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DIY Shabby Chic Faux Fireplace Mantel with Repurposed Materials

Looking for a budget-friendly way to transform your living space? Check out our Shabby Chic Farmhouse Faux Fireplace DIY Mantel made with repurposed materials. If you want to embrace the charm of farmhouse living, consider adding a shabby chic farmhouse faux fireplace mantel. This project not only adds a touch of rustic elegance to your décor but also allows you to personalize your space with repurposed materials and creative touches.

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Planning For A Vintage Fireplace Mantel

We were looking for a way to cozy up our living room and wanted an authentic vintage mantelpiece. The plan was to add a faux fireplace mantel below the existing TV.

After searching and failing to find the perfect piece, we decided to build one with some vintage porch posts we had been decorating with.

The vintage dresser would be removed, and the porch posts would be repurposed.

location where the DIY mantel would be installed in the farmhouse.

How To Build A Shabby Chic Faux Fireplace Mantel That Looks Antique.

Begin by determining the location of your faux fireplace mantel and consider the size and materials you will need to complete the project.

Preparing the area for adding a repurposed Farmhouse mantel.

If you want to build a faux fireplace mantel that looks like an authentic antique, you should consider using some vintage architectural elements.

What Can Be Repurposed To Build a Faux Vintage Mantel?

Many old architectural materials can be repurposed into building materials to make a faux vintage mantel. Here are a few things to consider while planning your Shabby Chic Faux Fireplace Mantel.

  • Old Corbels
  • Porch posts
  • Damaged ornate dressers, mantels, and doors contain materials that can be repurposed.
  • Trim and fretwork from old buildings and homes, such as crown moldings, gingerbread trims, porch railings, etc.

Where To Find Vintage Architectural Elements

Here are some places to look if you are looking for vintage architectural elements to build a Shabby Chic Fireplace Mantel.

  • Habitat ReStore: They received donations of old doors, porch posts, old mantels, and other materials. Their prices are hard to beat, so it’s my first stop. However, supplies are unreliable, and you have to check back often.
  • Architectural Salvage Yards. Many areas have salvage yards that sell materials from old homes and buildings that have been demolished.
  • Antique and Vintage Stores and Malls. In some antique stores, you can find corbels, doors, mantels, and other architectural pieces. Look for booths that specialize in these materials. The porch posts we used were from an antique mall and were very reasonably priced.
Architectural Salvage old porch posts to be repurposed for a Faux Fireplace Mantel in the farmhouse.

Creating the Vintage-Inspired Mantelpiece

To begin creating your vintage-inspired mantelpiece, you will want to tape off the location on your wall.

Take careful measurements to ensure your faux fireplace mantel is large enough to hold a fireplace insert.

I recommend having the fireplace insert on hand before beginning the project to ensure you allow for an appropriate opening.

Materials and Supplies for DIY Mantel

Materials and supplies will vary based on the size of your mantel. You can see the materials we used as a guide to help you plan your supplies.

Tools needed to complete the project.

How To Prepare The Fireplace Mantel Area

First, it’s important to prepare the area where your new DIY Mantel will be located.

You will need an electrical outlet within reach of the electric fireplace insert. Be sure that your outlet meets the specifications of the insert you purchase.

I recommend that the outlet be behind the faux fireplace mantel if possible.

It was necessary to raise the TV in our space, and to prevent the wires from being exposed; we installed a new electrical outlet behind the TV.

Caution: Be sure to hire a licensed electrician when making any electrical changes to your home if you are unfamiliar with the process.

How To Build The DIY Mantel Top

The materials for the DIY Mantel Top were 2″x8″x8′ pine lumber. Although I would have loved to have reclaimed materials, instead, we used new materials and made them look aged.

To create a deep mantel top, we attached the eight-inch wide boards together with biscuit joiners and wood glue.

We decided on three stacked boards to complete the top. To accommodate the depth of the fireplace insert, the smaller board would need to be 14 inches deep and 50 inches long.

The middle board was 15 inches deep and 52 inches long. Finally, the top board was 16 inches deep and 54 inches long.

Now that all the DIY mantel tops were cut and glued, the construction of the mantel frame began.

Clamp boards together to form the top of the DIY mantel

Framing the Shabby Chic Faux Fireplace Mantel

Before framing the Shabby Chic faux fireplace mantel, apply painter’s tape to the designated area to be enclosed.

With careful measurement, create a frame that will encase the electric fireplace insert and accommodate any architectural elements you plan to incorporate in the construction. In addition, be sure to allow for the backer board and tile installation.

We constructed the frame using standard construction wood nails and 2 x 4s framing.

Build a frame with 2x4's to encase the electric fireplace.

To ensure your materials are installed level both vertically and horizontally, use a laser level and a handheld level.

Level the frame work to build a shabby chic farmhouse style mantel.

Adding Backer Board and Tile

Once the frame is in place, you will want to add the Hardy Backer Board to apply the tile surrounding the faux fireplace.

You want the backer board to extend the entire width of the DIY mantel surround and install it using finishing nails.

Add backer board to the faux fireplace mantel surround.

Now, it’s time to install the tile surrounding the fake fireplace. Luckily, we found that a six-inch wide tile perfectly fits our space. Therefore, we will use six-inch tiles to cover the entire area around the fireplace opening.

Use the adhesive to apply the tile and follow the adhesive drying instructions before proceeding with construction.

Add tile to the faux fireplace mantel surround for an authentic shabby chic farmhouse style fireplace.

Encase the Faux Fireplace Mantel

Once the tile adhesive is dry, you can encase the faux fireplace mantel.

Using the 2″x8″ boards, add one board to either side of the tile and attach with wood screws.

To accommodate the fireplace insert, the eight-inch board was too narrow to fill the space at each end of the mantel. Therefore, it was necessary to make a wider board for the ends.

If you run into this problem, you can use a table saw to cut one of the boards to size. Then, join the two boards with glue and nails to attach to each end of the mantel.

Add wood to surround the frame work of the DIY Shabby Chic Faux Mantel.

How To Create An Aged Look To New Wood

To create an aged look to new wood on the mantel, stain the wood with a classic grey stain.

Wear protective gloves and rub the stain into the wood with a soft cloth to apply the stain.

Use stain to age the wood on the faux fireplace mantel to create an authentic antique looking mantel

Follow the stain with a Dark Wax to darken the wood.

Insider Tip

Be sure to apply the stain and dark wax to the new wood on the DIY mantel before adding the architectural elements unless you are staining them, too.

The porch posts we plan to use have shabby chic chippy white paint, and I didn’t want to alter their appearance.

Another option is to paint the new wood. I recommend using the grey stain first if you want an authentic, aged look for your mantel.

Use dark wax to further age the wood on the DIY mantel.

Adding Architectural Posts

Next, we are ready to add the shabby chic architectural posts to the mantel, and we had our first oopsy!

First, carefully measure the post height and cut them to size with a miter saw.

Insider Tip – Oopsy!

We realized we should have attached the porch posts before installing the front mantel boards. Fortunately, we had secured the boards with wood screws, and it was easy to disassemble.

We removed boards from the mantel enclosure, then attached the posts to them with screws from the backside.

Ideally, attach the posts to the front enclosure boards before attaching them to the mantel frame.

Attach vintage porch posts to boards with two wood screws from the back.

Finishing and Trimming the Shabby Chic DIY Mantel

Finally, you can trim and finish the Shabby Chic DIY Mantel.

We purchased some trim for the mantel top, but the remaining old porch posts were deconstructed, which added to the authenticity of the farmhouse mantel.

Every piece of the old porch posts was repurposed to use on the DIY mantel.

We assembled the repurposed flat boards and used them to fill the space above the tile. Other pieces enhanced the shabby chic farmhouse faux fireplace mantel design.

We found some of the pieces were fragile and applied them to the mantel with wood glue to prevent further damage. Painter’s tape held them in place until the glue was dry.

We constructed the mantel top from three boards, trimming it with new wood molding and staining it grey for an authentic, aged appearance.

Architectural salvage materials to make a Shabby Chic DIY Mantel that look like an authentic antique with electric fireplace.

Shabby Chic DIY Mantel

We are loving the new Shabby Chic DIY Mantel. The architectural elements create an authentic, aged feel to the farmhouse.

Architectural salvage materials to make a Shabby Chic DIY Mantel look like an old farmhouse mantel

The mantel has made such a difference to the living room. It has added a rich, warm, cozy focal point that was missing previously. I don’t even mind the black box above quite as much. LOL

Faux Fireplace Mantel for modern farmhouse.  Authentic looking shabby chic design.

Another previously purchased architectural piece frames the TV perfectly, enhancing the entire wall with vintage charm. Wait until you see the mantel decorated for Christmas. I’m sharing a home tour on Wednesday, so stay tuned.

Faux Fireplace Mantel for modern farmhouse.  Authentic looking shabby chic design. With TV and architectural elements.


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Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Beautiful! Looks as if it was constructed 100 years ago.

Rosie says hello to her brother Rudy.


Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Beautiful! Looks as if it was constructed 100 years ago.

Rosie says hello to her brother Rudy.


Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Lynn, What a great compliment. Thanks so much and awww that's so sweet. Rudy says hi back.


Monday 27th of November 2023

Looks fabulous Rachel! I love the all of the details and the chippy finish on the spindles.


Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Wendy, Thank you, it is amazing the difference it makes in the room.

Donna Fredricksen

Monday 27th of November 2023

Great job on the Shabby Chic Fireplace mantle!!! I love it!


Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Donna, I appreciate this. Thanks for your comments.


Monday 27th of November 2023



Monday 27th of November 2023

Debbie, I'm so glad you like it. Thanks for stopping by.