The Shack: Our Little Poconos Getaway and Finishing the Fireplace Mantel (Post #24)

Well, this is it…the post about the final additions to our beautiful reclaimed wood fireplace mantel at The Shack.  You may recall, my designs called for building out the mantelpiece high onto the wall with an overmantel.  Last time, we nearly completed the bottom portion of the mantel.  Here’s where I left you:


In this photo you can see most of the base is complete. We decided to take a breath at this point, and live with the mantel as-is for a bit. It already looks soooo much better, don’t you think? I’m loving the new taller and wider proportions and those pretty vintage elements. They add so much rustic charm. But I can’t wait until we get that top portion done. I think the overmantel will be a real show-stopper!

We still need to add the small brackets beneath the piano ‘legs’ on either side of the base and an oak board across the middle under the mantel shelf.  Then the entire top portion needs to be built out.


First I lightly sanded the reclaimed antique carved oak piano panel, and coated the entire thing with a coat of fresh stain. You can see the details around the edges where the stain is being applied…it’s so much shinier and darker. Amazing how a little finish work can freshen up an antique piece like this!!


You probably remember, the overmantel was meticulously laid out and planned, before we began assembling any part of this reclaimed fireplace mantel at The Shack.


First we cut the pieces and laid it all out on the floor, to get the sizing exactly right.


Then we began assembling the top portion of our mantelpiece. My husband carpenter used biscuit joints to assemble the piece. Basically you use a power tool called a slot cutter to create these little pockets in the wood pieces. Then you take a ‘biscuit’ and coat it with glue, and insert it into the slots of both pieces you’re joining. After you clamp the whole thing together, the biscuits continue to swell up inside the joint. When everything is dry…it’s a super tight joint and very sturdy too!


Here you can see the biscuit joiner, used to create the slots in your wood pieces. Beneath that, you can see the biscuits in their slots, ready for some glue to be added and clamps applied.  A few hours later and we can mount this whole thing to the wall above the mantle shelf.


Once some of the pieces were assembled, we applied the main portion of the overmantel to the wall. Of course, we made sure to attach this portion into the studs before adding the crown boards across the top of the mantel.


We also added the last few details to the bottom portion, by attaching the small scroll pieces underneath the piano legs along with the piece of reclaimed oak running horizontally across the center. We also decided to add a small amount of painted cove molding at the very top between the mantel shelf and the side details, to finish things off a bit.


Here’s the top portion of our completed overmantel at The Shack. I wanted to keep everything simple with clean lines, yet still incorporate those wonderful antique oak pieces into the design. I really think the effect turned out pretty well…it’s exactly the way I envisioned it!


Now you can see that our reclaimed fireplace mantel has become the true focal point of our living space. It anchors everything so beautifully and really makes a wonderful centerpiece for the main living area at The Shack. It’s very cozy in the wintertime! What could be better for a little mountain house in the woods?


Just in case you were wondering…Silvia loves the new mantel too!! Merry Christmas everyone!

Thanks for joining me for the final faze of our custom mantel build-out. Stay tuned for further updates about The Shack.  I’m planning to share the details of staircase renovation with you soon. Until then, make sure to like Robinson Interiors on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, and DO stay tuned for future updates on The Shack!

Click on this image to be taken directly to my website for more information on Robinson Interiors.

Click on this image to be taken directly to my website for more information on Robinson Interiors.


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