Guest Post: Ellen's Painted and Distressed Mantle

Dated: 01/22/2013

Views: 998



My good friend and one-time client Ellen Barnes, who writes the blog Black and White and Loved All Over, took inspiration from my post last week about how to make use of a non-functional fireplace, went out and found an old mantle, fixed it up with the help of her husband, and gave it new life in their bathroom. Here she guest blogs about how she transformed this nearly 100-year-old mantle.





I scored this mantle on Craiglist last weekend for FREE. This was my first time ever getting anything free on Craiglist, and I almost peed my pants with excitement. The mantle is from a 1919 farmhouse (almost 100 years old!) and the owners weren't really feeling it. If they'd have done their homework, they'd know that these things usually go for $100-$300 around Nashville (I've been looking for one for awhile), but luckily they decided free was a better price.



The process of getting it to its current beat-up-robin's-egg-blue state was really fun. First my husband removed the old nails and screws that were jabbing perilously out of it. Then I sanded some rough spots and slapped a coat of Annie Sloan's "Louis Blue" on it. I used Annie Sloan's "Old White" for the shelf. The blue ended up not being what I had in mind, and it was too one-dimensional, so after that coat dried I went back and put a "wash" over it. I made the wash using one part Benjamin Moore's "Wyeth Blue" (left from painting my front door this past summer), one part "Old White," and one part water. Then the mantle had a haphazard meeting with my electric sander. I love that this let parts of the "Louis Blue" show through as well as some of the off white the mantle was originally painted. When I was finished, my husband sweetly carried this bad boy upstairs and screwed it into our bathroom wall like a boss. I feel so fortunate that he likes this kind of chippy, shabby, old stuff. I feel like lots of guys wouldn't "get it." Over the past couple of days, I've had fun picking out objects from around the house to display on our new bathroom mantle. Meaning: this project cost me zero, and gave me maximum happiness.






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TJ Anderson

TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....

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