First off I want to start by saying my husband is the real mastermind behind making this fireplace happen. In AZ there is truly no need for one, but I guess it gives me the illusion of colder weather. I grew up with a fireplace in my home and it always made the holidays more cheerful, so this year I convinced my hubby to make me a cozy little fireplace (I think we could all use a little more cheer this year). We found a lot of blogs on DIY electric fireplace builds; however, we kind of went off the beaten path due to the fact that our Frame TV was already mounted.
The hardest part was figuring out where to put our Frame TV box. Most of the blogs had the fireplace extend to the ceiling in order to insert the box in a cut-out hole where the drywall is. We actually decided to put the box inside the fireplace. I’ll show more pictures below, but it’s extremely easy to access and doesn’t overheat.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- Electric Fireplace Insert
- Miter Saw (or precut the sizes at Home Depot)
- Power Drill
- Utility Knife
- Measuring Tape
- Construction Screws
- Drywall Screws
- Vinyl Corner Bead
- Vinyl Bead Adhesive Spray
- Gypsum Board
- Pre-Mixed Joint Compound
- Sand Paper
- Mantel (if desired) We used raw wood slabs from Home Depot
- Wood Glue
- Valspar Venetian Plaster (for oldworld look)
We started off by measuring our fireplace on the wall and using painters tape as a guide. We then used our miter saw to cut the 2x4s according to those measurements and used our constructions screws to drill it in. Make sure you locate your studs so that the framing is secured.
If you don’t have a miter saw, you can take the measurements to Home Depot and have them pre-cut the 2x4s. We also removed the baseboards completely and cut them to fit around the fireplace after.
After drilling the 2x4s into the wall, we cut additional wood to connect our front framing.
You can see the Frame TV box on the side and that’s where we ended up leaving it. The electric fireplace insert we bought only releases heat out of the front vent so it’s completely safe. For step 3 we used the box cutter to cut out the gypsum board and cover the framing. We also made sure to measure out the fireplace insert so that our opening was precise. Once your cuts are made, use your drywall screws to drill into your beams.
Next you will want to cut to fit the vinyl corner bead on each corner of the fireplace including the lip where the mantel would go. Apply the Adhesive spray in order for it to stick.
Next is MUD! Use the hammer-end joint knife to smear the mixed joint compound mud all over the fireplace until you get the desired texture. I would recommend starting from just outside the corners and working your way in to make sure there is full coverage there
Once the mud is done drying, use the painters tape to outline the fireplace again. This is to ensure you don’t get any of the Venetian plaster on your walls.
I covered the entire fireplace once and let it dry for about 6 hours. I then added a little bit of white paint to the plaster and mixed it well. I used the hammer-end joint knife to cover random spots throughout. This gave it the old world look I was wanting to achieve (if you just use the Venetian plaster it looks very textured and beautiful as well).
For the last step, we added wood glue to the top of the fireplace and pressed our wood mantel on top (We just used a raw pre-stained wood slab from Home Depot for our mantel) If you want additional security you can use screws to drill the mantel in place; however, we found the glue to work just fine! I personally let the glue dry for 12 hours before setting anything on top but use your own discretion and follow the recommendation on the glue instructions.
Once everything has dried, peel the remaining painters tape away, put your baseboards back on and insert your electric fireplace. There are so many different options for electric inserts out there, but I personally am OBSESSED with the electric fireplace insert. It has a remote control feature and looks the most real out of all the inserts we researched.
Feel free to reach out with any questions you have and tag me in your finished product! Enjoy!