Can anyone else relate to the pain of having a big ass TV on the wall, above your fireplace? And slowly but surely the TV gets upgraded to one that is wider and wider and makes your fireplace look smaller and smaller? And every damn time we go to Costco, my hubby makes a beeline for the TVs, what is it with men and the size of their, ahem, screens?
This whole fireplace/mantle/tv thing has been nagging at me for months! Now I love me a nice accent colour as much as the next person but I tend to limit my accents to a dark wall (my go to accent paint colour is "Peppecorn" by Sherwin Williams) with colour pops found only in my throw pillows and blankets and the odd fauxtanical. Our fireplace was looking small and blah and was blending in with the wall it sits against. Don't get me wrong, it didn't look bad, it just looked boring.
We bought this fireplace when we moved into our bungalow, at Costco Online and it is made from a concrete like material. We actually thought it was the perfect size but after it was delivered it looked a bit dwarfed by the 9 foot ceilings and the big ass tv. Add to the fact that I can't do much along the lines of mantle decor without blocking the precious telly made for a much needed update. We decided to keep it because it was unique in it's look compared to all the others we had looked at. We have toyed with doing built-ins down the road, in which case they would be scaled to include the size of the fireplace. But that's a whole other topic/DIY for another day waaaaaay down the road!
I've always wanted a nice big, chunky wooden mantle and last week I saw someone building a new table top to set on top of their existing dining room table and thought HEY we could do this with a mantle! (my hubby always loves it when I say "we" because he knows I come up with the ideas and he does most of the heavy hitting!) I'm also loving copper and rose gold/blush accents right now so along with the mantle idea I decided I would add a little copper to the front of the fireplace too. It's only paint right?
I called my local go to shop to see if they had any of Fusion Mineral Paint's Metallic line in stock, specifically in copper and they did and said they would hold a pot for me...yeah for supporting local businesses! I hit up my local Home Depot for some of their inexpensive, pre-stained "barn board" that I could use for our new mantle. The guys are great there and do all my wood cutting for me which saves my hubby from having to do it all the time, especially since his workroom is still a work in progress.
First up was the painting. I gave the front of the fireplace a quick wipe down with soapy water and brushed on a coat of the Copper Fusion Mineral Metallic Paint. It went on like a dream which is typical of Fusion paint. I only waited about an hour and did a second coat. It was a BIG change and while I had no regrets, it was a bit brighter then I had hoped. Hubby was a little on the fence when he came home and saw it. Ok if I'm being honest, he didn't even have a foot on the fence, he wasn't a fan at all! I reassured him I had a "plan" and when he came home the next day he would love it! So the next morning I pulled out a can of Rustoleum Gel Stain in Weathered Gray and decided I would use it as a type of glaze. I was a little worried because the fireplace is made from such a porous material, I knew I had to work quickly. I used a sponge brush and did a small space at a time, brushing the stain on and wiping it right back off, leaving just enough to give it an aged look and taking away some of the brightness. It was PERFECT!
For the mantle, we currently have a couple of matching stands on either side of the fireplace that are made by Sauder Furniture and were purchased at Lowes Canada. These pieces are from their "Salt Oak" line which we love (we also have a small armoire in the same colour and our kitchen island, all from Lowe's Canada). I took some measurements to see how wide the mantle could be without infringing on the cabinets but would make the new mantle wider than the TV. Keep in mind I wasn't even sure how this idea was even going to look so I decided we could just tack two pieces of the barn board together, put them on the fireplace and live with them for a week or so until we decided if it was a win or a flop. So far it's winning big time. Next weekend II think next we will bulk it up a bit, add some detail and make it more permanent. We definitely need to go with a wider board on the front and add some sides....who knows what i'll come up with this week! When we do I will do a complete tutorial here on the blog because it's such an easy fix that packs big punch for your boring fireplace.
I'm really big on using what you have when you are decorating or wanting to freshen up your decor. I'm always shopping my own house! This makeover was no different, although I did splurge on the two beautiful copper picture fames at Winners. So including these, the pot of paint (of which I still have 3/4 of a pot left) and the barn board, total cost was $57, now that's what I call a thrifty DIY!
I really hope this inspired you to take on a thrifty DIY of your own, don't be afraid to take the plunge, you will be surprised at just how capable you really are!