Colonial-Style Fireplace Mantel

I started installation by attaching plywood backing to the brick with masonry screws, using a plumb laser and shims to get everything in the same plane

I then installed the four pilasters and a quirk-and-bead around the marble slip, shown shimmed into place while the glue was setting.

The center bump-out is two separate pieces and sits a little proud of the pilasters; the bottom piece is wrapped with 1/4-inch MDF and hangs from the two pieces of plywood backing.

Coping was impossible for the detailed molding profiles, so I mitered inside corners. I started with the large cove molding at the top, then used gauge blocks cut to the width of the reveals to make sure the moldings below ran parallel.

The mantel took about four days to install and paint

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