Hello and welcome friends! I have a project I have been working on here and there since November and it is finally finished. At times this project has been an eyesore and I’ve felt as if it has been looming on my to-do list for far too long. The past few weeks I spent time finally finishing redoing and decorating the faux mantel that I bought nearly six months ago.
In the middle of the redo process I asked my husband how much he thought I could sell the mantel for and he replied asking why I would do that. I had painted the whole mantel with an ivory chalk paint and I liked it better than when I first bought it but I didn’t LOVE it. I used a thicker chalk paint than normal which dried into a crackle effect in some spots making it look more French shabby chic than I liked. At that point I hadn’t decided what to do in the opening area and was still on the fence about how to style and decorate the mantel.
Now that she is done I really love the way the faux mantel turned out. I decided to go with a shelf and backing in the mantel opening because it seemed like a waste of space to board it up. (I thought of boarding it up and decorating it with birch slices.) Right now I have some decorative items on the shelves but with small hands I won’t be keeping the breakable items there for long. I have been searching for some baskets or containers that won’t take away from the overall look but will offer hidden storage for small toys or kid books.
Welcome on in and B.Y.O.C. (bring your own coffee) as we invite you to take a look through the redo process. Emmett is guarding the door and all the toys (oh and my lone shoe) back behind him. Off subject but I can NOT believe this little pumpkin is going to one in less than a month! Where does the time go!?
Here is the before. This is the mantel the day I brought it home from a local consignment shop here in downtown Deland, FL. We have a quaint and lovely downtown with shops and local events. If you are in search of antiques they have some good places to explore. When we first moved here I took an afternoon stopping into the shops and I saw this gem. She had a $80 price tag but with Christmas around the corner I longed to have a mantel I could decorate. I went home but I couldn’t get the mantel out of my head so I went back a few days later and offered the guy $65. He took it and I brought her home. With the hustle and bustle in my shop I quickly gave her middle a few coats of ivory/off white chalk paint and hurried to decorate for the holiday.
I really didn’t like the reddish tint but I wanted to see if the two-tone mantel would grow on me. It didn’t and I began to dislike it more and more as time went on so finally a few weeks ago I picked up another tub of chalk paint and got to work.
I painted the top and bottom with a chalk finish paint in ivory. Like I said I wasn’t in love with this brand. I think it would be perfect for jars or smaller items but it was really thick so I won’t use it for large projects again. I suppose I am just spoiled by BBFrosch Chalk Powder mixed with Behr Marquee paints because it is thinner but also has amazing coverage. I don’t like having to do a million coats to achieve the coverage I want. After the paint was dry I used sand paper to rough it up and give it some character.
Once I decided what to do inside the mantel I went to work making a shelf. I picked up a pine board and stained it then painted a thin sheet of pine board and screwed it in for the shelf backing.
This is when the mantel came to life and I fell head over heels. I used Behr Marquee Key Largo mixed with BBFrosch Chalk powder to paint the backing board.
I shopped my home, garage sales, clearance isles and our recycling bucket to find things to decorate the mantel with.
Here is a list of all the supplies I used to redo the mantel from the before to the after-
Behr Marquee interior flat paint – (color was Key Largo)
BB Frosch chalk powder
Ivory Chalk paint
fine grit sand paper
Pine board (for the shelf)
Stain (for the shelf)
Leftover piece of pine to hold the shelf (I cut it down so I had two 12 inch pieces)
Drill, drill bit and screws
Sheet of pine (for the backing)
**I should mention I had the hardware store guys cut the wood for me.
A quick overview of how I took the mantel from the before to the after –
I used a foam brosh and paint brush to paint the entire mantel in ivory chalk paint and sealed with clear wax. Then I used sand paper to rough it up and give it some character.
To make the shelf I used my tape measure to measure everything marking with a pencil. I used my level, drill and drill bit to predrill holes where I screwed in the small pine pieces used to hold the shelf up. Then I stained the shelf and screwed it down onto the small pine pieces I had attached.
For the backing I mixed together Behr paint in Key Largo with BBFrosch chalk powder and gave it two coats. I used my drill and screws to attach it to the back of the mantel.
This frame was silver and $3 on clearance at TJ Maxx. I brushed some of the ivory chalk paint lightly accenting the texture and made a 5×7 hand lettered printable to put in it.
The glass wine jug was from my recycling bin and one of my favorite parts is the height and pop of color the orange flowers add. I used to be so against fake flowers because some just look so cheap and fake but are gorgeous.
I bought the big mirror from a garage sale (more about that redo soon), I already had the rusty gear and small mirror and the little lantern came from the Target dollar spot.
When you walk into our house the mantel is one of the first things to greet you. There is the entryway bench to your right and the mantel directly to your right. I am still working on decorating the area behind the door. I had a gallery wall there before and am still deciding if I want to add a few things or take everything down.
What are your thoughts on the mantel? Love it or sell it?