A dated fireplace surround is jazzed up with crown molding and new paint.
Materials and Tools:
3/4" birch plywood
crown molding (12 linear feet)
1. Demolition. Carefully remove the shelves, paneling, doors and shelf supports, being careful not to damage the walls any more than necessary.
2. Patch the plaster. Using 20-minute joint compound, patch all the holes in the plaster.
3. Finish the alcove and build mantel. Cut a piece of plywood to fit in the alcove, then extend it out 8 inches for the width of the fireplace. The 8-inch ledge will become the mantle. Nail a piece of crown molding to the underside of the plywood to finish the mantle.
4. Prime and paint. Paint the entire room and the fireplace. Try painting the fireplace a contrasting color to make it more of a distinct feature in the room.