fireplace frieze

[This is part of my FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 series.]

During this installation sequence, I’ll show you how I built and installed the frieze and how I mounted the pilasters to the wall.

Step 1: Make the Frieze

This beautiful inset paneled frieze is made from this extensive list of materials: MDF-200 and PM-004.

That’s it.

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Below  Note how I scribed layout lines on the frieze.

Each line corresponds to a layer of molding; from the mdf for the frame, the screen molding inside the frame and to the crown molding that will go at the top after the freeze is installed.


Below  Making the height of the inset panel identical to the height of the panels in the lanterns is a very important design element.

If you deviate from this convention, then just make sure you have a very good design reason to justify it.


Above  Creating a beautiful inset panel is as easy as wrapping this simple frame of MDF-200 around the freeze.

Below  Equally as simple is installing the small panel molding, PM-004.

screen molding

Below Correction: I should have said the frieze is almost ready to install.

Because before I install the frieze, I get to permanently mount the left pilaster to the wall.

Here’s how to do it.

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Step 2: Install the Pilaster Nailers

I scribed the inside edge of the pilaster so I knew where to attach my nailer to the wall.

mdf project

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Step 3: Mount the Left Pilaster to the Wall

Use Liquid Nails along with 18 gauge brad nails to nail through the pilasters and into the nailers.

install pilaster


Step 4: Mount the Right Pilaster

Before I mounted the right pilaster, I double-checked to make sure that the frieze would fit snug between the two mounted pilasters.

This required some juggling on my part, holding the pilaster and frieze in place at the same time, but with this test-fit completed I was confident to commit to glue and nails.

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The frieze ready to install.

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Below  Now I can finally wrap the crown molding and the collar molding the rest of the way across the frieze.

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Below  This is my usual method of wrapping any molding around multiple outside corners.

mdf molding small

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What’s Next?

The only thing left to do is to build and install the fireplace hood.

See you at the next post.

Posts in this Series

1. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 for $333.08

2. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 2: Materials Inventory

3. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 3: Pilaster Cores

4. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 4: Corbels & Inset Panels

5. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 5: Shadow Pilasters

6. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 6: Wrapping the Crown Molding & Base

7. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 7: Pilaster Extensions

8. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 8: Lanterns

9. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 9: Lantern Crown & Collar

10. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 10: Paneled Frieze

11. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 11: Making the Hood

12. Before & After: Great Room Fireplace Mantel with Overmantel

13. How to Make OVERMANTEL-100 for About $87.39