How to Build Fireplace Cabinets

A fireplace mantel.
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Wood glue and putty
Router or fine grade sandpaper

Fireplace cabinets, also called fireplace mantels, can add a great look to any room with a fireplace. You can design a fireplace cabinet yourself and give your fireplace a great custom look. It can become a great focal point for any room. This project is easy for anyone with a little experience in do it yourself projects, and won’t take more than a day for someone who is skilled.

Step 1 - Determine Your Design

Sketch out your designs on paper before you start anything. First come up with the desired look, then make sure you scale out your sketch. When you scale out the design you want to make sure you are adding an inch on all sides of the fireplace itself. This will allow you enough room to plan for the thickness of the wood you will be using.

Step 2 - Get Measurements and Install Legs

Using a level, measure the dimensions for the legs of the cabinets that will attach to the wall. Make sure you mark your measurements. Cut the back legs and install them. These will be placed on the back of the cabinet. They need to extend all the way to the bottom of the floor and to the top of the shelf.

Step 3 - Attach Legs

Attach the sides of the legs using nails. Do this for the front of the cabinet as well. For extra security, you can use wood glue for the smaller wood pieces. Use a router to smooth the edges. Sandpaper can be used as well if you don‘t have a router. Mark the frame above the legs with a pencil for the straight board. Measure and cut the furing strips and cleats. Install these now as well. The measurements of these will depend on how thick your cabinet will be.

Step 4 - Create an Arc

Mark the center point where you want to set up the straight board. Cut a triangle-shaped piece of wood and clamp it down. Place another piece of wood on top of the point of the triangle. This should form an arc. Use your jigsaw to cut the arc out, and sand it down to make it smooth. Place the board on the furring strips, level, and secure it.

Step 5 - Create Shelf

Measure out the wood for the cabinet shelf and go ahead and cut it out. Once you’ve done that you can attach the shelf to the wall using nails. Wedge blocks can be used to secure the shelf underneath. You can place molding around the shelf for decoration. This is easy to do and adds a nice touch.

Step 6 - Add Finishing Touches

Finish up the project by filling in any holes left from the nails with wood putty. Sand this down by hand to make it smooth. Now you can paint or finish the mantel to your desired look. Wait for the finish to dry completely before using the fireplace.