DIY – Fireplace Mantel Update


When Shane and I bought our house last year, we had this oak fireplace mantel that was taken off of the wall but left for us if we wanted to put it back up. We don’t like the look of the yellow-orange builders oak and unfortunately for us, we have oak everywhere in our home. Slowly we’ve been making updates to minimize the amount of oak and modernize our home.

I love the character and detail on this mantel but because of the oak, we haven’t put it back up. With Christmas right around the corner, I decided that I wanted to paint it white, instead of the oak to modernize it a bit. We’re hoping to get it up before the holidays to hang our stockings and put our Christmas decor on.

Lucky for us, we had the supplies on hand since we’ve been making updates around our house but if you don’t already have a cabinet/trim paint, that is the type of paint I used. It’s a good quality, durable paint that we’ve used on many other projects throughout our home. We initially bought it to update our kitchen cabinets and have gotten sidetracked with other projects since. Eventually we do plan to update the kitchen cabinets and paint them white but that’s another project for another day.

Here are the supplies I used to update our fireplace mantel:





Here are the steps I took to update our fireplace mantel:


Step 1 – Sand and Clean

I sanded down the entire piece with the sanding block. You could also use regular sand paper. This allows the primer and paint to adhere to the surface better. Once I got it all sanded, I wiped the whole piece down with the Swhipes, making sure no particles were left on the piece and that it was clean.


Step 2 – Prime

Once the piece was sanded and wiped down, I applied one layer of the BEHR White All-In-One Primer & Sealer with a small/medium size paint brush. I made sure there were no bubbles and applied with long brush strokes with the grain of the wood. Once I applied the first layer I waited a little while until applying the second.

After applying the second layer of primer to the entire piece, I let it dry for a few hours before applying the paint. I also washed out the brush with soap and water to ensure it was clean when applying the paint.


Step 3 – Paint

After a few hours, I checked on the primer to make sure it was dry. I then applied the white paint in the same way I did as the primer. I covered the entire piece with the white paint and let it dry a little bit, then applied the second layer of paint. I let the piece dry overnight before moving the finished mantel.


Overall, the mantel turned out great! I love the bright, white, and clean look, especially with the details on it. I noticed that I did apply a little too much paint to the top of the mantel which caused some dripping but luckily it’s on the top which will be covered with decor so it’s not a big concern for me.

I’m excited to continue with our fireplace update and share the steps I’ve taken for updating it along the way and share photos of the finished project once it’s complete!

Are you updating your fireplace mantel? If so, I’d love to see it! Tag me on social media so I can see your finished product.

xoxo – Katie

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