DIY Projects: Farmhouse Fireplace Renovation

Ladypreneur Personal Intentions: Home Projects + Goals Section

Initially, I did not consider my husband + I the DIY types, but upon consideration, we actually are!  Mike is extremely handy + attempts to do much of our home improvements on his own.  I help when + where I can + we truly enjoy tackling projects to improve our house together (after 15 years of marriage, only recently have we been able to work together on projects.  I call that progress!)

The issue is, we handle projects very differently.  Mike likes to get them done as fast as possible because

A.  He doesn’t like parts of the house torn apart

B.  He never leaves things half done for long

Me, I like to take my time + feel the space; I assume that is my artistic side.  Many of these projects are firsts for us so I like to analyze all possibilities and aspects before diving in. Even pausing mid-project to take time to feel the change + see where the direction is taking us:  I like to let the project evolve.

Farmhouse Fireplace Renovation

The artistic scenario is exactly what happened with the fireplace.  We started with the idea of have pallet wood and boxing out the top of the mantle up to the ceiling.  We had a completely different idea of what the end would look like until half way through when our whole vision Mike saw something online that gave him the idea of the faux barn doors we ended up with!

I came home from visiting my BFF in Charleston, South Carolina so inspired with fresh decor ideas, based on the farmhouse style. Now don’t get me wrong I LOVE every aspect of our house, but after 8 years, it was time for updating!

My first obstacle when it came to changing things was how to approach Mike about painting our fireplace. I wasn’t sure how he would react or if he would even go for it at all; to my surprise he was on board immediately!

I no longer wanted red brick + when we read about white washing I was hopeful, but a little nervous it would turn it pink. Whitewashing is adding water to the paint + literally washing it onto the brick! Read more about the process of whitewashing here! Once Mike started we knew whitewashing would be a perfect solution. So we researched chalk paint, which is something we hadn’t used before, + found this Valspar Chalky Finish Paint at Lowes

We used that same chalk paint to then paint the wood.  It took 2 coats, then I used heavy sand paper to sand it into a vintage look!
 We then knew we wanted a fresh new large, thick mantle. My trainer Kerri from Solid Training told me about a saw mill not far from us called Schairer Bros. I have never ever been to a saw mill and when I pulled in I fell completely in LOVE! They were so helpful and showed me around the space!


I ended up getting a rough cut piece of lumber that was 3ft by 80 inches long for $35!

Then it was time to pick a color and stain the lumber; for that we chose rustoleum Kona, again from Lowes.

Mike stained it while I was out working + I came home swooning over the evolution + how amazing it all looked already. I didn’t think just laying the lumber onto the mantle was going to work but I put my trust in Mike when he said it would look fine! The new wood is literally laying on the old mantle!

So as I mentioned earlier we thought we were going to be adding pallet wood and boxing about above the mantle up to the ceiling.  While this project was going on Mike kept bringing home pallets for me to look at and then bringing them back to work when I thought they wouldn’t work.  Meanwhile, I was starting to read about pallets and how you should clean them, etc.  We decided pallets weren’t for us, one reason being making sure they are clean enough to be in our home.  We decided to explore other options when Mike came across faux barn doors and we both got really excited + went back to Lowes to study our options. We ended up buying already painted wood which does cost more but, well, convenience is worth the price in my opinion!

We ended up buying 4 different colors and cut them 5 1/2 ft by 36 1/2 inches.

Mike laid them up on the mantle + we took a step back:

They just didn’t look farmhouse enough for me, so we decided to rough them up a bit:  that’s when we rubbed dirt and sand paper on them!

This texturizing really did the trick to visually soften + add the rustic dimension of a weathered farmhouse!

Finally Mike constructed the faux doors + the look we wanted was finally achieved.

Next stop was my favorite: Hobby Lobby! As a professional photographer, this may be one of my faovritestest stores EVER!  Mike had never been in there + he couldn’t believe the stuff they had.  He started putting expensive lanterns in the cart + I have to say I enjoyed watching him shop for decor! This was a project that we enjoyed doing together + decorating the fresh new mantle was so much fun!

We bought battery operated candles, which I look forward to using throughout the holiday!

None of this would have been possible without my Ladypreneur Life Organizer + Day Director!  My busy professional + personal schedule is jammed, so Mike + I work together to keep the “Home Projects + Goals” section of the Personal Intentions for the Year Ahead page updated!



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