A Mantel Makeover


I’m feeling a little nostalgic. Even though we are mostly settled in our new home, I am still missing our former home of 10 years.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we?

On a cold rainy day in February 2001 the hub and I walked into an Open House, and this is what we saw.

Our First Visit To Our Future Home - At The Open House

I loved the brick and I loved the fireplace, but I wasn’t feelin’ the fancy schmancy decorative plaques on the fireplace mantel.  It just didn’t seem to fit with the casual feel of the home.

Not that these plaques would have been a deal-breaker, but still!…

We made an offer on the home, and after 24-nail-biting-hours, our offer was accepted. The seller got 3 offers.

Almost exactly 10 years later, we had made a lot of changes.

Ahhhh...Much Better

Casual Fireplace Mantel

Let’s see the transformation of a formal to casual mantel.

Decorative Plaques Were Easily Removed With A Razor Blade And A Wood Chisel

Removing the decorative plaques was way easier than I anticipated. I carefully cut around the base of each plaque to break the seal made from paint.

Then, I wedged a wood chisel underneath the edge, and twisted back and forth until the nails started to come out of the mantel. Once the nails started to move, I worked my way around the plaque until the entire thing was lifted from the mantel.

Minor Repairs To The Surface Underneath

The oil-base paint was thick. I lightly sanded the paint edges to create a smooth edge between the painted and unpainted parts of the mantel.

Clean Up

The hub gets a little weird about dust and dirt (even in small amounts!). The same year we remodeled this home, a central vacuum was at the top of his home improvement list.

The hub is very resistent to home improvement projects.  Over the years I’ve learned that it’s less stressful for him (and me) if I start these projects while he is not home (hehehehe).

I’m in a rush to get this mess cleaned up before he gets home.

I often wonder if he dislikes the project or the messes they create.  It’s probably the mess he hates the most.

Advertisement For Central Vacuum

This is an actual advertisement we received a few years AFTER installing the central vac.

Hmmm….maybe the idea of using a “power tool” created the hub’s disgust-for-dust?

Have you tackled a small project with big results?  I’d love to hear about it.  Feel free to comment below.


  1. It looks really great:)

Speak Your Mind