I can’t believe I am just now sharing one of our latest projects of installing shiplap above the fireplace. If you follow me over on Facebook or Instagram, you have already seen that our fireplace got a big makeover after the holidays. But, I realize that not all of you do any type of social media. So I promised myself recently to keep all of my bloggy buddies in the loop, too.
We noticed that our fireplace mantel had pulled away from the wall a few months before Christmas. We were concerned it would be a major problem. Was the entire brick structure collapsing? Were there issues with the firebox? Is the entire wall going to cave in? Nervous Nellie over here just knew it was going to cost $1.5 million. With the upcoming Historical Society Christmas Walk, it was NOT a good time to tear into a big project. So we waited. When I took the Christmas decor off of the fireplace mantel, let’s just say I just about shat my pants. I noticed the plaster wall was cracked about a foot above the mantel. ???? And, the mantel was about two inches away from the wall by this time.
Deb felt we needed to address this issue sooner rather than later. She started planning where to start and, you know me, I was planning the end stages of the project. Could we add ship lap above it? What about adding big columns on each side? So, on January 1, we started this potentially major project. We removed the fireplace mantel from the wall and tore off all of the cracked plaster above it and removed the sconces. All to find that it was just that – cracked plaster. It was structurally sound. Thank God.
Note: Our house isn’t filled with your average joe plaster and lath on the walls. It’s the heavy concrete type of plaster with the wire mesh – aka, pain in the ass walls. Oh my gosh, Deb hates them.
We had the entire house insulated during the big renovation. Due to the entire exterior structure being brick, insulation was blown in the walls from the inside. The crew didn’t blow insulation above the fireplace mantel because they didn’t know what was behind that wall. And since the house was built in 1945, they didn’t know if it was up to code. We think that from the cold of the outside wall and the warmth from the fireplace inside, the heavy plaster cracked. That crack pushed the top of the fireplace mantel away from the 2 x 4’s inside the wall.
We obviously inspected everything really well, insulated, and used fireproof drywall to repair the wall. Then the fun part began. We wanted our fireplace mantel to make a bigger statement since this room is so large. Using scrap wood, Deb installed boards to resemble shiplap giving that wall a lot more interest. And, of course, we had to add a big wide chippy board we got from a friend. I stained all of the raw wood a dark walnut color and then painted them all white using this technique. She then obviously hung the same sconces back up. I think if gave the sconces a whole different look, too.
What do you think? I think it makes such a bigger statement than the wimpy mantel we had before. Speaking of wimpy. Tomorrow I’m going to tell you about our new coffee table, that is definitely not wimpy.
Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. I really appreciate it! I pledge my love.
Buh bye now!
Shop a similar look to our family room below: