UPDATED: DIY Electric Fireplace Reveal

Hi All – This post has gotten so much traction that I figured I would try and update as best I can with some instructions, however we did this over 2 years ago so I added as much detail as I can remember. If you have specific questions scroll through and if they are not answered feel free to ask!! Thanks for stopping by!

This is probably the most exciting post I have yet to share, because I finally got a fireplace! I am soo over the moon about this! We used a couple different tutorials to get the idea of what we would need to do that I will link below for you to check out. The idea originally came from Brooke at Nesting With Grace, which I have mentioned like 100 times is my fave blogger in the world. Once I realized that its something that could be done I was itching to do one somewhere, it was just a matter of using the space in the most efficient way.

I will start by saying, I have ALWAYS wanted a fireplace, like desperately and embarrassingly so, SO this is my FAVORITE project to date. We used our basement to house a bar & a home gym. BUT we also didn’t use the entire space for the gym, so I toyed around with the idea of how to best use the space. I used painters tape to tape out all the measurements I had in mind to make sure that it was actually functional! Once I did that and got Devin onboard it was just a matter of time. If you follow my Instagram, you’ll have noticed the green tape in any of my pictures from the new space as we’ve been using it still sans fireplace and WE LOVE IT! I will share some of the before and afters of our outcome! This is not a how-to tutorial, I don’t think I took enough photos and I don’t think I could accurately describe what Devin did, since he did a lot of it while I was at work. But I will share some other great tutorials we based ours off of and some of the items we used that worked super well! And I am happy to answer any questions that you might have just to help you get started ๐Ÿ™‚ Click any of the links below for some of the tutorials we used. These were the 3 main ones we loosely based our plans off of, but there are 101 ideas on Pinterest if none of these fit the idea for your space. The fireplace was built and had shiplap on it within a day. It took probably a full other day to finesse, stain and style.

There is still a lot of work to be done in our basement, mainly the ceiling. That is something we plan to tackle, just not yet! I decorated our new fireplace by “shopping my own home” and re-purposing some things so that we didn’t have to buy a bunch of new things for this space. And then this also gives me some time to find the perfect items to finish the mantle but until then, this will do perfectly! I will talk a bit more about shopping you home in a post in February, so stay tuned!

Some of the tutorials we used to get inspired:
Nesting with Grace – our original inspiration was when Brooke first did this, we are also using the same insert.
The Beauty Revival – the idea that we used because we wanted shiplap & not brick.
Blesser House – because we were not going all the way up the wall we loosely used this for the outline to get an idea for our mantel.

Some of the items we used:
Our Electric Insert is this one from Amazon (33″ for our fireplace, Devin liked the more fire insert to mantle ratio so we went a bit bigger). This shiplap kit from Rona was a godsend, we were going to do it ourselves with spacers to save some money but this was well worth the cost and time saving.

Fireplace Before, during & FULL REVEAL!


Here are some fun during shots for y’all that I had taken!

I am going to update this post a bit here with some instructions that I can remember! First off, the dimensions of this fireplace are Height 55″ x Length 83.5″ x Depth 18″. Our fireplace insert said that we should have approximately 8″ of space between it and the wall, we wanted the fireplace to be a pretty big statement so we doubled the depth.

We started out but making a frame out of 2×4’s which you can see below and attached that directly to the wall. The fireplace box was marked out for height from the ground and from top of mantle based on the way we light fireplaces to look. I can’t remember exact dimensions here but you can see we hugged out insert more to the floor than centre, however its your choice with how your want your fireplace to look! Once we had the framing done, we ran cords into it from the back to make sure everything would fit or if we had to find alternate ways to plug stuff in. One suggestion was to mount a power bar to the wall which can be accessed if the insert is removed.

We started adding our shiplap pretty quickly once the framing was done, we started from the bottom and worked out way to the top. One thing to mention here – make sure if you are using this MDF tongue and grove that you are ACTUALLY in the grove before you nail, if you look closely you can see a bigger gap on the very bottom right, I didn’t put it in all the way!

To build the mantle, we decided we wanted that floating illusion so we essentially built a box on the outside and then added the 3 pieces of wood to fit and screwed them in from the outside. If you look at the two photos below you can see the “box” we built is apron 1.5-2 inches longer than the fireplace to give that overhang look! This box actually slides RIGHT onto the frame and back into the wall. In out case, we DID NOT nail or screw down as we thought it may be a good idea to have a second access point if required. In the end, we drilled a 1 inch hole in the very top left of the mantle potion to run cords through to the plug ins below (not pictured here).


Some additional items not pictured – we added pre made trim with some groves to the side as you can see in the photo below. This trim goes right up to the bottom of the mantle, but not underneath (they essentially just meet up at a T). One thing to keep in mind with this, is if the trim you buy will be thick enough to wrap the corners, in our case it was. However we built a bar similar to this fireplace right after and it was to small to wrap the corners and the fridge nook! Make sure to measure! We filled nail holes and painted the shiplap BM Chantilly Lace (which is our baseboard colour, that is how I knew it was white enough for me) and stained the mantle special walnut. I originally was not sure how to finish the part budding right up against the floor as our floor is just a touch uneven, in the end I left it empty as you can see so it just goes straight from floor to first piece of shiplap.

A couple disclaimers to add – this fireplace is THIC and wide (LOL) – that is because I knew it wanted it be a big focal point in the basement so if you are looking for ideas building your own, I would suggest taking my measurements with a grain of salt. ALSO, if you look at the before photos, it helped us to tape out what we thought we would end up building and see if out furniture still fit OK in the area. Second, make sure to follow the guidelines with your electric insert for safety, its important to have the correct distance from the wall or furniture etc! Lastly, seal your mantle! I skipped this step for a long time and I have since had to sand down and re-stain it just from plants dripping, decor on top you name it.

LASTLY, I am going to add some NEW updated photos of this space since it has changed a lot, if you have any questions I will try my best to answer! Thank you!


See more on instagram here
See more on pinterest here

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