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DIY Faux Fireplace

Is your rental living room lacking character? Add coziness and style to your space with this DIY faux fireplace. I partnered with Home Depot Canada to design one (complete with drawings) that looks built-in but isn’t, making it perfect for a rental!


- ¾ inch MDF

- 1x6 MDF

- 1 X 4 MDF

- moulding

- nail gun

- nails

- wood glue

- screws

- brackets

- wood filler

- sand paper

- primer

- paint

- paint brush

- paint roller


- stone (we used Caesarstone in Callacatta Nuvo)

- silicone

Our living room is small, so we designed the fireplace to fit the size of our living room. Once we determined the overall measurements, we made a list of all the cuts we’d need for the frame and trim. Here’s the best part: Home Depot will cut everything for you (except the mitre cuts for the corners, which we did at home)! I love this service. Having everything cut in-store meant it was easier to get the pieces home in a smaller vehicle.


Step One: Build columns

Use 3/4 inch MDF panels to build two vertical columns for either side of the fireplace. Cut another MDF board to run across the top front of the fireplace to attach the two columns together. This board will dictate the overall width of the fireplace. Attach this to the columns on the back with small corner brackets.

Step Two: Add trim

Use 1x4 and 1x6 pieces of MDF to add trim, vertically and horizontally. Start by adding the base trim (1x6) to the front and exterior sides (the inside trim should be added once the firebox is in place). Then add the horizontal trim at the top. Add the 1x4 vertical trim, then fill in the horizontal trim above the firebox opening. Use a nail gun to attach; this minimizes the wood-filling needed before painting.

Step Three: Cut the frame for firebox

Use ¾ inch MDF to cut a panel that will sit securely in the fireplace opening. Then measure the size you’d like the firebox and cut it out of the centre of the panel.

Step Four: Build the firebox

Cut four ¾ inch MDF boards to create the frame of the firebox. They should be 2 inches BLAH than the depth of the fireplace so it can be inset from the main frame. Attach them to the back of the frame using brackets.

Step Five: Attach frame to columns

Screw the frame to the columns using small corner brackets.

Step Six: Attach the stone to frame (optional)

We had leftover Caesarstone from our countertop so we added that to the front of the firebox frame. You could simply paint it, cover it with faux brick or tile. For the Caesarstone, lay the fireplace on the floor, apply silicone to the back of the stone and set in place. We added 1x2 inch trim to the front to secure in place.

Step Seven: Add top and remaining trim

Cut 3/4 inch MDF two inches larger than overall size of fireplace top. Centre it and screw in place. Add the base trim to the inside of the fireplace, in front of the firebox.

Step Eight: Fill holes

Use wood filler to fill all exposed holes. Sand when dry.

Step Nine: Prime and paint

Move the fireplace in position. Cut the baseboard behind it so it sits flush against the wall. Prime and paint it, including the exposed wall on the back of the fireplace.

We couldn't be happier with it and I'm already planning on how I'll style it for the holidays!

All photos by Angus Fergusson.

This post was created in partnership with Home Depot Canada.

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