Our DIY Fireplace Makeover Phase 1

Justin and I were watching Dexter one night in our family room, and he blurted out, 'we should paint our fireplace.' I was a little shocked that those words came out of his mouth, as usually I am the one who decides on house projects on the fly. But, I was happy to oblige. We talked about it for several days, and then decided to go for it.

Our family room has gone through some changes lately. I'm not sure if it's because my taste is maturing or if I'm just craving a change, but I have wanted this room to look more polished, if you will. I thought Justin's suggestion of painting the mantel/hearth would certainly help with this endeavor.

The best thing is that the 'Phase 1' stage didn't cost us one cent. We already had the materials on hand. Score!

Here's how we did it-

How to Refinish Your Wood Fireplace Mantel
1. Gather Materials. You will need a deglosser, sander/sand paper (we sanded by hand but a sander would come in handy), primer and paint. Prepare the space.

For this, we used my trusty Zinsser oil-based primer that is made to cover any surface, including glossy.

We also used my favorite type of paint, Behr's Ultimate Paint-And-Primer-In-One color matched to our trim, which was left over from our recent guest bath makeover.
2. Degloss and sand. We found it worked best to use the liquid deglosser first. It's very simple, you simply wipe on with an old rag or -shirt and let dry for 10 minutes. This helped remove some of the poly, but the mantel was still pretty shiny. Justin then hand sanded, ensuring that every speck was dull, meaning the coats of poly had been removed and the surface was ready to be primed.
3. Prime. I strongly suggest using an oil-based primer, specifically Zinsser or Kilz brand. This will ensure that the primer will stick to the entire surface, in case you missed a small area of poly that regular latex paint won't stick to. This will also cover the wood grain pretty well.

4. After your primer has dried (we allowed 6 hours), we lightly sanded again. This will ensure that the surface is nice and smooth.
5. Paint! We ended up doing a total of 3 coats, lightly sanding between each one to ensure an even and smooth finish. Due to all of the detail, we used my favorite 2 inch short-handled angled paint brush, which I have blogged about before. This little brush does a great job of getting in every crevice. We also used a mini-roller for the top of the mantel. We allowed a day in between each coat of paint, so it was fully dry before the next coat. The waiting is the hardest part!

6. Step back and admire how much brighter your room looks!
 Besides the redoing the fireplace, we have added sheer window panels over our windows, added a new accent table and upgraded our media cabinet. The room is finally coming together!

One more Before and After for full effect-

I understand that people seem to have strong feelings one way or the other about painting wood. I appreciate stained wood, and I am not one to think that every piece of wood furniture should be painted. However, in this case, the soft white color really brightens up the room and looks a bit more formal and polished, to us anyway.
Phase 2- Next up is replacing the fireplace surround tile. I've got the gorgeous replacement tile picked out, we just have to wait for a free weekend to do it. Since we are getting married in a matter of a few short weeks, it may be September by the time we get to it. I'm learning patience really is a virtue...
Hope you have a fabulous week!