Revive a tired or dated fireplace mantel with a fresh splash of color.
Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.
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Wash the existing finish with a grease-dissolving detergent or trisodium phosphate (TSP) and let dry. Patch damaged areas and sand lightly with 220-grit sandpaper.
When choosing a paint sheen, a flat finish will hide minor blemishes in the wood, but removing soot marks will be more difficult. A glossier finish will be easier to wipe clean but requires careful surface preparation.
Tape off the wall and floor. Rub the tape along the edges to keep paint from seeping underneath.
Apply at least two coats of paint to the mantel. For mantel details or moulding, use a small, angled sash brush. For large, flat expanses, use a foam mini roller. After the final coat dries, carefully remove the tape.
To check your work for surface flaws, drips, or runs, hold a strong light at shallow angle to the surface. Examine each surface carefully. The reflected light will highlight any irregularities.