I’ve been drooling over the mantels I’ve seen on Pinterest. I just love the options they give for decorating. There are so many cute ideas and I wanted one of my own. We have a fire-place in the family room that I love, but we really don’t hang out there very often. I needed a place for seasonal decor in my dining room. Two needs (ok, wants); one solution. I thought about searching flea markets for the perfect one – an old one to repurpose. But, then graduation was fast approaching and I wanted it done before that. I knew who to call.

I sent 3 pictures and some dimensions to my dad along with a request from his only daughter. Please, Dad, can you make me one of these…before graduation?

He had a few questions.

And then when they came to visit, I had a mantel! I just needed to do the finish paint. Dad had put a base coat of flat latex in dark brown over the whole mantel. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of it in process or painted brown. I was, after all, trying to complete a ridiculously long to-do-before-graduation list. I didn’t even take any pictures in the process. I did the painting between finishing the concrete patio and laying the sod. I had a narrow window of time to get it done. I painted it on Thursday and the party was Saturday! Thank goodness, the technique I found on Pinterest worked BEAUTIFULLY!

Thanks to Ann at Make the Best of Things for the great information and ideas on painting with Elmer’s glue. It was so fun to do! I tried it out first on a stool I had base painted forever ago. I laid the glue on thick, really thick, then painted over it. I’m glad I tried it out on this first, because I didn’t like the effect I got. It was more streaky than crackled. I read through Ann’s notes again and decided to water the glue down for a second try. That was the key!

For my finished product I watered the glue down – about 2 parts glue to 1 part water – and brushed that on the mantel a section at a time. I did the top, then the crown moulding, then the straight parts, then the bottom. I was working outside and it was a pretty windy day. I pretty much put the paint over the glue as soon as I finished the glue coat. Then I watched it work. And it worked great! As the paint and glue dry, it crackles and looks aged.

I couldn’t be happier with the finished product! It is exactly what I pictured. How often does that happen!! And it was hung on the wall and decorated before the graduation party! Yay!



Filed under Creativity, Decor, Home Improvement

2 responses to “Mantel

  1. I adore the mantel! You did a terrific job, both in articulating your request to your dad (so he could make exactly why you wanted) and in finding the plans on making something from your imagination come to life. How fabulous that you now have a place to display the thins you love in something that you helped create… the ultimate goal. Well done!

  2. Pingback: Sideboard | Considering the Options

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