How to make an MDF fire surround

Written by cameron easey
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How to make an MDF fire surround
A surround can be made to cover an existing fireplace. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

A fireplace surround is a structure typically made of wood used to cover the front of an existing fireplace. However, if you do not want to use real wood for the construction another option is medium-density fibreboard. MDF is an engineered material made with wood fibres compressed together with a binder. It is durable, denser than plywood and takes paint and stains well.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 2 cm (3/4 inch) sheet of MDF
  • Tape measure
  • Table saw
  • Wood glue
  • Finish nails
  • Nail gun

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Instructions

    Cut the MDF

  1. 1

    Measure the width and height of your existing mantle with the tape measure.

  2. 2

    Measure two pieces of MDF 15 cm (6 inches) wide and match the height of the mantle. Cut the MDF to this size with the table saw. Measure and cut two pieces of MDF 10 cm (4 inches) wide.

  3. 3

    Measure and cut two pieces of MDF 10 cm (4 inches) wide and the height of the mantle.

  4. 4

    Measure and cut a piece of MDF 17.5 (7 inches) wide and the width of the mantle.

  5. 5

    Measure and cut a 10 cm (4 inch) piece of MDF the width of the mantle.

    Assemble the surround

  1. 1

    Apply wood glue to the back of the 10 cm (4 inch) pieces of MDF that are the height of the mantle. Place these on top of the 15 cm (6 inch) pieces to leave a 2.5 cm (1 inch) gap in on each side. Secure the pieces together with finish nails by driving one into each corner with the nail gun.

  2. 2

    Apply a bead of wood glue to the top of the 15 cm (6 inch) wide pieces of MDF. Place the 17.5 cm (7 inch) piece of MDF on top of the 15 cm (6 inch) pieces. Secure the pieces together with finish nails using the nail gun.

  3. 3

    Apply a bead of wood glue on each end of the 10 cm (4 inch) piece of MDF that is the width of the mantle. Set this piece under the 2.5 cm (1 inch) lip of the 17.5 cm (7 inch) piece. Secure the pieces of MDF with the finish nails.

  4. 4

    Set the surround upright and place it in front of the fireplace.

Tips and warnings

  • Sand and stain the MDF to match the existing fireplace mantle.

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