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How to make decorative wooden fireplace screens

Updated February 21, 2017

A decorative fireplace screen covers up the unsightly hole of your fireplace while nothing is burning. Making your own decorative fireplace screen is not as difficult as you may think. Take simple plywood and decorate it however you want to match the decor of the room. Make the job of making a fireplace screen even simpler if you have some suitable items available for recycling, such as old shutters. Use a freestanding decorative fireplace screen to cover the hole in your fireplace only when it is not in use.

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Plywood fireplace screen

  1. Measure the width of the hole of your fireplace and multiply that by three to decide how many panels you want your screen to have. Choose from three, four or five, depending on the width of your hearth and the size of the hole of your fireplace. Plan on panels being 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10 inches) wide.

  2. Draw out your desired design on the plywood using the marker. Cut out the desired shapes and number of panels using a saw. Cut out shaped tops, with curved edges, if you own a scroll saw and have the talent; otherwise you can cut rectangular panels.

  3. Choose screw-in feet for your fireplace screen to help steady the standing fireplace screen. Screw two feet into either end of each panel. Screw them into the panels 7.5 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) in from the edges.

  4. Attach 2 hinges in between every two panels; for example, if you want 3 panels, purchase 4 hinges. Alternate the direction of the hinges if you want to fold your fireplace screen accordion style for easy removal and storage when not in use. Attach the hinges going in the same direction if you are making a trifold fireplace screen and want to fold the panels in.

  5. Paint or stain your wooden fireplace screen. Paint a decorative design to match the decor of the room, if desired, or just paint a plain colour or stain.

Recycle shutters

  1. Recycle old shutters to make wooden decorative fireplace screens, which work well for taller fireplace openings.

  2. Paint or stain your shutters. Make sure to get into all the crevices. Allow the paint or stain to dry thoroughly.

  3. Attach hinges to the sides of the shutters to secure them together. Use two hinges for every two shutters, or three hinges if your shutters are more than 45 cm (18 inches) tall.

  4. Screw two feet into the bottom of each panel, 7.5 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) from the edges.

  5. Tip

    If you want to paint a picture or design on your wooden fireplace screen, add texture by painting a base colour that has sand mixed in with it. Then do any decorative painting.


    Keep in mind that you need to protect your home from fire while the fire is burning. Purchase a suitable screen for this function, and do not use a simply decorative fireplace screen, as it offers no protection.

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Things You'll Need

  • Plywood
  • Marker
  • Saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Hinges
  • Paint or stain
  • Paintbrush
  • Shutters

About the Author

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