The den in our house was remuddled sometime in the seventies. Which left us with a legacy of avocado green shag carpet and this lovely brick fireplace with the wormy wood mantle.
Recently, a friend salvaged a terrific Victorian mantle from an old house they were tearing down in a nearby town, and I acquired it from her. So we began the demolition of the old mantle to make room for the new.
First, I had to cut the supporting bricks from each side of the mantle with a chisel.
Then, I had to saw off the old slab board as flush as I possibly could with my reciprocating saw. This turned out to be a bone jarring experience and painfully tiring to boot.
After which I was left with a roughly cut board that wasn't quite flush with the bricks it was embedded in.
So, I cleaned up the rest with a wood chisel. It made a big mess, but got the job done. I'm certain that at least nine of you out there are thinking of easier ways I could have done this, but it's too late. You should have said something sooner.
Then, I covered the corners with 1x6's which I routered a bead across the top to look a little more finished.
The bride caulked up all the seams and nail holes, and we're ready to prime and paint. Remember, clicky the pictures to get a closer look.