I’ve always admired my friend Beth’s love of decorating her mantel. She plays with it to satisfy her decorating hunger, and I adore the way she uses it as her own personal canvas. My wonky old fireplace was tricky to decorate – not because it was ugly, but it was slanted. Stuff would just slide right off. But, my friends, no more.
Last week I told Mr. SCC that it was time. I was ready to tackle pulling out the old, non-functioning insert, take down the shelf, rip out the tile and basically start from scratch.
Each time we start a project, we buy a few extra pieces of wood. You never know when a small mistake can set you back 2 hours to go buy another 1×8. (Oh the luxury of living in the country!) All leftovers go into our “wood savings,” then can be used on the next project. There was enough to build our entire mantel without buying a single extra piece – gotta love use what you have projects!
Simple 1x8s and 1x6s framed out the columns and structure, and a stair runner was used for the top. Stock crown molding and simple trim helped to give it a little detail. All the components were cheap solutions for whatever projects they were originally intended for – we rarely go all out.
We did, however, have to purchase two sheets of beadboard to go on the walls. Slowly, but surely, every wall is getting the striped stuff that I just can’t seem to get enough of. A couple of coats of Hawaiian Sky later, I moved on to painting the mantel.
The mantle part got the dark greeny blue – and the “firebox” surround was coated with the same plain white as my trim. A good brush and steady hand was all it took – no taping off here And there she is – in all her glory! My favorite little birdcage fit perfectly into the firebox (which is a wood surround painted a dark grey called Cracked Pepper).
We decided to use leftover flooring from the kitchen for the hearth – free off cuts, and it makes the rooms more cohesive. Win-win!
Mr. SCC accidentally dropped the mantle on the gravel floor, even before it was painted. That’s ok though! I love the age appeal it adds
Peach tree blossoms in an Ikea watering can (bought on my recent trip to Ikea with Cha Cha) gives me that farmhouse feel I love.
My addiction to mercury glass candlesticks finally came in useful!
Paint colors for DIY fireplace mantel: Wall – Hawaiian Sky (Dutch Boy); Mantel – Dragonfly (Behr); Trim – Stock White (Behr); Flooring – Jacobean (MinWax)