May 4, 2011

{Fireplace Reveal}

When we built our house, we had about five mantels to choose from (that's the problem when you don't build custom, but custom comes with a price).  Unfortunately, I didn't "love" any of the options, so we just picked the one we thought we could live with.  We had an option of building a stone hearth and mantel as well, but I was afraid I wouldn't "love" it forever and it would be too hard to change down the road.  I knew I had always loved older homes and wood mantels and had always admired the chunkier look of wood on a fireplace mantel; I think it has a more charming look.

Our inspiration...

And of course The Lettered Cottage beauty...

So, the challenge was to recreate the look on our builder basic mantel, without RIPPING or DEMOing the existing. 

Mantel before we started...

We thought it was good, but we knew it could be so much better! 

We just wanted to slip the new mantel on top of the old, nail it in place, paint and prime, and be done!  And that's exactly what we did...

First, was the wood.  A combination of 1X8's for the front two columns (legs), and 1X4's for the sides.  A 1X12 on the top front, then 1X2's to trim out on the top section (framing top and bottom).  Then we added 1/2X2 boards to trim out the top and the columns, along with lattice board.  We just nailed as we went, adding layer and layer of wood, until we achieved the look we were going for...

Prep the holes with Elmer's Wood Filler.  It's the best and super easy to work with.

Caulk the gaps with paintable caulk and let dry (cure).
Prime with a primer. We used Sherwin William's Adhesion primer.

We painted two coats of Sherwin Williams Extra White in semigloss with added FLOETROL (to match all of the trim in our house).  A tip for all you DIYers out need to get with Floetrol when painting cabinets, woodwork, and furniture of any kind.  You can find it at any paint speciality store or big box home improvement store.  It extends the drying time of your paint, allows all the brush marks to fade away, and gives you a factory smooth finish.  Follow the directions on the back of the container, and you will be so pleased!

Isn't she purty? 

What do you think?

Materials Needed:
Wood (various sizes to fit your existing mantle: 1x8, 1x4, 1x3, 1x2, 1/2x2, lattice board)
Nail gun
Compound miter saw
Wood filler
Paint of your choice
Frog Tape

She's looking a little plain.  Next project?



  1. I think that looks awesome! Love it. You're lucky you have a partner in crime to help execute the plans! Also, you're making me want to run to the store for some

  2. Wow! What a vision you had! I love it. Thanks so much for the floetrol tip! I haven't ever of it.

  3. Floetrol is only to be used in latex paints. Also another option is XIM Latex Extender.

  4. Beautiful! Quick question about floetrol - will it cover up the wood grain? I want to paint my oak kitchen cabinets and I don't want the grain to show through...wondering if floetrol will do the trick.

  5. No. Floetrol will not fill in the wood grain. Only sanding and some putty will do that.


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