Normally, a fireplace is a warm and welcoming addition to a room. Unless of course you have our fireplace which just dominates the space. Let me explain. It’s massive and until I painted it a few years ago, it was a dated orange brick nightmare. While the paint job definitely brought it back into this decade, several problems still remained. Specifically, the large hole for wood logs. This post contains affiliate links.
DIY Aspen Log Fireplace Insert
The hole is a pretty good size and almost makes me think someone expected to heat the whole house with just the fireplace. Well folks, that’s not us! We have never made a fire in our fireplace in six years! True story. So it was pretty safe to say we would not be filling the hole with wood logs anytime soon, but it sure would look cool if we did right? For close to five years I have wanted to create a stack of faux logs, but never had the materials or quite frankly the time to do it. Lucky for me, I stumbled upon a Craig’s List ad recently giving away aspen logs. It was now or never.
Since we have done a multitude of projects over the years, we had plenty of scrap wood hanging out in the garage to make this dream of mine happen for $0! Man am I on a roll or what? I didn’t have any plywood large enough to cover the hole, so I used a sheet of luan we had and cut it down to size.
Next, we made a frame to support it since luan is pretty thin.
Then we attached some scrap 2x4s to the back of the frame to keep it from falling forward.
Then I got to work cutting my logs into small discs. I did not measure the depth because I wanted them to have a stacked affect and thought varying sizes would be best.
After I cut all the wood pieces I let them dry in the sun for about two weeks. The logs I found for free had just been cut down. If you have older wood you could probably skip this.
While the wood was drying, I painted the piece of luan the color of our fireplace. You could also paint it black.
Once the wood was dry, I arranged all my pieces on the luan. Initially, I used my glue gun to glue them down. This was a BAD idea. DO NOT USE a GLUE GUN!
After a day of letting the glue dry, all the wood discs started to fall off! So we brought out the big guns and used some landscape adhesive we had on hand. This worked like a charm.
If you have never used caulk savers, they are great! We found ours at Lowes, but these are similar.
When I glued all of the wood pieces down I purposefully left a few unglued so we could screw the luan to the frame and then hide the screws with a wood disc.
To screw the face to the frame we laid it out on a folding table in the garage to provide some support to screw through the wood.
Once the face was attached, I glued the remaining pieces of wood into place. Then it was ready to slide into its new home on the fireplace.
Now, I can pretend we actually use our fireplace and spent hours chopping wood logs!
I have just one more fireplace wish list item, a mantel. Coming soon, hopefully!
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