Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Dismantle Re-mantle

This is one of those "Before and After" posts. One of the DIY projects that took up a good chunk of time in the last two weeks (one of many). It's also a lesson in making the most of what you've got.

Our house is a work in progress. I think most homes are really, because life is a work in progress... always changing. When we moved in one of the things that just didn't fit was the living room fireplace surround and mantle. What we had was a behemoth honey oak mess that was not original to the house and stood out like a sore thumb. Not everyone saw it that way, some people even liked the darned thing! It didn't help that the wall behind it was a nice 80's mint green.  It just wasn't right for us, or the mid century architecture of the house.

The thing was, we didn't have the money or the time to make it exactly how we wanted, not right now anyway. So, we worked with what we had and gave it a makeover.


The Engineer and I tackled the top mantle portion, dismantling the large jutting out shelf part, which just took some careful pounding with hammer and mallet. Much of that mantle wood has already been re-purposed and used in other projects in the house.


Next, I got to work with a medium fine sanding sponge and carefully scuff sanded the entire surface including all the nooks and crannies. I followed this with a coat of oil based primer. After that came three coats of an eggshell finish acrylic in a soft white.  The wall behind also required three coats of the same acrylic paint.

We then replaced the mantle with a large salvaged slab of Ponderosa Pine. The Engineer cut it to size and gave it just a light sanding to keep the rustic nature of it intact. The slab was skirted with a bit of black walnut that The Engineer had in the shop. Finally, the fake gold vent cover was replaced with an original piece (again made by the Engineer) created from some old pallet wood. It sure is handy having a partner who also happens to be a woodworker!


All told the makeover cost about $75. Not too shabby. We are pretty happy with how it all turned out.
Now on to the next thing on the list!







13 comments:

Chris Gilliland said...

Looks great!

C o w R o a d said...

Oh yes, what an excellent makeover! Love the new vent cover!

Daisy Jones said...

Oh that is so much better what a superb job and what a team!!
We did the sameish with ours, some people liked our old one too, I hated it!
Life is just to short to live with ugly fireplaces!!!
Give my heartfelt congrats to the engineer? bestest daisy j xxx

crazydazy said...

wow what a transformation!

Jennifer said...

It looks terrific. We had a really horrendous fireplace design (giant plaster seashell from floor to ceiling, no joke) and we stripped it down to the bricks underneath. It's simple and plain now but so much nicer. I know exactly the kind of difference these renos can make.

sustainablemum said...

Great transformation!

june at noon said...

Ah, inspiration! We are in a fairly new house, and the one thing I don't like about it is the fireplace surround. They used a tile that doesn't go with any of the other finishes in the house, looks like it was just leftover (read: free) so they slapped it on there, and I don't like the wood color. We plan to do some similar work once we get the time.

Nana Go-Go said...

A perfectly respectable fireplace indeed. I love the colours you used and the additions to your living space, especially the artwork above the fireplace. Well done Team Lola!

nanacathydotcom said...

Amazing transformation!

Frances said...

I do like your transformation. You've got a great harmony and made your house your home.

Cheers! xo

Chrissie Crafts said...

What a result! The entire area looks fresh and new, what a difference a lick of paint and some clever engineering with wood can make! I love the mantle and vent - there is something rustic yet Frank Lloyd Wright about it, do you know what I mean? So gorgeous! Chrissie x

Fledgling said...

Gorgeous! A real improvement. Like that's they way it should have been all along!

XO -N.

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Oh yes. Go team Lola Nova. What you guys have made is stunning Alex, it may not be what you would want if money were no object but it totally looks like it belongs.