Mike started out by pulling off the old mantel. It was in two pieces. There was a base with a box on top. Luckily the base was salvageable.
We went to Lowes and got a 6 x 12 ft pine board. We had Lowes cut it down to the right size. If you haven't used the wood cutting service before, it's fabulous. It's located in the lumber section and they will cut the wood for free.
We took the board home and Mike patched some knots with wood filler to make it smooth and sanded the whole board really well.
We had some leftover quarter round from our dining room that he cut to fit around the base to give the mantel a finished look.
Then he primed and painted the board, base and quarter round. Here are the painted components.
On went the base and board, finished with the quarter round. He added some caulk to close any gaps.
Then came a round of touch up paint on the wall, fireplace and bricks in front. We previously faux painted the fireplace to look like slate. It was one of the first things we did when we moved in. (Including painting the living room since it was a pale pink color.)
And here it is all accessorized. And by the way, everything on the mantel came from a garage sale. Including the pictures but excluding the flowers those were only $1.00 each at Michaels :)