The Mantel

When we moved into our new home this past October we knew we would eventually have to do something about “that mantel”.


Do you see how yellow it is?

So, the basement flooded over Thanksgiving when the water softener malfunctioned and pumped approx. 150 gallons of water straight onto the floor in the middle of the night during its regen cycle. Since we were going to have to replace all the flooring anyway, we decided this was the time to sand and re-stain the mantel to be “not yellow”.

husband sanding “yellow” off mantel
and more sanding…

After it was all sanded down to bare wood we applied a medium brown stain, and that made it so much worse!

making it go from bad to worse

Hmmm… I guess it’s a piece of pine and it’s full of sap which is why the middle won’t absorb any color and it looks polka dotted. Ugh. [insert minor freak out moment]

Well, we obviously have no idea what we’re doing. Any ideas!?!

My wonderful husband went back to Ace Hardware (the closest hardware store) to look for something… darker…? lighter…? more opaque…? How about white wash?

After the darker and more opaque stain didn’t work, we decided to try whitewash.

still whitewashing

Hmmm…. Still not loving it folks.

As a last ditch, Hail Mary, effort we added an antique glaze I had purchased for another project I haven’t gotten around to yet.

as good as it’s gonna get

We are looking forward to your comments on this one friends! Which color mantel looks best to you? What would you have done differently? I’m not gifted at decorating, what should I place on top of the mantel now?

As always, thanks for following us or stopping by for a visit!

18 thoughts on “The Mantel

  1. I think the final one looks by far the best. I don’t know what to place on top of the mantel; however, I would consider placing something on the hearth on each side. I think you want to keep the eye anchored on the heart of the fireplace ( the middle area where the flames are). A black metal container of wood? A large basket of flowers – or other seasonal decor? Something to provide some contrast but also to blend with the bricks and the mantel. I’m not a decorator, but I play one sometimes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The finished product looks amazing to me
    – but I actually loved the dark brown and how it brought out all the different blemishes and tones in one piece of wood. Everything God created is so amazingly intricate and beautiful! 💕 good job friends it looks great

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 😊
      I thought maybe some people would like the dark stain better. It was kind of a toss-up. Those splotches looked really weird to me though. I love the natural grain of wood most of the time. But something about those spots looked really unnatural. Eric and I had never seen anything like it before. 🤷🏻‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the picture to the right is best. With the antique stain, the color is closer to the stone. I think there is an issue with proportion and the high contrast between the black fireplace against the stone background. Have you thought about putting a decorative black trellis across the length of the mantel?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I actually like the original coloring, but it doesn’t go with the color of the stone around it. I think the finished product looks great! What you put on the mantel will depend on your taste. We have a wood-burning stove which doesn’t have a mantel so we added some shelves near the stove enclosure. Our house is very rustic so my shelves are mostly filled with items from my late parents – an old camera that belonged to my mama, a clock my daddy made, and a few wildlife themed figurines they collected. Of course, this time of year all of that gets replaced with Christmas decorations, LOL.

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    1. I thought some people would like the original stain best. It was just too yellow for the stone bricks though. Thanks for the decor ideas. I found a few things on our latest thrifting expedition. I’ll have to post an update after I switch out the stockings for non-Christmas decor!


  5. Sorry to hear about the basement flooding. We had minor water leakage but the damage from it kept growing. That happened in July, and we’re almost done with the construction work.
    I digress…your antique glaze is nice and blends in more nicely than the original. Something like that would drive me nuts too and that’s all I’d see. Thank you OCD.
    Great team work from you and your husband.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We didn’t even know there was a water leak until my daughter pointed to the ceiling and asked why it was warped. That’s when we realized the dishwasher tube got damaged. No wonder I was hearing drips of water in one of the downstairs’ room; I thought it was a mouse and got frantic.
        Water rescue company discovered most of our kitchen floor waterlogged and mold growing behind the dishwasher. eck. Lower kitchen cabinets and the living space refloored.
        It caused so many schedule changes disrupting our homeschooling, and then the iReady disruptions too.

        Liked by 1 person

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