Fireplace makeover phase 3: Adding height

I’m so excited to finally announce that our fireplace makeover is complete! We rushed through last weekend to complete the final build out so that the fireplace would be ready for Christmas decorating after Thanksgiving.

cheap fireplace makoverIn case you are just joining us: in phase 1 we painted all the bookshelves and mantle and in phase two we painted the brass fireplace doors and tools.  Phase 3 was the most ambitious part of the makeover: building out the fireplace so it extends to the ceiling and creating  faux chimney.  We really wanted the fireplace to be the focal pint of the room, so we decided to add a faux chimney surround to add grandeur to the focal wall.  The build out includes a board and batten shaker style design to match the kitchen island that we built as well as a two piece crown molding to match the rest of the house.

making a fireplace larger


The project started by building the frame in the garage out of 2 x 4s.


adding height to a fireplace

Then we attached the frame to the wall above the fireplace using dry wall screws. Since the wall already had crown molding we had to remove it above the fireplace first.

how to add molding to a fireplace

We then covered the frame in 1/8″ Sanded Hardwood Plywood and attached smaller strips using a nail gun to create the board and batten pattern. See our post on how we made the board and batten cover panel for the island for more info.

how to make a fireplace taller

Here’s a side view of the corners.

board and batten fireplace

Next, we added the crown molding to the top of the surround. We choose a two piece crown (made of a baseboard and a piece of crown) for the fireplace which was slightly fancier than the rest of the crown in the family room, but consistent with the rest of the house.


covering a chimney

Finally, we caulked all the seams and nail holes then painted it with one coat of primer and two coats of Valspar Ultra White to match the rest of the fireplace. The pictures don’t do the molding justice as they kind of wash it out, but in person the pattern is much more obvious.

shaker fireplace molding

And here it is with all our decor back in place with our now famous reclaimed wood moose head taking center stage.

faux chimney build out

The decor is still in the temporary trying to decide what I want phase and the picture to the right of the fireplace still needs to be framed, but right now we are pretty impressed with ourselves.

Update: Check out the extra large custom frame we made for the subway art!

faux chimney makeover

The fireplace, which was nice to being with, has come a long way. There is absolutely no doubt that it’s the focal point of the room now.

Fireplace before

One of the awesome things about this makeover is that it wasn’t hard and it wasn’t expensive yet it made a huge impact. Who wouldn’t like that? Here’s the break down of the budget:

Crown Molding                            13.63

Base board                                    16.03

Drywall screws                              6.47

Sanded hardwood Plywood     22.97

2 x 4s                                                 left over from previous project

Primer                                              already had

Paint                                                 already had

Caulk                                                already had

Total                                                $59.51

We bought everything for this project from Home Depot. As you can see above we already had the 2 x 4s, paint, and caulk left over from other projects, so this might cost you closer to $100 if you had to purchase everything, but I think that’s still a steal!

Pssst….. the family room is finally done!Family Room Reveal

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xoxo Stephanie

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