DIY Marble Fireplace & Mantel Makeover

Towards the end of February I got contacted about joining a DIY mantel makeover challenge sponsored by Angie’s List. I was super intimidated because I knew that a project of this scope would be HUGE and that I’d have to get over my fear of tiling because I dreamed of having a marble surround.

This is a DIY before and after fireplace makeover that is a must see. The post features tons of photos of the new marble fireplace surround, and the blogger custom built the mantelshelf using inexpensive wood and MDF. There's a link to a detailed tutorial on how she did it. (via monicawantsit.com)

While I love DIY-ing nearly anything, I do get apprehensive about tile and woodworking type stuff because they’re very exact type of projects. You can’t fudge the numbers on something like this, and while I am a perfectionist, I also realize that 1/16th’s are freakin’ tiny. 

Keeping all that in mind…I said yes and committed to this huge project. So, I got the go ahead to begin working on the mantel on March 17 and my “after” photos and tutorial were due March 30. (OH MY GOSH)

Words cannot describe the sheer panic I felt, but I did it! Well, Daniel and I tag teamed this project, and we did have my expert DIY brother-in-law on retainer, and I love the outcome.

Here’s the before. 

MOMENT OF TRUTH: I’ve been photoshopping and/or cleverly covering those bare wood chunks you see below the mantelshelf since the tiny fireplace facelift we did in 2014 with The Home Depot. (Bad blogger, sorry!!) I had planned on covering them with corbels, but this all worked out anyway. And for the record, we got nearly 99% of the supplies for this project at The Home Depot, so you can accomplish this look, too. No special order anything for this DIY makeover.

This is a DIY before and after fireplace makeover that is a must see. The post features tons of photos of the new marble fireplace surround, and the blogger custom built the mantelshelf using inexpensive wood and MDF. There's a link to a detailed tutorial on how she did it. (via monicawantsit.com)

If you want a FULL tutorial (I’m talking 3000+ words), you can check it out on the Angie’s List website. It is detailed and if you have questions, shoot me an email or drop a comment below.

Here’s the after:

This is a DIY before and after fireplace makeover that is a must see. The post features tons of photos of the new marble fireplace surround, and the blogger custom built the mantelshelf using inexpensive wood and MDF. There's a link to a detailed tutorial on how she did it. (via monicawantsit.com)

I’m up against 8 other bloggers for bragging rights and a prize, so I’d be so grateful if you took 2 seconds to vote for my mantel (it’s under Monica Benavidez). You can vote daily if you’d like, but just once would be swell.

This is a DIY before and after fireplace makeover that is a must see. The post features tons of photos of the new marble fireplace surround, and the blogger custom built the mantelshelf using inexpensive wood and MDF. There's a link to a detailed tutorial on how she did it. (via monicawantsit.com)

It honestly was the absolute hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I am sure Daniel would agree. However, it was totally worth it. I do feel like the mantel is massive, but given how large our living room is and the tall ceilings…it works. I am looking forward to decking it out with a beautiful garland for the holidays. 

This is a DIY before and after fireplace makeover that is a must see. The post features tons of photos of the new marble fireplace surround, and the blogger custom built the mantelshelf using inexpensive wood and MDF. There's a link to a detailed tutorial on how she did it. (via monicawantsit.com)

Overall, this project cost quite a bit since we had to buy a tile saw and some other big ticket items, and we splurged on $16/sq. foot marble tile and do not regret it. I feel like our living room lacked a focal point and now it has a beautiful one.

This is a DIY before and after fireplace makeover that is a must see. The post features tons of photos of the new marble fireplace surround, and the blogger custom built the mantelshelf using inexpensive wood and MDF. There's a link to a detailed tutorial on how she did it. (via monicawantsit.com)

Tiling wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be, and I was also surprised at how fabulous lattice looks once it’s painted and caulked (this is how we made the “recessed” boxes). 

This is a DIY before and after fireplace makeover that is a must see. The post features tons of photos of the new marble fireplace surround, and the blogger custom built the mantelshelf using inexpensive wood and MDF. There's a link to a detailed tutorial on how she did it. (via monicawantsit.com)

I hope that sometime in 2016 we’ll rip up the 20+ year old beige carpet in the living room and put in the same flooring we have in the dining room and master bedroom. But for now, I’m totes enjoying our mantel masterpiece.

What do you think? It’s pretty, right? (Please say it’s pretty!)

Vote here for my project 

(Please and Thank You!)

Linking up at http://www.thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/

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11 Comments

  1. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life
    May 2, 2016 / 10:33 pm

    Oh wow what a fabulous transformation. It looks amazing. I love it. Congratulations, great job.

  2. Jennifer Schmitz
    May 3, 2016 / 2:47 am

    Its beautiful!!!!! You guys did a great job and I love the tile you picked out.

  3. Jamala Wallace
    May 3, 2016 / 8:23 am

    It's absolutely gorgeous!! You really outdid yourself. Here I was scared just to paint mine and you went full fledge and re-did yours.. I have to give you much props on your courage. It absolutely is fantastic! and good luck with the contest.. i clearly see you as the winner.. and yes you have my vote.

  4. Amy B
    May 3, 2016 / 11:19 pm

    Voting! Beautiful!

  5. Jenna @ Wife in Progress
    July 7, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    So beautiful! Do you have a link to the tile you purchased?

  6. Willow Wolfe
    January 18, 2017 / 3:50 am

    Hi, beautiful. How wide is the tile on each side?

    • Monica Benavidez
      January 25, 2017 / 12:45 am

      The tile extended about 3 feet on each side (slightly less, I believe).

  7. Unknown
    August 24, 2017 / 12:57 am

    This is stunning! I just got home from HD with the same tile and found your project!What color grout did you use?It really brings out the different colors and textures.

  8. Martha Menin
    August 24, 2017 / 12:58 am

    It's stunning! I just got home from HD with the same tile and found your project!What color grout did you use? It really brings out the colors and textures.

    • Monica Benavidez
      August 24, 2017 / 1:08 am

      Hi Martha! I used Snow White colored unsanded white grout. It looked so bright and crisp- I highly recommend it. Use a good sealer and you should enjoy the grout for years to come. Good luck on your project!

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