Weekend Projects: Extending the Space Above the Fireplace Mantel

Make your fireplace the focal point of your room by extending the space above the mantel. It will take less than a weekend and cost less than $100 in materials.

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The fireplace extension is taken up to the ceiling then adorned with scroll artwork.

The fireplace extension is taken up to the ceiling then adorned with scroll artwork.

Tools and Materials:

3/4” medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
wooden medallion
circular saw
jig saw
miter saw
tape measure
primer and paint
screw gun and wood screws
wood glue
nail gun and nails
wood filler and putty


1. Draw a diagram of your design. We built our extension just slightly narrower than the mantel with a two-inch indentation on each side.

2. Transfer your design onto the MDF then use a circular saw to cut it out.



3. Trim out the MDF in molding. We used two different types of molding on our mantel extension. The first set molding was miter cut and laid on top of the MDF and secured with wood glue and nails.

4. The second set of molding is a flat piece that we affixed to the side of the MDF to give the mantel extension a clean profile. Use the same technique to cut and affix the second set of molding.

5. We’re putting a wooden medallion in the center of our mantel extension. To make it stand out, we’re outlining the medallion in the same molding that runs along the face of the extension. To do this, we cut down the molding on the miter saw using 45 degree cuts and attached it with glue and nails.



6. Apply a coat of primer and then paint. We also painted the space behind the medallion red to give it a little extra pop. Let the paint dry completely.

7. To mount the extension to the wall, fasten a couple strips scrap wood into the studs. Then screw through the extension into the wood.

8. Fill the screw holes with putty and touch up the paint.

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