before Christmas.
Here's how I got started:
I glued, then clamped. I found that I didn't use very many nails, the glue is strong.
In retrospect, I wish I had bought a higher grade of pine. I had a lot of knots and imperfections. One of the vertical boards (on the left) developed a slight crack. No worry, I got out the glue and clamps. This photo shows the final boards going on, along with wood putty then sanding.
One of the most difficult parts was cutting the miter for the crown molding.
This side came out great but the other side needed a lot of putty.