Tutorial: How to Paint a Fireplace Mantle

Oct 23, 2014

Before I get into the tutorial I just want to say thank you for taking the time to come on here and read my writings & ramblings!

I'm having a lot of fun putting the projects and posts together so I'm glad you're enjoying reading them too :)

The first fireplace I painted was at my last house, and although the end result was quite good, the process was a disaster. Believe it or not, I actually spray painted the mantle - indoors - in my living room. This was back when I first started reading DIY blogs, namely Young House Love (so upset that they have decided to stop blogging...!), and everything was being spray painted. So of course, my first project had to involve spray paint - only I should've chosen an object that was significantly smaller and one that I could take outside.

Safe to say, I learned my lesson from that experience and went with the good ol can of paint and paint brush for fireplace mantle painting round 2.
Let me preface by saying I'm no pro, but this is what worked for me.

Step 1: Prep your mantle. Dust it first with a dry cloth or duster then wipe it down with a wet cloth. Once dry, very lightly sand the mantle. I used 180 grit sandpaper, the finest grit, just to lightly remove some of the sheen from the mantle finish.

Step 2: Prime your mantle. Since I was painting black over white, I chose to go with a grey primer which helped the darker colour apply a little easier than if I was applying directly over white. The paint shop can tint a can of white primer to make it grey.  

Step 3: Once your primer has completely dried, start applying your the colour that you've chosen. Be mindful of places where the paint may run or drip. I found this fairly common so I painted in small sections rather than tackling the whole mantle in one go. I also recommend using paint near the wall. As much as I like to think I have a steady hand, I'd rather tape then have to cover up black paint on the white walls. 

Step 4: Once your mantle is fully covered in it's new colour, apply a few coats of Minwax polyurethane (there are recommendations on the can, I applied one coat only to the top where there would be the most contact and it's held up perfectly so far). The paint was an eggshell finish and I wanted as little shine as possible so I went with velvet finish for the polyurethane.

Once you're comfortable with the number of polyurethane coats you've applied, let it dry and then you're done!
Don't be intimated by this project. It only requires patience. Just remember it's worth it in the end...the results make a big impact! 

1 comment:

  1. Love the black next to the marble, makes it pop way more than the white!