Question about fireplace mantel

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PolyBatman

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I figured this would be the best place to ask. I just got an older home not sure on the year maybe around the 1970's or early 1980's. I was going to paint my fireplace but I also wanted to fix the mantel and paint it as well. So I got to work and ended up prying off a hollow wooden mantel off the brick and this is what I found...



Two 2x4's sticking into the brick and I can't really pull them out. The bottom portion of the mantel ended up falling when I pried the top of it off but overall it isn't in too horrible of shape. I was wondering if there was a better way I could install this mantel piece to the brick? Would putting the mantel back together and attaching some cleats be the best way to go about having this floating mantel reattached after removing the 2x4's from the brick?
 
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nealtw

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Often the 2x4 is attached flat to the brick and the mantle fits over that with a couple screws holding it to the 2x4. But the unit has to be built well so it does not fall apart when loaded up.
 

PolyBatman

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Often the 2x4 is attached flat to the brick and the mantle fits over that with a couple screws holding it to the 2x4. But the unit has to be built well so it does not fall apart when loaded up.
So do you think I should just cut out the 2x4's that are already there and try and install a cleat system to set the current hollow mantel on after I put it back together?
 

nealtw

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You might add the cleat if those are loose but I would leave them there as a back for overloading the weight.
 
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