This DIY faux fireplace that we made from an old door is a great option if you don’t have a wood-burning fireplace in your home. This easy project will have you cozying up by the fireplace in no time.
faux fireplace idea
We have a real wood-burning fireplace in our living room that also acts as our fireplace for our dining room since our main living areas are open-concept.
In fact, the actual fireplace is the reason I came up with a faux fireplace idea in the first place. When we are burning the wood fireplace in our family room, our master bedroom gets really cold!
It’s time for our monthly Virtual Book Club inspiration! This month we read (and watched movies!) Emma by Jane Austen. Omgoodness, I became obsessed! I’ve watched two of the movie versions and I am still listening to the original audiobook on Audible. It’s over 14 hours long. I’m loving every minute of it!
Emma is a humorous story based in the early 1800s about a young lady who thought of herself as the perfect matchmaker. She does a fairly good job at matchmaking except for several ladies that she completely mismatched, including herself!
Virtual Book Club
Welcome to this edition of the Virtual Book Club. Three of my blogging friends and I will share our interpretation of a different book on the fourth week of each month! You will see their ideas and inspiration at the bottom of this post.
Here are some of the books we will be using as inspiration. Click the arrows to scroll through our book choices. Tap to get your own copy 🙂
The following post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and then buy something, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you! Thank you for supporting my blog. full disclosure here.
Maybe you would rather listen to the audio version of these books! Join Audible and you can enjoy books on the go from your phone! This is a great way to read lots of books!
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On the last Thursday of each month, we will share something home decor-related, and a culinary treat on the following Saturday inspired by our book of the month.
We hope you join us in this reading adventure and grab a copy of the books so you can be inspired along with us!
DIY faux fireplace
One of the decorating ideas that stood out to me in the Emma movies, was the fact that every room had a fireplace. They were ornate and elaborate since the main character, Emma was from a wealthy family.
I knew I needed a fireplace in our bedroom to fix the chilly night’s problem plus, let’s face it, I just wanted one!
Lucky for me we happen to have a gorgeous old door that we used to make an old headboard. We have made several of these for our local customers (we used to sell our repurposed and upcycled vintage farmhouse home decor in a local shop.)
When we closed our spot last summer, we had one of the old door headboards left. So we hung it in one of our spare rooms. Below is the door headboard while it was still in our vendor booth.
repurposed old door fake fireplace
Now it’s time to repurpose that old door yet again! One day, I will have to write a post about converting an old door into an old-looking headboard. It’s a super easy DIY project that I am sure you will enjoy!
Fortunately, we didn’t have to remove the antique door from the door frame. It had already been removed by the owner who sold it to us. We came across a yard sale at an old house one day and the fella was selling two solid wood antique doors for only $25.
Yep, two doors for only $25!
You can find old doors at places like an architectural salvage warehouse, a flea market, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Etsy. Here is a listing for a gorgeous door that is very similar to the one we used.
how to make a faux fireplace
step one – clean the door
The first step for this fake fireplace project is to clean the door. Cleaning is always the first step I take with any DIY project. Use a shop vac to get the dust and lose bits. Then give it a good scrubbing with a TSP alternative. Be sure to wipe the whole piece down with clean water to remove all of the TSP.
step two – cut the door
The next step is to decide how to cut your door. I did a lot of measuring before we started to cut the old door Once it is cut, that’s it, my friend! There’s no going back so be sure about your measurements before cutting.
Our antique door had five panels: two long panels, two short panels, and one in between. The two long panels would be perfect for the side of the fake fireplace. At first, I thought the single panel would be perfect to serve as the centerpiece.
But as it turns out, it made the front of the fireplace too wide for the wall space I wanted to use it in. Plus, I had already purchased the faux electric fireplace that looks like a little woodstove. Our own faux fireplace had to fit the electric unit in scale.
Here is the plan for cutting the door. We cut the two horizontal lines first, then we cut the two vertical lines
So, I had to do some rethinking. The two shorter panels could be divided to make panels that weren’t as wide. When I laid them out on the floor and measured I realized that plan would work perfectly! One of those panels would be a great idea for the middle piece!
I measured and marked all of the cuts. This was the best way to make sure we were cutting at all the right places. It also helped us to see the logical order of the cuts.
Hubby used a small circular saw to make each of the cuts. He’s got a steady hand. I was ready to catch the pieces that were being removed.
step three – assemble the pieces
The next step was to assemble the three door panels to form our DIY faux fireplace. The pieces were attached to each other on the back using metal mending braces. The pieces will also be joined together when we add the decorative elements. You’re never going to believe what we used to dress this old door faux fireplace up!
Ok, so I’m so excited to tell you about this part! When we were selling our vintage-inspired home decor in a local shop, we had a stash of leftover, broken pieces from vintage and antique furniture.
Like washstand harps. These are one of my favorite things to come across at auctions and salvage shops. Most people don’t want the harp from a washstand because it is no longer needed.
step four – add architectural interest
Unless, of course, you have a mind like mine that is full of DIY ideas! We have had at least 20 washstand harps over the years. Fortunately, I had one leftover from our shop. We had turned it into a cool shelf that could be used to display a wreath and other items on top of the shelf.
The washstand harp wasn’t wide enough for our old fireplace, so I had to put my thinking cap on again. The idea to extend the width of the harp would mean that I had to add sections to it. I measured how much wider it needed to be to accommodate our DIY faux fireplace, divided by two and that gave me the measurement for the additional pieces.
I gently tapped on the sections of the harp and they loosened easily. Then I used some of the curved design in the washstand harp and sketched it out on the new wood. Hubby cut the pieces using his bandsaw.
Then we joined all of the pieces by predrilling holes at an angle and screwing the whole assembly together. Hindsight I should have used pocket holes. Hubby said it would be a stronger bond.
step five – paint the easy DIY faux fireplace
Now for the fun part! Painting! I seriously love to have a paintbrush in my hand 😀! The door was black and I knew this would be the perfect starting place for a chippy paint finish. Vintage-inspired home decor is my thing so I love chippy paint!
I chose a lovely white paint called Ironstone. Miss Mustard Seed has the best milk paint colors. Ironstone is a soft white and goes with so many other colors. I applied three coats to the assembled door panels. The last coat was applied to allow more of the paint to settle in areas creating an old-world look.
The washstand harp was already painted but I wanted to add more dimensions to it. So I mixed up some more milk paint in Grainsack. It’s a soft blue that is almost white. Adding this color would help to add another layer of texture to the finished faux fireplace.
I also allowed the thickened milk pint to settle and build up. This is an easy way to add the appearance of years of paint to any furniture or home decor piece. Instant age!
All the painted surfaces got two coats of clear coat in a flat finish.
step six – add decoupage inset
While the painted sections of the faux fireplace were drying out in my workshop, I headed inside to come up with a plan for the interior section of the fireplace. Obviously, there isn’t a fire box like a brick fireplace would have so I had to come up with an idea.
I had hubby cut a piece of luan board just a little larger that the opening. Then I painted the luan with a couple of coats of quality chalk paint in the color Sand Bar. This would be the perfect background for the next step!
Remember I said this DIY faux fireplace was inspired by the book Emma by Jane Austen? Well, then let’s take an old book with vintage-looking pages and decoupage it to the board! That’s the perfect choice to go with this vintage-inspired faux fireplace, don’t you think?
how to decoupage
Decoupage is so much fun and so easy to do. I used a top coat to decoupage the book pages to the luan board.
Work in small sections, apply a thin layer of the top coat, then lay down one of the pages. A scrunched-up piece of kitchen plastic wrap can help to smooth out the wrinkles. Avoid using your finger – that can tear the delicate paper!
When the whole surface was covered, I applied a thin layer of top coat to protect the area. It gives a nice matte finish to the book pages.
The last step is to assemble all of the parts. I had a bad chest cold at this point of the project so hubby finished it up for me! He’s such a sweetie!
He attached the widened washstand harp section to the top of the front panel section by screwing in from the back to hide each screw hole.
Doing this also helped to strengthen the front panel sections I had joined using the metal mending braces.
He attached the luan board that had the book pages decoupaged onto the back of the whole assembly.
See that extra pine board on the back? That’s a french cleat. the opposing piece will be attached to the wall and then the mantle will hang on that. Hope I explained that well enough! Maybe a french cleat should be a tutorial along with the door headboard tutorial!
DIY fake fireplace mantle
So maybe you are wondering about the faux fireplace mantel. He just so happened to have the perfect piece of live edge board out in his workshop! He has collected sections of reclaimed wood for years so I’m not surprised that he had the perfect piece for the fireplace mantle! It helps to add a rustic look to this faux fireplace that is just our style!
He attached the live edge mantle by screwing it down into the old door fireplace. He used my favorite counter-sink drill bit to sink the screw heads below the surface of the board. Then he filled the hole using a dowel rod method instead of using wood filler.
I added a coat of white wax to the raw wood to stay in keeping with the rest of the faux fireplace.
easy DIY fake fireplace
Our faux fireplace will eventually be attached to the wall of our master bedroom using a french cleat. For now, it’s just leaning against a wall in one of our spare bedrooms. Our bedroom is in the process of getting a makeover. I’ll show you the end result in a future blog post.
For now, we just have to dream about how amazing this faux fireplace will look in the bedroom!
The entire process only took us a week. And that’s with working and being sick! If you had all of the supplies on hand, you could easily make an entire fireplace in a weekend.
fake fireplace idea
So what do you think of my idea for a fireplace surround? It’s a pretty simple idea that has a huge impact. Now all I have to do is add some decorative items to the top of the mantle and call it a day!
I hope you enjoyed this post and the inspiration from the book Emma by Jane Austen. Be sure to read the posts my blogging friends were inspired to write.
Thanks for joining our journey!
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