Saturday, September 10, 2016

ana white faux electric fireplace

Now that the basement is done, my focus turned to my fireplace. During the winter, the basement gets chilly - even with all the extra insulation we put in. We have a gas fireplace on our main floor and I love it. It's so nice during the winter that my first thought was to put another gas fireplace in the basement. After doing some research, I decided an electric option would be the safest and most efficient.

I looked at purchasing one, but the cost was too much. A cheaper construction pressed wood costs around $500-$700, solid wood construction is about $2000.

Searches for fireplace mantels brought up Ana White's website with the hidden storage. You can get the plans here.

It was perfect! Hides all the stuff for our video games too.

When dad called to say he wanted to come in for a visit, I quickly got him on board to help. We had a really great day working on the caucus.

The firebox was bought from Amazon. I researched quite a few and finally decided on the Classic Flame because I could recess it inside a unit. You can find the item here.

We then added this lovely trim. Kind of expensive - but I think it was worth it.

Crown moulding for the top. Burke did a great job with the compound miter cuts.

Next was caulking and painting.

I added some decorative trim. Not perfect .... but, not terrible.

Next up was the hinges. I love these, euro style hinges, very strong.

The finishes took the longest. I first painted it with a latex paint, then distressed the finish with my sander. After cleaning the sawdust, I then went over it again with a antique white stain. Since I added the decorative trim after painting, I just put the stain on it. I like the look.

When it came to the handles, I dug out the router, and did a nice routed edge. Again, not perfect, but that's why it's cool. It's not a factory made piece of furniture - but something constructed with loved.

I had several scrap pieces of bead board from the ceiling, so I used them for the back - painting it the same color.

Instead of using the antique white on the mantel, I used the gray stain I found. I really like it .... different. Lastly, I protected the fireplace and brushed polyurethane over everything. The mantel got 2 coats - look how shiny it is.

The project took 3 weekends to complete. The cost for the wood and accessories (excluding the firebox) was around $175. Honestly, I love it - it really is my happy place. I super proud to say, "I made that."


  1. I started to say I can't believe you did this, but then I had to check myself. You are so amazing and creative. Great job.

  2. Hi! I love your adaptation of Ana's plans! Couple questions: what material did you use for the framing that comes in contact with the fireplace insert itself? Also, how much space did you leave around the insert? Thanks!

    1. It was just some MDF that I had left over. Since the fireplace was rated for inserting into a casing, I didn't have to worry about the wood heating up. You can touch it while it's on.