We finished our faux mantel! It really completes the room and looks like it's always been there, I'm SO happy!!
Our home is a passive solar house with geothermal heating/cooling, so this chimney holds the duct work for the geothermal system and the wood stove (in the basement) .. it was BEGGING for a faux mantel!
This isn't a full tutorial, sorry! David designed and made it up as we went .. and since we were working on several projects at one time .. I didn't get all of the photos needed. If you want to make your own, hopefully the photos below will help .. if not, let us know if a 3-D drawing tutorial would be helpful and we'll try to do that :)
For the cut wood insert, we cut a piece of plywood to the size of the opening and spray painted it matte black (so any spaces blend in). Last thanksgiving or Christmas, David cut 4" sections from a dead tree at his parent's house - so they've been sitting in the garage for about a year to dry out (just make sure that they can breath, we had them in an open garbage bag and they grew some stuff .. (I wiped it off with bleach)
We used a heavy duty construction adhesive to attach all of the pieces (~3-4 tubes)
Once complete (it took a while .. cut more than you think you'll need :) we attached it to the back of the mantel with Simpson Strong Ties (available in lumber section)
Here you can get a better idea of the mantel construction .. most of it was attached by hidden pocket holes, using our Kreg Jig.
To secure it to the brick, David drilled a hole in the mortar.
and attached an anchor designed for mortar .. the mantel was attached to that.
Also, I forgot to take pictures of the top mantel piece in process, but we removed the original mantel from the brick (see photo below), and reconfigured it to work perfectly with our new mantel. It simply sits on top with blocks of wood attached underneath to prevent it sliding horizontally.
Now you know why we're holding off on changing the brick .. it's about 30' tall! We've decided to paint all of the wood in the house (more info here and here). My preference would be to paint the brick, but David is very anti .. if anything, he wants to drywall it!? I don't get that .. In the meantime, I was thinking about building a white paneled wall, just behind the mantel (and a few feet up) .. so maybe we'll do that..
Also, don't mind the un-upholstered sofa .. hopefully we will get to it soon! Sunday, we moved a sofa inherited from my Grandparent's to hold it's place until we finish this one.
I'll be back with more living room details soon!