Building a faux fireplace mantle, part 3

When we last left you, our beautiful antique mantle with its faux firebox looked like this:

Nothing was painted, no stone was laid. Things were kinda bare. And unfinished.

Our first item on the agenda was to paint it.

First, we caulked any cracks or areas we felt needed filling in. We painted the mantle and the adjoining boards behind it with white paint in satin finish.

Next, we installed Airstone to the surround and the bottom of the hearth.

This stuff is amazingly easy and fun to work with. Simply spread the adhesive on the back of the stones like you’re frosting a cake and press into place. You can also cut the stone with a hacksaw or circular saw.

We then laid faux slate vinyl tiles across the top of the hearth. We may upgrade it later to real slate but I am loving how this looks, and how little it cost.

We then painted the faux brick paneling with some matte black chalk paint. I just like the finish.

We still have a few areas to fill in and some trim to add, but all in all, I am loving it!

Stay tuned! The rest of our living room is about to change in a big way, and I can’t wait to show it to you!!

Have a great Monday!

Restoring an antique fireplace mantle

Last weekend, I posted this picture on Instagram, leading my followers to wonder what I’m up to.

I’m going to go ahead and tell you that this project will take several posts, and I’ll be talking about it for the next few weeks…but I’m happy to scratch the surface today.

This absolutely lovely antique mantle has been in my garage for almost two years. I knew what I wanted to do with it but just couldn’t find the time. Story of my life. I knew I wanted it done by December so I felt compelled to stop dragging my feet and just do it.

Then, there was a whole lotta strippin’ going on, and not the sexy kind. At least this kind of stripper doesn’t smell bad. Just brush it on with a paintbrush and wait thirty minutes. Then, scrape that paint right off. You may have to repeat the process, if there are several layers of paint to remove. I had to do this three times.

Plus, the stripper gives everything a pinkish hue, which is also lots of fun.

I used low grit sandpaper and a plastic putty knife to scrape away the paint. I’ve almost got all the paint off.

And if you’ll tune in next week, I’ll show you the second installment. Come see us next Tuesday to see what I’m doing with this mantle.

Make it Monday: an easy summer wreath

Make it Monday: an easy summer wreath

I found these beautiful hydrangea blooms at Hobby Lobby. I wasn’t going to buy them, but they were so pretty I had to have them.

Hobby Lobby

I knew I needed a new wreath for my back door, so I decided to buy an oval grapevine wreath.

I also grabbed some ribbon from my craft cabinet and got to work. I simply cut the stems from the flowers, put the flowers into the wreath and arranged them as I liked. I then added a little hot glue to the backs of the blooms and tied a bow from my ribbon. I attached this to the top.

I was satisfied with the wreath when I finished it. And if you’re wondering how realistic the flowers are?

This sweet butterfly was surprised, too!

This wreath was easy and fun to make. Have you made any wreaths lately?

Board and Batten farmhouse shutters: a ridiculously easy DIY

Board and Batten farmhouse shutters: a ridiculously easy DIY

Our kitchen had this awkward window above the sink, which looked into the dining room. It was random and weird, and I couldn’t decide what to do with it. I thought about putting a cafe rod and curtains there, but I really didn’t want to do that.

I wanted something more unique. I spotted some scrap wood in my garage and I had an idea: why not create some simple, rustic shutters? I measured the opening and cut the wood. Then, I bought some cute hinges and handles.

Here they are all laid out but not actually put together.

I constructed four shutters with crossbars like this:

I then painted them white, as you can see.

I attached the hinges on the insides of the shutters so I could accordion close them into the sides of the opening.

I absolutely love how much character these simple, rustic shutters add to our kitchen.

What rustic DIY have you recently created?

Creating a DIY Rustic Coat Rack

Creating a DIY Rustic Coat Rack

We had an awkward blank wall in our bedroom that was just begging for some rustic charm. I thought about buying a coat rack, but I couldn’t find what I wanted at the right price.

Then I found these super cute drawer knobs at Hobby Lobby. I loved the detail and “antique” look of them.

I immediately knew that I wanted to use them. I went to the garage and grabbed a scrap board. I stained it using Minwax Mohogany.

I then measured the board and marked where I wanted the knobs to go. Next, I drilled the holes.

I then inserted the knobs and screwed the bolts and washers to the board.

Now I no longer have an awkward, empty space, and a handy, cute new place to hang clothes.

What rustic DIY projects have you done lately?