We put off this fireplace makeover for way too long! I had to do some serious convincing when I first suggested painting the red brick, but once my husband saw how a simple white paint job gave this dated focal point new life, he was totally on board! From there, an upgraded rustic overmantel to play up the farmhouse charm took things to the next level.

In just ONE day using materials from the home improvement store and my step-by-step DIY guide, see how we created a showstopping, modern-yet-cozy new heart of the home overmantel for only $225. I’m so in love with this transformation and you will be too!

Dive into the details and prepare to get inspired to DIY your own fireplace fabulousness faster than you can imagine!

front view of fireplace with white painted brick, mantel with shiplap overmantel.
One-Day DIY Updated Fireplace

In its original state, the space featured a conventional brick fireplace with a modest mantel (first photo). Our revamped version unfolded across two projects: painting the brick and expanding the mantel. The second project, highlighted in this post, showcases the addition of a shiplap overmantel in just one day.

About this Post

In a previous post, DIY Painted Brick Fireplace Before and After (with new DIY Mantel) I covered painting the brick and how we built a new mantel. In this post, I’m focusing on our one-day shiplap overmantel build which was the last step in one of my favorite DIY projects to date!

the completed fireplace makeover including painted brick, expanded mantel and shiplap overmantel.

About this Space

This mantel sits on the outside wall of our living room. Our living room has a cathedral ceiling that at its highest point measures approximately 18 feet high. Due to the high ceiling, the builders of our home built a fireplace that sits higher than the norm. According to this informative article by www.pickHvac.com the average mantel height is 52-56 inches from the floor. Our mantel was built 66 inches off the floor to assist in making the fireplace in scale with our high ceilings.

Even with this higher-than-usual fireplace, there was still a significant amount of wall space above the mantel that looked off and was quite frankly hard to fill. This is where our idea to add a panel – or overmantel came in. We wanted to extend the fireplace with a more substantial, decorative look that would fill in the odd empty wall space and put the finishing touches on our previous outdated fireplace.

a view of the overmantel project before we started. theirs a drop cloth on the floor and you can se how expansive the wall space is before adding the overmantel.

About Overmantels

I’ll be the first to admit that I had never heard the term “overmantel.” I had always described ours as an over-the-mantel panel but overmantel makes sense. The basic definition of an overmantel is “a decorative structure or an ornamental panel situated above a mantelpiece” and with a little research, I learned these date back to Europe where they were seen in more ornate homes. Overmantels can be made of wood like ours, stone or tile, or plaster. Some are elaborate, and some are simple with a smooth finish which gives a more contemporary look. All are made to enhance a home and become a beautiful focal point of your living space. Mirrors continue to be a popular choice to add to an overmantel as they match everything and can make a space look larger.

my husband holding an oblong antique mirror on the overmantel while we decide how high to hang it.
Visit my How to Refinish an Antique Mirror with a Dark-Stained Frame post to see this mirror makeover

Paintings are another common choice and in today’s age, many have flat-screen TVs hung from overmantels. Sconces are often added to overmantels as well. Below is our fireplace decorated for Christmas with my DIY candle sconces.

our mantel decorated for Christmas with garland. my DIY candle sconces are hung on the overmantel.

Regardless of what you choose to hang on your overmantel, the fact remains overmantels help make your mantel more decorative and define the space.

Building our Overmantel for this DIY Updated Fireplace

With our red brick fireplace painted and the extended mantel done, we moved to the overmantel starting with shiplap. We decided we wanted the width of the panel to match that of the mantel base (box below the decorative top). To do so the first step was to plan the width of the panel frame and then cut the shiplap to fit that frame. Below is a photo of the finished overmantel to show how the overall width aligns with the box and the top of the mantel extends beyond both the box and the panel. You can also see we designed the decorative crown molding on the top of the panel to line up with the mantel top.

a full view of our fireplace showing the measurements of the overmantel.

The width of the frame is 3.5″ (x’s 2) and the length of the shiplap boards measures 56″ resulting in the entire panel measuring 63″ (frame +shiplap+frame). The crown molding with the decorative flat piece is 69″ long.

Tools and Materials for this DIY Updated Fireplace with Shiplap Overmantel

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(note: we recommend you go to your local lumber store to hand select the best boards you can find)

  • 7- 1 x 6 x 8ft Primed Shiplap
  • 2 – 1 x 4 x 8ft Primed pine boards
  • 1 -2 3/4″ x 8ft Crown molding
  • 1- 1 x 4 x 8ft Primed pine boards top piece

Tip: if you decide to buy boards that are not primed, plan to prime them before painting.

view of left side of the mantel featuring a white vase with branches and a DIY cordless lamp.

Step-by-step Instructions


  • Clear the mantel and lay down a drop cloth to protect the floor.
  • Set up your ladder and gather your tools.
  • Set up the miter box (we tend to cut outside. Be sure to remember your safety goggles)
  • Measure and make your cuts on the Miter box starting with the shiplap. You may decide to cut in sections (ie first shiplap, then frame, then crown molding). Our mantel and the overmantel crown molding measure 69″ across. The shiplap panel (with the frame) measures 63″. The overall height of our overmantel is 42″.
my husband cutting boards using a miter saw.


  • Using your level as a guide and starting directly on the mantel, begin installing the shiplap. Attach the shiplap to the wall using your finish nail gun. Place a nail through the top and bottom of each shiplap board. Below you can see the progression of the shiplap installation.
  • Once the shiplap has been installed move to the frame. Use the 1 x 4 x 8ft Primed pine boards and cut them to fit around the shiplap panel. Extend the top portion of the frame to have a base to attach the crown molding. We used scrap pieces of 1 x 4 x 8ft Primed pine boards to build this extension to cut costs. (see the second photo below)
  • Next move to the crown molding. We plan to devote an entire post to DIY crown molding. In the meantime, Home Depot has you covered in this post that includes videos.


  • Fill the nail holes with painter’s putty, and use a wet rag to wipe off the excess. If needed sand the putty once it has dried.
  • Seal the seams and around where the overmantel meets the wall with caulk. We use a caulking gun and a wet rag to remove the excess. Let dry.
  • Using a paint brush paint the overmantel with two coats of latex paint, allowing the first coat to dry before moving on to the second coat. We used Benjamin Moore interior latex paint in semi-gloss. This is the same paint we used on the brick and new mantel. It is also the same paint that is on our living room woodwork.
my husband standing on the ladder painting out overmantel.

Frequently Asked Questions About This DIY Updated Fireplace

Is there a budget-friendly way to make an overmantel?

This overmantel cost us roughly $225.00. I find the best way to save a lot of money is to get creative with your supplies. You could create a very cool overmantel with simple stick tiles, they come in so many patterns. You could also do a very simple frame for your fireplace facelift. Another idea is to do a wallpaper or paint accent wall above your mantel. Even a small change can have a big impact and the end result will be beautiful!

Where can I find more Overmantel ideas?

Well, Pinterest of course! There’s tons of inspiration and lots of overmantel design options. Visit my fireplace makeover ideas board for inspiration.

What other paint ideas are there for this project?

You can choose a different color than white paint. We have off white walls in our living room but a wall color that pops would make the fireplace stand out more. For ease, you could use a paint sprayer to apply your paint. Learn more about paint options in my painted brick fireplace post.

What other options are there besides shiplap?

Shiplap is a great option because it adds just enough texture without being too busy. I love the overmantels which are simple panels with an open space in the middle for a mirror or art. Regardless of the style and design element, adding an overmantel can give a big impact on your existing fireplace.

Decorating our Fireplace Update

This newly revamped fireplace is one of my favorite places to decorate. I DIY’d this fireplace cover and love the way it looks. Don’t worry it slides right off for when we want to use the fireplace! On the raised hearth I typically put fun storage baskets holding firewood and our dog’s toys. On the mantel, I will often use a collection of candles, books, and plants or flowers. This heavy antique mirror stays put and I have fun decorating around it.

top view of our living room showing how I decorate the space with baskets, plants, candles and books.

Make sure to explore these additional posts crafted to cultivate a cozy living room:

botanical print pillow case.

Creating a Cozy and Inviting White Farmhouse Living Room:
Explore the art of crafting a warm and inviting white farmhouse living room with expert advice and decor inspirations shared on Celebrated Nest. Delve into practical tips and creative ideas to create the perfect cozy atmosphere for your home.

a blanket folded on white built ins.

12 Of The Best DIY Blanket Storage Ideas to Keep Your Living Room Cozy and Organized: Discover 12 of the Best DIY Blanket Storage Ideas to Keep Your Living Room Cozy and Organized! From blanket ladders to cabinet storage, explore creative solutions that not only add style to your space but also ensure easy access to your favorite blankets. Get tips on choosing the right throw blankets for your decor and learn how to keep them fresh while in storage.

Thanks for following along as we revamped our builder grade fireplace and gave it a whole new look. This space has come a long way and with a few simple changes we have made a huge difference to this space! This ugly duckly fireplace has transformed into a beautiful fireplace and we couldn’t be happier!

Thanks for visiting the blog today for this One-Day DIY Updated Fireplace post!

Keep creating friends!

my signature, a drawing of me holding a coffee cup that says Create.

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  1. Where can I get that cordless lamp? I went to Amazon, they all look like they have cords.
    Thank You

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