I decided to build a facade over the rising structure of the fireplace, one that could be easily removed when the owner left the apartment. My inspiration for the shape of the new fireplace surround was taken from Greek Revival, a typically strong architectural style that I knew would bring much-needed energy to this room. Instead of painting the brick or covering it in plaster, I build a facade over the brick using sheets of medium-density fiberboard (MDF). You will need two pieces of MDF for the sides of the fireplace and one for the front of the fireplace. The mantle was left untouched.
After adding some molding for a little detail, I then primed the structure and applied a golden yellow base coat. To antique the wood, I wiped burnt umber water-based stain over the surface, leaving a buildup of stain behind in the corners and crevices around the molding to make it look old.