Ordered this unfinished since we needed to paint it White. Had to wait until our previously brick column of fireplace was refaced in stone. Our carpenter first built, painted and mounted a white box onto the fireplace. Then the installers attached the stone (on a mortar base) from the bottom up around the newly installed Vermont Castings insert--then up to and around the box. Made it much simpler than trying to cut around the mantel. The Mantel was painted and added last. There is a bit of the box showing but doesn't detract from the overall look--it was the safest way to attach it all to the 37yr old brick fireplace. There are 7 coats of primer and paint on the mantel, last one a sealer. It looks gorgeous. I was pleased with the quality and how well it was shipped.