Some of you may already know this but I am in the middle of a complete master bedroom remodel. For this new space I really wanted a mantel to use as a focal piece for our tv because a tv floating in mid air on a wall has never been a favorite of mine. Special thanks to my father-in-law for moving electrical and hiding all the plugins behind the tv.
I searched craigslist and finally came across something within my budget. I scored this mantel for $25- well I thought it was a score. My husband thought it was more along the lines of firewood. When we picked it up and pulled away he said, "was that even worth $25."
This mantel came out of a late 1800's home that is part of the Durham, NC historic preservation society. I admit it was in pretty bad condition and actually in two pieces- but I saw potential. Below is a picture of the house in Durham, NC that the mantel came out of.
Stripping the 10+ layers of paint off was a necessity. I love the chippy look but this was far to gone. After using paint stripper, sanding and scraping I finally got most of the paint off.
I decided to paint the mantle with Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in a darker shade called Typewriter. I choose Milk Paint for this project because Milk Paint can be used more like a stain vs. chalk paint. I really wanted the grains and imperfections of the wood to show through. Sometimes paint can cover and hide these characteristics.
If you have never worked with Milk Paint I recommend practicing on a piece of wood first. Milk Paint comes in a powder form that you mix with water. I prefer to mix by hand but most use a blender. I mix a 1:1 ratio of Milk Paint to warm water until I have a consistency like that of heavy cream. Milk Paint is much thinner that Chalk Paint and sometimes requires more layers to get the color you desire.
Milk Paint is also known for its chipping ability. However if chippy is not the look you desire you can mix in a bonding agent to prevent any chipping from occurring. I did not want chipping to occur on the mantel but since I stripped it down to bare wood using the bonding agent was not necessary. The paint soaking into the wood much like a stain. I painted on about 5 coats until I reached the deep color I wanted. Waiting about 30 mins to an hour between coats.
Once it dried I lightly sanded it. Then the next day I sealed it using Annie Sloan's Clear Wax. I applied the wax in stages, lightly brushing it across the wood in different areas each time. This created deeper areas of color. I then lightly buffed the mantel with a lent free cloth.
For the top of the mantel I decided to leave it natural. The age of this mantel is really shown through this top piece of wood. All the scrapes and nail holes. I just imagine in my mind years of stockings being hung for Christmas.
I was going for that reclaimed Restoration Hardware look and I do believe I created just that with this mantel. I love the character it added to our master bedroom- it makes having a tv mounted on the wall actually look nice.
UHGG... Seeing that ugly 90s bass ceiling fan reflecting on the tv reminds me I NEED to find a chandelier for our bedroom ASAP! Like I said we are in the middle of this complete remodel. Thanks for following along!