how to build a diy fireplace mantel from mdf

[This is Part 4 in my How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-102 series.]

How to Make the Paneled Frieze

This paneled frieze is so easy to make, but it looks like there’s more to it than there really is.  Like so many designs you’ll find on our blog, the foundation is an mdf board core that’s wrapped in moldings.

All you need to get started is cut a 1/2″ thick piece of mdf board to the width and length you’ll need to fill the space between your capitals.

The center panel is nothing more than a 3/4″ thick piece of mdf board.  The width is determined by the dimensions of the wheat and ribbon applique I bought for it.

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Glue and nail the center panel in place.

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Now cut 1/2″ thick mdf strips for the panel frames.  Glue and nail them in place.

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Now cut and install all of the screen molding pieces inside the panels.  This part will be time-consuming, so make sure you’re not in a rush when you do this part.

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It’s much easier to install the screen molding and then do some of the prep work with the frieze laying on the table.  When you’re all finished, glue and nail it in place.

Important Note About the Frieze Spacers

I didn’t take pictures of the spacers I used to make the frieze project out from the wall farther than if you just nailed it flat against the wall.  And I only have the two photos below where you can catch a glimpse of them.   But once you notice them, their purpose should be pretty obvious.

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Now you can install the right-hand capital.  And that’s all there is to that.

fireplace mantel made from mdf with corbels

How to Build FIREPLACE-102 Series Posts

1.  How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-102 for c. $162.00: Part 1

2.  How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-102 Part 2: Make the Pilasters

3.  How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-102 Part 3: Make the Collar & Capitals

4.  How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-102 Part 4: Make the Frieze

5.  How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-102 Part 5: Make the Hood

6.  FIREPLACE MANTEL-102 Gallery