In our latest renovation project, we gave a dated fireplace a complete makeover. This included overgrouting the brick, building a custom DIY fireplace surround, and painting it all white. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you exactly how I built the Fireplace Surround.
Keep in mind that the measurements and material are based on the dimensions of the fireplace we remodeled. You’ll need to measure your own fireplace and do some figuring before you get started with this project.
What is a Fireplace Surround?
A fireplace surround is a frame that surrounds the opening of a fireplace. Fireplace surrounds are not only aesthetically pleasing but also have a function. The primary function of a fireplace surround is to protect the wall behind the fireplace from heat damage. It also helps deflect heat back into the room, making it more efficient. In addition, a well-designed fireplace surround can enhance the overall appearance of the room and make the fireplace a focal point.
Tools & Materials
- (7) 1×3 x 8 ft poplar or primed pine
- (1) 1×6 x 8 ft poplar or primed pine
- (1) 1×6 x 6 ft poplar or primed pine
- (1) 1×8 x 8 ft poplar or primed pine
- (1) 1×8 x 6 ft poplar or primed pine
- (11 linear ft) 4 5/8” crown moulding
- (12 linear ft) 2 5/8” crown moulding
- 1 1/4” 16 ga finish nails
- Wood Glue
- Miter Saw
- Angled Finish Nailer
- Tape Measure
Step 1: Measure the Fireplace
The first step in building this fireplace surround was to measure the fireplace opening. Using a tape measure, I measured the width and height. Then I added an additional 6 inches to the height and width. The National Fire Code requires that you have at least 6 inches between the firebox opening and any surround or mantle made of combustible material.
After I had my measurements, I used 1x3s to build the first level of the surround as shown in the illustration. I used wood glue and finish nails to fasten the pieces together as shown.
Next, I cut 3 pieces of 1x6s as shown. I glued and nailed them to the back of the 1×3, making sure that all of the joints were flush.
I cut three pieces of 1×3 as you see in the illustration. Then I nailed and glued them in place as shown. I had to use clamps to hold them in place while I used the nail gun.
I cut three more pieces of 1x3s to the lengths shown below. Using clamps to hold them in place, I glued and nailed them in place as you can see in the illustration.
In this step, I cut three final pieces of 1x3s and glued and nailed them in place as shown. I used clamps to hold them in place.
Step 7: Start Adding Crown Moulding
Next, I added the first layer of crown moulding. I cut three pieces of 4 5/8 crown with inside miters on the ends where the pieces meet. Then I glued and nailed them in place as shown.
For the second layer of crown moulding, I cut three pieces of 2 5/8 crown with inside miters on the ends where the pieces meet, just like in step 7. Then I glued and nailed them in place as shown.
Step 9: Add the Top and Sides to the Fireplace Surround
To close in the surround, I cut three pieces of 1×8 to the lengths shown below. I cut miters on the ends where the pieces meet. Then I glued and nailed them in place making sure the corner joints were flush.
Step 10: Finishing Touches
After I finished building the fireplace surround, I filled all of the nail holes and sanded the entire surround. Then I caulked all of the cracks and joints. Once the caulk had dried, I painted the fireplace surround with a paint sprayer for a smooth finish.