And I am sooooo happy! Fall is my favorite time of year! The weather is perfect and refreshing after the long hot summer! It’s also fun to decorate for the fall season.
As we continue working on the big projects around the house, I’ve been working on a couple smaller projects lately that I’ve been wanting to share with everyone.
First up is our mantel! If you remember from previous posts, our mantle was dark with lots of red undertones.
(You also get a little sneak peak into how the den is shaping up, because if you can remember, this room had lots of paneling…AND IT IS GONE!!! You don’t know how excited I was to get this room sheet rocked and painted!)
But let’s get back to the mantel. I thought long and hard about what to do. Andy’s dad built it 15 or 20 years ago when they lived in this house. It really is beautiful, but I’m just not all about the reddish color of the wood. And over this past year of living here, I found that it was really hard to decorate because nothing really stood out against the dark wood. So, I searched Pinterest and brainstormed for days and I came up with a few different options: I could sand it back to its original color and stain it a darker, browner color; I could try out this new gel stain that I’ve been reading about that you just stain right over the existing finish; or I could paint it white. Sanding was soon out of the question because that would have taken way too long for my very impatient self. I also wasn’t sold on the idea of a dark mantle. So do you wanna guess which option I went with?
Yep! I went with the white! You just can’t go wrong with white and it’s so classic and timeless.
After the first coat I quickly realized that this was going to take SEVERAL coats of paint to cover…and there are lots of corners, edges, nooks and crannies to get to. As I painted each coat, I kept thinking to myself, “Well, if Andy’s dad gets upset about me painting over his wood mantel, maybe it will be a little consolation to him knowing how torturous it was having to paint this thing so many times!” We shall see.
And here it is after FOUR, yes, four coats of paint! All the hours of painting were definitely worth it and I was really happy with how it turned out. However, that mirror just wasn’t working for me either. As you can see in the picture, all you can really see in the mirror is the ceiling fan. Anything I tried to decorate with just kind of got lost in the mirror because of the fan. So, again, I searched Pinterest and brainstormed for several days on how to fix this mirror crisis.
Andy can pull the trigger on decision making a little faster than me sometimes, so last week when we were doing some priming he said “Why don’t we just paint over the mirror?” and then he started painting it!!! Without my approval!!
But it was ok, because guess what? If I really didn’t like the mirror painted, we could always scrape the paint off with a razor blade. Of course, I would probably make Andy do that part since he painted without my permission anyway 🙂
I definitely liked it better after it was primed, but there was still something about it that just wasn’t right. And once again, I set out on a Pinterest search (when in doubt, just search Pinterest :)). After browsing through a few fall pins it didn’t take long to decide what I should consider doing with that mirror…chalkboard paint! And luckily, I already had a can of it on hand!
I LOVE how it turned out. It will make decorating soooo simple, because I can just draw something seasonal, and throw a couple cute little decorations up there and be done with it! And in a couple years when chalkboards aren’t cool anymore, I will have my loving, wonderful hubby scrape it all off 🙂
Now there’s only one more issue I’m having, and it is what to do with the brick. I know! I can’t be satisfied! The red brick is just a little too traditional for my taste, but painting the brick is a very permanent solution, and a risk that I’m not willing to take yet. I thought about doing a very thin, light white wash, that way you still have a little bit of the natural brick look and not just a solid color. I have to think on that one a little while longer. Your thoughts?
I can’t wait to show you the rest of the room, but we’re still working on some final details. Seeing such a huge transformation has been so much fun! Now if I can just keep my father-in-law from noticing the white mantel, life will be great! 🙂
Be on the lookout later in the week for more fall projects!