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!
Now on to the next thing on the list!