Our fireplace makeover stage 3 {covering the stone with wood}

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Our fireplace makeover is almost finished! Yay! This has been a DIY project for the record books. It’s probably the biggest DIY project we have tackled in our home other then ripping down walls but that doesn’t count. ha. These pictures don’t show the completed painted fireplace but you will see it take transformation. I still need to mix mortar and fill in the gaps between the existing stone and new wood surround we added as well as paint the chocolate brown fireplace insert. I purchased high heat black paint from Home Depot and plan on painting the insert this weekend.

diy fireplace makeover

This is where we left off last week, stage 2 – framing the vents .

diy fireplace makeover framing around vents

Be sure to check out stage 1 and stage 2 to see how we constructed our frame. Once your frame is completed, the next phase is to cover the fireplace with wood. We used a combination of plywood and pine ( 1 x 6 pieces cut to size) . Start by measuring and cutting your wood to size. We covered our frame (the front facing portion) with plywood first. Then we added the finished pine (the wood you paint and see) last. The reason why we added plywood in addition to the pine (created an extra layer) was because I wanted to create columns on either side of the fireplace insert. In order to do this, we need to give the appearance that the sides were larger. The plywood added an extra inch of depth. I suppose I could have just purchased pre-made columns but they are extremely expensive and the plywood essentially created the visual appearance that I was looking for. I saved about $500 by using the plywood and creating our own columns.

This is a portion of the frame from stage 2.

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This is how the frame looks now with the plywood and pine covering the frame.

diy fireplace makeover covering stone

We used the pine and 1/4″ craft board (that I purchased at Lowes in the trim section) to cover the inside of the frame. We had a small problem covering the stone near the fireplace insert. In order to prevent a gap, I wanted the wood to fit behind the frame. We only had a 1/4″ to work with so I went to Lowes and found craft board (in the trim section) that was perfect. It wasn’t cheap but thankfully I only needed a few pieces. Lowes has a great selection of finished wood that comes in a variety of thickness sizes. We do not use this fireplace and plan on installing a pellet stove which will provide a steel insert. Be sure to check your local fire code prior to working on a stove and adding wood as a surround. We added these decorative elements because we do not use the stove. The pellet stove will essentially cover these decorative pieces once installed.

diy fireplace makeover covering stone

My gramps supervising. He does this well! He has had a few nose bleeds so he isn’t allowed to help at the moment. He is completely annoyed with aging. He thinks he is 30 years old but his old body is catching up with him.

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Once we covered the front facing portion of the fireplace with plywood, this is how it looked.

diy fireplace makeover covering stone-1

We used 1″ trim molding pieces to fill in any gaps between the frame and the plywood.

Next we added the pine (1″ x 6 pieces cut to size) over the plywood.

diy fireplace makeover covering stone-1

Isn’t it amazing the difference wood can make?

diy fireplace makeover covering stone


diy fireplace makeover covering stone-1

The picture above from instagram was snapped by my 7 year old son with my phone. He kept saying, “mom, what are you and gramps doing to the fireplace…..are you making it pretty?” haha. He has learned quickly that I like “pretty.” haha. Next week I will show you how to create faux columns with wood as well as how we created our mantel. Our fireplace makeover is almost finished and I cannot tell you how happy that makes me. It’s been a lot of work updating the fireplace but well worth it. I have since painted the fireplace and the room and the new couch is being delivered tomorrow. Now for the fun part, decorating and making the curtains :).

UPDATE: You can see the full fireplace reveal here.

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. I’ve been checking each day for an update on your fireplace! I’m hoping to do something similar over our brick, eventually. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  2. This will be a grand fireplace when it’s done! I can’t wait to see the finished project. I love that it’s a total family affair!

  3. Is your 7 yo anxious about the fireplace being done before 12/24 eve?? ha

    1. He sure is Brenda! He is starting to question though how Santa fits through the little tiny hole. haha

  4. Lisa Gower Montgomery says:

    I am So looking forward to seeing this in the end. As a decorator, the fireplace is always a focal point in a room. Some see a dated one and think its hopeless. Others update it and the entire room is rejuvenated! I think that it is special that the different generations help with the projects. My mom and dad helped us build our house 12 1/2 years ago. Mama is gone now but daddy still lives with us. I treasure still having him and can look everywhere in my home and see woodwork that he did. It not only makes a house a home but also a place of memories! Lisa

    1. Sorry about your mom 🙁 That is great that your dad gets to live with you and where he put his hard work and efforts in. Sounds like you have great memories 🙂 Stay in touch!

  5. I have almost the same fireplace, but the center has a HUGE woodburning insert. My question is this: How safe is it to cover all of those vents?
    I have two on each side and two in the center portion.

    Thanks for your reply! Love your new fireplace….my husband loves ours…but it is not PRETTY!!! LOL

    1. We are installing a pellet stove so for us it didn’t matter about the vents but you should ck with your local code/guidelines. I have seen people use the decorative grates over vents and it looks good. 🙂

  6. Hi, looks great… However you need to check your local and state building code and fire code… Most codes call for a minimum of 6″ between wood and the burning chamber, yours look like its only an inch or two… Could be out of code and a possible fire hazard…

    1. Thanks Ken. Yes, we are putting a pellet stove in so it will end up covering the entire front surround. I agree, everyone should check their fire code requirements.

  7. Hi! We’re thinking of doing this with our god-awful brick facade fireplace that covers a whole wall! Ugh! I searched for the post about the mantel and columns you mentioned at the end of this post but couldn’t find it. Could you point me in the right direction, please?
    Also, we do not use our fireplace, either. Do you think we could put in one of those electric stoves? Or would that be a hazard?
    Thanks so much, really enjoying your blog!

    1. Thank you! I would check with your local fire department/building code requirements. Not sure. HOme Depot and Lowes carry them. Good luck with your fireplace 🙂

  8. Goodfella says:

    This is just what I was looking for, thanks for the inspiration.

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