Reader's Gallery

Arts and Crafts fireplace surround

comments (3) January 5th, 2014 in Reader's Gallery

Michael503 Michael503, member
thumbs up 5 users recommend

Lizard signature

Back in the fall, SWMBO and I had to replace the drywall in 2 rooms to insulate and repair a sagging ceiling. The project snowballed (it was supposed to just be a ceiling) and when we were almost done, just because everything else looked so nice, we decided to retile the fireplace. The original tile was white, and broken, and the original surround was fir with 60 years of paint on it. Not very attractive either.  


This is what we ended up with. To keep from having to perform serious drywall repairs, I made the surround just slightly larger than the original one.


This cherry surround is assembled almost entirely with mechanical fasteners. There is no special joinery, except for the false thru tenon detail at the bottom of each leg. Pocket holes were used to fasten the mantel shelf to the knees. The entire assembly hangs on french cleats and can be removed by lifting it from the hangers.

The edges and faces of the legs, commonly adorned on other surrounds with some sort of relieved detail are left plain on this piece. This wood has so much character, I decided to let it speak for itself rather than busy it up further with flutes and such.

There is a small lizard carved into one of the knees. My signature.


After sealing any endgrain with Zinsser sealcoat, the finish is 1 coat of Minwax antique oil and 2-3 coats of Minwax wipe on satin poly, 600 grit sanded, 0000 wool scuffed and waxed.


I have made the sketchup file available for anyone who wants a closer look.

Design or Plan used: My own design - Mantel.skp

posted in: Reader's Gallery, , cherry, arts and crafts, built-in, shelf

Comments (3)

pintodeluxe pintodeluxe writes: Wonderful mantle, it is gorgeous.
Love it.
Posted: 4:54 pm on February 4th

trantj trantj writes: Elegant! Thanks for sharing.
Posted: 8:44 am on January 7th

Tom77 Tom77 writes: Nice job of both design and execution.
Posted: 9:46 am on January 6th

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