When I spotted the mantel at a local thrift store I was thrilled! I grew up with a wood burning stove and fireplaces in every house after that. When Bill (my husband and hero in this project), said we couldn’t reasonably put a wood burning fireplace into our home (I know it was just a few structural walls!) this was my solution.
Did I mention that this mantel was on sale at a thrift store!? So, five dollars later and help from my parents with the transportation in a Westfalia, we have this huge, monster of a mantel in our garage. It had, what I hoped, was the remainder of wasps’ nest and lots of grime.
Not going to lie, it stayed in the garage on a sheet until I knew it was clean and bug free. You want to be careful bringing found objects inside. We cleaned it up, sanded it down and put on a couple coats of white paint.
Bill built and painted an insert, that is the black box you see today. He also repositioned an air return that would have been blocked by the new mantel. Some finishing decorations and we were good to go! It still can come completely apart, even though people ask it if came with the house.