Fireplace Mantel Makeover
Happy February Friends! I had lots of good intentions to pop in here with updates and new posts in January but the toddler situation has been keeping me away from my computer. God love that child-he loves his Mama. And he is not happy when I leave his side. But for my own sanity I decided to hire a sitter for the day so I could get some work done. Despite being attached at the hip to a toddler, I did get a few things accomplished in January. Including a mini makeover on my fireplace mantel.
Here’s what my mantel looked like before. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Seriously, we haven’t even been in this house for 2 years. It’s not like a makeover was in order. But this was a spec house and it was finished when we purchased it. While I love most of the finishes, there are some things I would have done differently. The dark stain on the fireplace ties in with the front door and our stair rail. (You can see that on my Christmas Home Tour post here) But I’ve never really loved it. It just seemed like this one, dark outline on a wall with nothing else on it.
I was craving something softer and fresher for the mantel and after some debate, I decided to paint it. Actually, it was kind of a hard decision. If I was in an older home, I would have done it in a heartbeat. But given that everything was new, it just seemed like I should live with it.
I’m so glad I decided to paint it. Here is the after and I love it! Now it relates better to our kitchen cabinets and doesn’t just stand out as one dark thing on the wall. It makes the room seem lighter as a whole.
I opted to paint it in Sherwin Williams Alabaster which is a pretty close match to our kitchen cabinet color. (You can see our kitchen cabinets here) Only our kitchen cabinets have a bit of a glaze on them. The color also blends into the existing trim color but it’s just a bit brighter.
Of course, since the fireplace was freshened up I had to freshen up my furniture arrangement too. I brought these pretty cane chairs from my bedroom and gave them a quick recover in a white fabric. And the chaise lounge chair that I had in the corner (that no one used except the dog) was relocated to my bedroom to be used as a cozy reading corner.
Now I have some extra seating for guests and a super pretty view when I sit on the couch to watch tv. I was a little worried about the chairs blocking too much of the fireplace but they really don’t.
I used Sherwin Williams Pro Classic paint in a satin finish to get the look I was after. Here is the key that I learned. Prime, Prime, Prime! In my haste to get this project done, I only did one coat of primer. In hindsight, I should have used at least two to really cover the dark before I started painting. It ended up taking me about 4 coats of the white to get the really opaque coverage that I was after.
To make it really smooth I also gave a light sanding to each coat. I’m really happy with how it turned out. I wanted it to look like it was a pro job and not a DIY hack. Which meant taking my time-not something I’m super good at!
Eventually, I would like to change out the tile surround too. But that’s a project for a whole other day (or year!) Again, nothing wrong with the tile, just not what I would have chosen. But I think with the white paint, it doesn’t stand out as much as it did with the dark stain. Perhaps other options like a subway tile would look much more pleasing.
Here’s a little side by side shot of the before and after. I’m so glad I decided to paint it.
As always I’d love for you to pin any of these images or feel free to share on your social media. And let me know what you think. Leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you!