Trim work on a simple farmhouse style fireplace surround with shiplap

DIY Budget Shiplap Fireplace Surround Makeover

| | | |

I’m veering off the path of the master bathroom remodel to bring you our DIY shiplap fireplace surround makeover. I’m so pleased with how much it lightened the room and added character. I know you’re here for the after pictures but just wait till you see what we started with.

Before picture of fireplace. You should see the after! Such an easy way to do a DIY farmhouse style fireplace makeover on a budget with shiplap above the mantle and using stone tile and ply wood

There’s nothing quite like having a fireplace in the master bedroom. But the looks of the previous fireplace surround left me feeling far from warm and cozy. The previous owners did a great job adding a surround to the gas fireplace but it still felt like a brown wooden box sitting in the room.

The fireplace surround needed an overhaul and the makeover needed to be done on a budget. 

Ready to see how it turned out?

Beautiful fireplace surround with ledge stone tile and shiplap. Such an easy way to do a DIY farmhouse style fireplace makeover on a budget with shiplap above the mantle and using stone tile and ply wood

So, let me show you how it all went down.

I knew I wanted the fireplace to have clean, simple lines…no frills…with a craftsman/farmhouse feel that fit our 1915 bungalow. I found just the right inspiration picture from Pinterest.

Fireplace via Tiek Built Homes

via Tiek Built Homes

I’m a bit obsessed with trim, molding and wainscoting and Tiek Built Homes never fails to deliver beautiful craftsmanship. I loved everything about that fireplace but I chose to swap the modern glass tile for quartz ledge stone . It would add a bit more warmth and texture.
Desert quartz ledge stone from Lowes
After we knew the direction we were going in, my husband and I began deconstructing the old fireplace surround. We made sure we turned off the main gas line during this part. We found a nice surprise behind the gas fireplace insert…the original cast iron surround.
How to DIY a gas fireplace surroundNext, we built the framework of the fireplace surround with 2 X 3’s and added cement board around the gas fireplace insert.
We put the ledge stone up and called it a night while the tile adhesive dried.
Quartz ledge stone going up around the fireplace surround
The next day, we added 2 X 3s above the fireplace and roughed-in all of the electrical. We don’t plan on putting a TV in the bedroom, but just in case we sell the house, the next person has a place to plug in their television and cable box. The room needed better lighting, so we also added a couple recessed lights on a dimmer above the fireplace. The ambiance is crazy good at night!
Wiring for plugins and recessed lights
I also gave the hearth a makeover to make it look like soapstone.

Click this link to see how you can use paint to give something (even countertops) the look of soapstone.

Before and after using soapstone paint technique on fireplace hearth
Next up, we added 1/4″ plywood to the upper part of the fireplace surround where the shiplap would go. I painted it white in case you could see through the gaps. The base of the framework was covered in 1/2″ plywood. The top of the mantle was also made from 1/2″ plywood but it’s trimmed out in 1/2″ strips of trim to cover the edges.
The rest of the trim work and planks were made from a 4 X 8′ sheet of 1/2″ plywood ripped down into 2″ and 6″ strips. I filled in the edges with wood filler and sanded before I painted everything. This saved us a lot of money since we didn’t have to buy pre-cut trim. The crown molding was the icing on the cake.

Here are links to the crown molding we used:

1.75-in x 8-ft Pine PFJ Crown Moulding

2.75-in x 8-ft MDF Crown Moulding

EverTrue 3.625-in x 8-ft MDF Crown Molding

Trim work on a simple farmhouse style fireplace surround with shiplap. Such an easy way to do a DIY farmhouse style fireplace makeover on a budget with shiplap above the mantle and using stone tile and ply wood. You should see the before and after pictures!
Beauty is in the details.
DIY fireplace surround makeover on a budget
Breakdown of the total cost to get from the before to the amazing after…
Lumber   $103
Molding   $41
Ledge stone $40
Electrical/Lighting  $80

Total cost of our new shiplap fireplace $264

(Not included since we had on hand: cement board, tile adhesive, screws, wood glue, wood filler, paint, caulk)
DIY Fireplace Surround Makeover: From the boring brown before to the light bright and white after.Such an easy way to do a DIY farmhouse style fireplace makeover on a budget with shiplap above the mantle and using stone tile and ply wood
 DIY farmhouse style fireplace style makeover with shiplap, stone tile and a simple craftsman style wood trim. You should see the before and after pictures!
Finish work needs to be well designed and look as if it’s been part of the house for years. It also needs to be classic enough to look beautiful for years to come. I think we accomplished our goal.
I hope this inspires you to give your fireplace a makeover.
In case you’re wondering where those doors beside the shiplap fireplace lead, it’s all a part of our master bathroom and walk-in closet remodel. I hope you follow along!
Sharing this fireplace surround makeover with some of my favorite blogs such as:
Such an easy way to do a DIY farmhouse style fireplace makeover on a budget with shiplap above the mantle and using stone tile and ply wood

Similar Posts


  1. Pardon my woodworking novice. Are you securing the wood with finishing nails and glue? Then filling the holes with wood filler?

    1. Hi Paul,
      We’re happy to answer your questions. For attaching the boards, trim, and molding, we used a nail gun and didn’t use glue. The nail gun countersinks the nails but if you used finishing nails and a hammer, you can countersink the holes with a nail set.
      After that, we used wood filler for the nail holes and caulk to fill the gaps. If you’re new to using caulk, it can be messy so wipe off the excess with a damp cloth before it has the chance to dry. Let us know if you have any other questions and enjoy your project.

  2. What are the dimensions of the legs, mantle, and cement board? I like your proportions and want to mimic this.

    1. Hi Brian! I’m happy to help by sharing the dimensions. I’ve added a picture to the post that gives the measurements. I’ll also email it to you in case you don’t see this reply. Good luck with your fireplace project!

  3. Beautiful. So simple. We followed many of your steps. Curious what sheen of paint did you use for the fireplace?

  4. Stunning transformation! You guys did a really good job on this tutorial as well. Easy to follow, that I just might try tackling this myself.

  5. I’m curious. I’m comparing your use of T&G on the ceiling upstairs with your use of a 4×8 sheet of ply cut in 6″ strips for the fireplace. I’m finishing the old carport into a new living room, and want to use T&G for the ceiling. I’m wondering…if I cut 3/4″ plywood in 6″ strips and nail it to the joists 24″ on center, would it warp and sag without being T&G?? Sure would be cheaper than buying the T&G! Maybe enhanced with construction adhesive?? Has anyone else tried this?

    1. I think the 3/4” plywood is a great option for the ceiling as long as you use pre-primed cabinet grade plywood. Cabinet grade birch has 13 layers pressed and glued whereas CDX sheeting has between 5 and 9 layers pressed and glued making it quicker to warp. It’s only primed on one side in case you want to stain it instead of painting. Another good (but more costly) option is 1X6” pre-primed boards. We chose the T&G to use in the dormer bedroom because we were going over the popcorn ceiling and didn’t want gaps between the boards. Due to heat rising, either product will shrink and leave wider spaces due to the wood drying out. So, that’s something to consider along with the price per square foot difference. The T&G we used from Lowes was a little over a $1 per square foot. The drawback is that they can be out of stock at times and you get the occasional split board. As far as the adhesive, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to give it that extra staying power. I hope that helps you make your decision and I’d love to know how it turns out!

      1. All very good points to consider, thank you for the quick response. I’ll let you know how it works out if we go that route. BTW, your blog is my absolute favorite for ideas, be they large construction projects or found objects. You truly have a gift and I love your vision!

  6. You have achieved a fantastic transformation with lots of work and very little cost. I appreciate the detailed drawings and measurements. They prove you are leagues above the typical slapdash do-it-yourself blogger. I’m looking forward to the next stage of your renovation.

    1. Thank you, Amy! That’s one of the best compliments we could get. I have to credit my husband on his drawing skills, though. So glad you’re following along!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.