*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.
Being an Army family that moves around every couple of years, we’ve become serial renters so we’ve gotten pretty clever about temporary decorating ideas. This DIY wood mantel is totally renter-friendly, easy to complete in an afternoon, and easy on the wallet.
We haven’t used our fireplace in the 2 years we’ve lived here and as much as I complain about the sweltering three-digit summers, I do love the 70º winters. This Lampasas stone is everywhere in Texas and our fireplace is no exception. For the holidays, I wanted a chunkier mantel to place garland and Christmas decorations on, so I built this DIY wood mantel. With just 3 boards that cost me a little over $30, I was able to give our space a whole new look! And the wood mantel slides on, like a sleeve, over the existing mantel so it’s a temporary look that I can switch out quickly and easily without damaging the stone. Landlords and tenants rejoice!
How To Build A DIY Wood Mantel
- (2) 1 x 6 x 8 Ft. Boards
- (1) 1 x 10 x 6 Ft. Board
- 1 1/4-inch Brad Nails
- Wood Glue
- Stain and Finish
Here’s a quick sketch with the dimensions, but I suspect these measurements will vary for you, depending on the size of your mantel. You’ll likely use a 1×6 board for the framework and the 1×10 for the front piece. Use wood glue and brad nails to join the boards together. Basically, you’re building a 5-sided box.
I recently got a chance to try out this new cordless sander from Dewalt and it’s quickly become my FAVORITE SANDER ever. Of course, I love going cordless and this sander paired with a 20-Volt Max battery system (batteries and charger sold separately) gives me more than enough power for multiple sanding jobs.
The hook-and-loop sanding pads are easy to replace, but what I like most of all is the quick stop. As soon as you turn off the sander, the disc stops spinning immediately – there’s no waiting for the sander to stop spinning after it’s off. I’ve never seen this on any of the other sanders I’ve used, so this is a pretty cool feature.
I love that it has a variable speed setting and the dust bag turns and clicks into place, so you don’t have to worry about it coming loose mid-session.
Small improvements like these set this sander above the rest and as someone who hates sanding, I really appreciate anything that will make the job easier and quicker.
After the mantel is built, sand all the rough edges with 180-grit sandpaper, then remove any dust and debris from the project before staining. I chose one of my favorite colors, Early American by Varathane.
Let the coat of stain dry for at least an hour and then you’re ready to apply a protective finish.
As for installation, we simply slid the wood “sleeve” over the existing mantel. It fits snugly and so there’s no need for added fasteners. When we’re ready to take it off, we just gently pull it off, leaving no damage to the stone. I love that it adds so much warmth and contrast between the fireplace and the mantel!
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