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It's Fireplace Season! Does Your Mantle Need a Fresh Coat?

In the warmer months when you are spending time outside, maybe you do not look at your mantle quite that much. But as the weather cools and you begin to think about turning the heat on or hanging holiday decorations, the mantle can become the focus.

And maybe that mantle hasn’t seen care and attention in a while. Maybe the color is outdated or the stain is fading. Adding a fresh coat of paint before winter may be what the doctor (designer?) ordered. Maybe you have been wanting to update your mantle, make it look more modern with a clean coat of white.

If the mantle is already painted, this is an easier job than the first coat of paint. If already painted, the mantle just needs to be cleaned and sandpapered.

If your mantle is not painted, but rather stained, there is a bit more prep work involved.

Either way, cleaning is the first step as mantles often have candle wax, soot and dust covering them.

The next step for either mantle is sanding. A 220 or 180 sandpaper should do the trick. After a good sanding, make sure to use a tack rag to wipe all the dust away.

If your mantle is already painted, the gaps are likely already filled, but if this is the first time painting the mantle, you are going to want to caulk any gaps between the adjoined pieces and where the mantle meets the wall.

Before you decide to paint your mantle, you must know what type of wood it is made from. Oak is most popular, but mantles can also be made from pine.

Oak is grainy. There are bigger gaps between the grains and these need to be filled before painting. A clear grain filler, like Aqua Coat, works nicely. This is a clear fill you can spread on before priming the oak wood.

An airless sprayer is great for painting fireplaces. It leaves a nice smooth finish despite all of the beveling and ornate detail. However, rollers and brushes work as well.

Mantles are often the focal point of the room, especially in the winter. Take good care when painting it, or call a professional to get it done quickly and professionally.

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