Saturday, April 21, 2012

How My Fireplace Heater Grew Up {makeover story}

As I mentioned in my master bedroom reveal
the heater/fireplace used to look like this:

It did NOT look nice in my newly painted bedroom and since we need the heat in the winter,
it need to stay in the bedroom. So, I gave it a makeover. On the cheap. With lots of repurposing.
 I took a kitchen cabinet that I got from the Habitat ReStore for $2;
removed the doors and cut out the center post. Then I took the board
that had been the top for the 'mantle' and put it inside the cupboard and glued it
in place. After the glue was dry, I also nailed it. Then I took a piece of 
trim I had leftover from another project (I think it's called cove molding)
and tacked it around the 'cupboard door opening'. This gave me a
recessed panel. I had planned for this to be the bottom as you can see in this picture.
However, after I had it sitting like this, I decided it didn't look right so
I switched them around. What is the top part in the above picture is a
1 X 8 board that I had left from another project. I just cut it and screwed it 
into a rectangle the size I needed then sat it on a piece of plywood from my scrap pile.
To bridge the gap between the top and bottom, I found 2 cabinet doors
at the Habitat ReStore ($2 apiece) that were almost perfectly the size I needed.

They were just a tad too short so I reused some of the trim I had removed
from the original mantle. I applied it at the top because I planned to partially
cover it with another piece of cove molding when I had the mantle top on.

Now the only place I needed to 'fill in' yet was the sides on the front. I didn't have
anything in my stash/scrap pile that would work so I bought a piece of fluted MDF
trim (the widest I could find; I think 5") from Menards. I think it cost around
$10 for the piece. I also purchased a piece of trim for around the bottom
to give it a finished look. I think that piece was around $10 also.

After piecing this all together, the last thing to do before painting it was to apply
the wooden applique. I had this on hand because I had purchased it for another project
but it ended up being too big. I had planned to return it but hadn't gotten around to it yet.
Since it was the perfect size, I used it on this project. I think it cost $8 - $10 but I don't really remember.

I gave the whole thing a coat of Kilz primer. I wanted a quality blocking primer
since some areas were stain. After priming, I spray painted 3 or 4 coats of white paint.

For the mantle top I used cedar fence boards that my DH purchased
at an auction several years ago. He bought a huge skid of if for a little bit of nothing.
We have used it for different things like lining the walls of a storage shed, siding
for the playhouse he built for the boys, a desk top, and now a mantle top.
I cut them to length, sanded them to even out the color and used an anique oil finish on them.
I sealed it off with clear wax.

Here's the whole thing, decked out in my master bedroom.

And the obligatory 'before and after' picture:

The picket fence on the mantle is from beside this shed.

It is on the left in this picture behind the bush. Anyway, this shed is
coming down and everything around it. I wanted to rescue the fence
before DH decided it was kindling. :) I took the fence piece and cut it
in half. It was green algaeish and yucky. I gave it a good scrubbing
and it came out perfectly chippy and just right to put above my mantle.
The lantern on the left is from Hobby Lobby (purchased when 1/2 off). I have it sitting
on some old books my MIL gave me. She knows I like old things and will 
periodically bring me things she has rescued from the trash. :)

The letter 'B' (for our last name) is a wooden letter from Hobby Lobby. I painted it white
then traced it over on a piece of vellum scrapbook paper that has a gray damask design.
I cut out the B and spray glued it to the wooden letter. The gray granite bucket holding the
hydrangeas is 'robbed' from the kitchen. It was just sitting in a cupboard with no
special purpose. Now I've given it the special purpose of holding my lovely hydrangeas.

The old blue bottle holding the pussy willows was found in 'that old shed'. There is a lower
level that has a dirt floor. It is accessible from the cow pasture and had been 
used in the past by the cows for shelter. 
I ventured down there one day and was astonished at what I found.
There were old crocks and bottles galore! I don't know why they were there - my guess is
there used to be a spring and it was used to keep things cold?? Anyway, this bottle
was one of the things I found. It says "Consolidated Bottling, Lima Oh." on it. (Lima is local.)
Pussy willow stem is from Hobby Lobby. (Can you tell I love that store?) :)

The music box sitting in front of the bottle is a gift from a family friend 
when I was a little girl.
It's not valuable but it has special meaning to me..

The clock on the fence is was a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law several years ago.
It has been hanging in the kitchen but I needed something to hang here. I like it
here but I kinda miss it in the kitchen. I'm not sure where it will end up.

So there it is, the story of how my little heater grew up to be a lovely lady.
And if you're still reading, thanks for following along with my rambling.

Linking to:


  1. nicely done! i like your rambling bits & pieces way of putting it together! Esther

  2. Found you from FJI's party. I posted a fireplace, too, so I had to check out yours! It is awesome! You did a wonderful job!
    Glad to have found you!

    Jen @ Noting Grace

  3. Found you from FJI's party. I posted a fireplace, too, so I had to check out yours! It is awesome! You did a wonderful job!
    Glad to have found you!

    Jen @ Noting Grace

  4. Wahhh? I had no idea all that work went it to that makeover. It looks fab and so much more substantial.

  5. Oh Rachel, this is so awesome. You may have to take a second job at remaking for people. (yeah, like that would happen with all you do with your little family :-) You have such good ideas. I really, really like this, I don't consider reading your blog ramblings... On another note, old crocks, bottles and the like are valuable, you may be able to sell some (I am secretly jealous) I have heard that older places, like your farmhouse had a 'dump' pile where bottles and such were thrown. Our grandparents would probably shake their heads at what we collect today...Anyway, nice job. I look forward to seeing more of your home.

  6. Wonderful job you did on the fireplace. I like how you used scraps and very little money.

    ~here via FJI-SNS #130


  7. Wowzers, you did a great job with that! The end product looks so "put together" I had no idea it had so many random pieces involved. Looks great!

  8. WOW-- that's all I can say! Absolutely beautiful!

  9. Hey Girl!
    I can't help it! You have great projects! As I read this I just kept saying wow thats so cool! I would love to feature this one too in a couple weeks, if you are ok with that!

  10. That looks fabulous! I only wish we had a similar ReStore near us. Our house is almost 150, but all that is left of the barn and carriage stone are the large foundation stones. Little by little, we're carving the old homestead out of the forest and reclaiming space for pasture and an orchard. Drop by and let me know what you think. :)


Thanks for taking the time to make my day with your comments!