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Remodeling a Fireplace Surround

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)
table saw
crowbar
hammer
measuring tape
painting supplies
pencil
safety glasses

Before

Steps:
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.

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