Fireplace Mantel Déjà vu

Are you ready for the longest fireplace mantel make-over in history? No? Me neither. But that's just what we have here folks.

After we finished repainting our main floor from an avocodo-ish green to a creamy bone colour our fireplace looked a little washed out all alone in the corner.

Don't mind the painters tape, my brain works in weird ways. Take photos before Elaine... take them before. Anyway....

So, a little painting party was in order and black was going to be the guest of honour. My supply pile looked like this:

Some high gloss black paint, a roller brush (for the large flat areas) and an angle brush (for crevices and edging).

The painting party started out innocently enough (do you hear the sinister background music) and I happily painted away. 

One thing I was sure to do was mask really well. I wanted my edges to be nice and clean because let's face it black isn't exactly the easiest colour to hide when if you mess up.

After the first coat it was looking like this. Not too shabby! I could tell I was going to love the finished result at this point. But then something caught my eye - can you see it?

I'll give you a hint. It's GOLD and TACKY...

Oh Madame Golderson - you were SO not invited to the party. I kicked her out took the gold offender out on to the back deck and gave her it a quick sand followed by a few coats of this guy:

Mr. Rust Oleum was a late arrival to the party but boy was he welcome. Thank you Rust!

A quick side note - as I was introducing Madame Golderson to Mr. Oleum my neighbour wandered over, and then another quicky followed suit... "Whatcha doing?" they asked... Fast forward ten minutes and I had two more Madame Golderson's hanging out on my back deck. Everyone loves a quick update! ... and I love the 'Thank You' bottle of red wine that showed up a day later!

Okay, back to this. I removed the gold handles (the curly dangly things in the pic above Rust) alltogether from the mesh 'curtains' as I just didn't like them. Nothing screams "Open me, I'm HOT" to a toddler louder than gold handles. And since this is gas fireplace you don't really need to open the mesh anyway (you still can by just pulling back the curtain - but the handles were overkill). The result is a much cleaner streamlined look (and it's safer).

A few days later I was able to paint my second coat of paint on the mantel and began to remove the tape for my grand reveal (why is the sinister music getting louder)?

Oh right. This is why.

At this point I said something along the lines of "Golly gee willikers, did I paint latex paint over oil based? Well, isn't that just gosh darn silly of me". (I MAY be paraphrasing here).

Are you freakin' kidding me!? Guess which mistake I will NEVER make again. Umm. this might be a good time to mention how to test for oil paint. Rub a bit of nail polish remover in an inconspicuous area. If the paint comes off, it's latex. If it doesn't, it's my mantel. I wish I had tested.

There are no pics of the many hours spent righting my wrong but in a nutshell I used everything from warm water and dish soap, sponges, steam, a scraper, picking with my finger nails and of course a hand and electric sander. If there was a tip out there, I tried it. Nothing was awesome. 

After consulting with one of my neighbours who does quite a lot of painting he let me know that if I had sanded the sheen off my existing fireplace then I would have probably been okay. I continued to remove as much of the old and new paint as I could and even coated the whole thing with some primer that I had left over from another project. At this point I was ready to start again. 

Déjà vu.

But I was too tired.

So I waited a few days.

Then I did the whole shebang over again.

And this time she worked.

The painting party is over.

The longest, lamest, most annoying party ever.

... But the end result is FAB!

Here is the before:

And the AFTER!

SO worth all the blood sweat and tears (okay no blood but I can't say the same for the other two).

I can't wait to decorate it for Fall :)

Oh and here is a close up of the freshly painted grill...

I love how it ties in seemlessly now instead of standing out like... well... a gold fireplace grill from the early 90's.

(No offense Madame Golderson)

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  1. Fabulous! I'm sure it will look beautiful when decorated for the holidays!


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