May 8, 2015

Antique Mantel {Before & After}

There's no better feeling in the world than completing a project that was conceived in your brain and finally brought to life. This is exactly how I feel about this gorgeous antique mantel I found on a Facebook tag sale page almost a year ago! From the moment I saw it I knew exactly what I was going to do with her and exactly where her permanent home would be inside our home...
Here is the picture of her from the tag sale site on Facebook.

I immediately fell in love with the detail and of course that adorable shelf!
I actually didn't mind the condition it was in either, but when I brought her home I felt she needed some TLC... So like a good new mommy to antiques, I put her in a safe place in the basement until I found time to get to transforming her into a magnetic chalkboard for the awkward large wall between our kitchen and living room. Up until a few days ago that wall was empty for a good three years.... I just could not commit to putting just anything there and I knew exactly what I wanted on that wall and this mantel was going to make that happen!!
I spent most of the winter sanding down all the old stain off the mantel and the later half of the winter trying to decide if I wanted to keep it all natural or give her a nice paint job.... I literally thought about this for a good four months... Don't judge LOL! Fast forward to a couple weeks ago and gorgeous weather, I got the itch to just do what I had to do. I painted a large piece of galvanized sheet metal I purchased off Amazon exactly one week after I picked up the mantel and attached it to the mantel with little picture hanging nails. I knew I wanted it to be a chalkboard (of course) but I also wanted to be able to use the magnetic scrabble pieces I had from another project...
Now here's the funny part of it all. I had finally made up my mind that I was going to keep the mantel all natural and just use a little of the Lime Wax I used on Gracie's dresser.... This is were the "oops" happened. I wiped on some of the Lime Wax and OMG. My gorgeous pine mantel was pink. Yes, my friends it was pink... So in a big fat panic, I decided to just paint over it with some Pure White, Anne Sloan chalk paint and then distress it a bit.... Well, now "oops" #2 was, I ran out of paint.... With my heart racing at 6pm on a Saturday night, I ran into the basement to see what color paint samples I had.... I was certain I had some kind of white paint in the house, but all I had on hand at that moment was a sample of Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore.... So like a mad woman I ran outside and started to paint over the white with the Gray Owl.... I let the paint dry over night and began distressing early Sunday morning and all I kept saying to myself was "Thank God for that Lime Wax!!". Had I not taken a chance with the Lime wax, I would have just stayed in my comfort zone and kept the mantel all natural with no "Wow" factor... It would have totally just blended and it would have been just another thing on the wall....
But now that "thing" on the wall is absolutely perfect and I just love the way it looks and how much life it brings to our space...
I will warn you, I took a lot of photos. This really is my first project that I took my time with and did exactly what I wanted to do with it....









 I have been waiting to have a unique piece like this in our home for a long time.... I love that it is so versatile and that I can display sentimental pieces from my children for all the world to see.... This piece will be a staple in our home for a very long time... Did I mention its screwed into the wall?? So, yes... a very long time.
Happy Mother's Day!!!
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