Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Hand That Paints the Mantle... Cramps!

Soooo as  I had previously stated in my first Before and After post, we recently moved into a bigger house and with all of this extra space, there is a TON of work to be done!  The new house is a pretty, two story Colonial with wood floors and arched doorways and coved ceilings...  I love it!  Our bathroom upstairs is huge!  You could fit like, 10 people in there!  My previous bathroom in my flat was so tiny that my five year old and I could not even be in there at the same time without bumping into one another!

Though I love my new house, there are plenty of things I would like to revamp, refurbish and remake into a style that suits my tastes better.  One of those items was my fireplace  & mantle.  It is oak wood and frankly, though it is in good shape, it did not really meld with the feeling of the room.  It is also in a very odd place in the room.  Rather than on an exterior wall, the fireplace is located just inside the front door and rests on an interior wall opposite the kitchen.  So you walk into the house and BAM!  Fireplace.  Weird.

Since the fireplace is the first thing you see, I wanted it to exude the general feel of the house decor and that  usually ends up somewhere between Shabby Chic and Traditional.  And this finished oak complete with rope detail screams 1990 blah.  It also did not meld well with my distressed, teal mirror from an earlier project.  I wanted a change that would be quick and easy and time and time again, I have found that paint can quickly and easily transform a room.  I decided to paint!  And I decided on white.  It is a shabby chic staple and in my opinion, works well with a vintage or traditional decor.  I used Frog Tape for the wall and edges; again Frog Tape.  Amazing.  Try it, you'll see :) 

After sanding down the surface and edges, I was ready to paint.  I had a left over can of white paint by Valspar that I decided on for the mantle. It is a semi-gloss finish and I believe the shade was Clean White.  It's bright and crisp and I wanted a white that would pop against the khaki-beige like color of our living room. I used my trusty Purdy soft tipped brush and got to work.  I started at the bottom with long, quick swooshes.  About halfway up the first side, I realized the need for a roller.  Seeing as though I started this project in the middle of the day and dinner was quickly approaching, I knew a trip to the hardware was not an option.  I powered through with my brush and though the cramping in my hand only got worse, I knew the finished product would be worth it.  It should also be noted that the small rope detailing on the face of the mantle was rather difficult to paint with a medium sized brush.  Here I would have used a smaller paint brush to get in between every nook and cranny.  I guess a trip to my beloved hardware store is in my future.

I also knew the mantle would need a few coats as I did not prime the wood.  Three was the magic number and after three coats (letting each coat dry completely in between) I was happy with the results.  After the last coat was completely dry I put the distressed mirror back on the mantle and also added some books and vintage candles.  The candles were purchased at an estate sale by a friend.  They burn slowly and even when the candle is gone they will still look pretty for years to come sitting on my mantle, or on an end table or book shelf. 

This project cost me $0.00 as the paint was left from the previous owner and I had the sand paper and brush on hand.  It did cost me some pain from the cramping in my hand but like I said before, the end result was worth the cramps.  I walk into my house every day now and see this pretty white mantle and no more 90's oak wood roping.  Totally worth it~

Speaking of pretty things, I am in the middle of another project for my daughter's room that involves one of my favorite colors... PINK!  Stay tuned and...

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