Sunday, October 8, 2017

Mantle Makeover

Have I mentioned on the blog how much early 90s light oak wood we have in our house? I have? Ok, good, so you know that I don't really like it and it is eeeeeeeverywhere. The floors, blend into the cabinets, blend into the vanities, blend into the fireplace... oh wait not that last one anymore!!

We do not have a home renovation budget. We bought at the HIGHEST end of our budget when we moved, and the house is fine, totally livable, and really nice. But I have this constant itch to PAINT ALL THE LIGHT OAK THINGS ALL THE TIME!!

After last year's spray painting fest + curtain and rug revamp, I took a nice long break from doing anything around the house and was just really working on being content with the way things are. But then I started perusing pinterest for fall mantle ideas and I was done. I have wanted to pant our electric fireplace since I sewed the curtains and got our main living room all set up.

It is such a focal point and I just couldn't stand how it looked like it was emerging out of the ground. I kept feeling like a fireplace should be a wall feature, not something that blends into your floor color.

So after several days of poking and prodding my dear, and extremely patient husband, he finally said he was also on board and encouraged me in my endeavors. He even taped for me!

I wanted a grey tone that would accent the curtains and rugs, but be light enough to not be too overstated. So I went to Lowes and picked a super light grey but when I got it on and it dried it was almost white with hints of light blue. Not what I wanted at all.

So back to Lowes I went with all the kids to get a darker grey, but I made the mistake of using the stupid color swatches and the second grey I got was basically a darker powder blue when it dried. These are the first "After" pictures I took, before I decided I hated it and it would not do-- they don't even do justice to just how blue it looked in person, so blue:

It was at this point that I was feeling like this was the dumbest idea I had ever had and I just wished I hadn't done anything, but there was no turning back so.... BACK to Lowes I went a third time with the kids, this time with a bit of fabric from our curtains for them to so a custom color match with and:

BOOM. Success.

I also realized through this process that our grey curtains have way more brown tones in them than I had previously noticed, which is probably why they go nicely with our brown couches and the browns in the area rug. Who knew!? Lowes is great and they have a "love your color" policy so they took back all the colors I didn't like and refunded me completely.

I think the whole shebang including my few decorative fall items from Wal-mart totally $35 altogether. Not bad at all.

Now I am dying to paint our kitchen cabinets a similar grey and think about it roughly every single day but I'm thinking that my painting ventures will need to have something like a year long break in between them for my sanity and Mike's and for general peace and harmony in the house.


  1. Your makeover looks lovely! I'm embarrassed to admit that I really. really like light oak, though. Having grown up in the 90s, it makes me sentimental about my childhood. :)

  2. Ha, I was absolutely wondering how long it would be before you painted the cabinets 😂 The fireplace looks great!

  3. I want to paint my knotty pine kitchen cabinets so badly, but the no turning back once you've started is scary! (Although can you actually make 50 year old cabinets thinks not.) Your mantel looks great.

  4. I painted my kitchen cabinets from a nasty dark brown 40 year old stain. I did not prep well enough and they are chipping terribly. Make sure if you do them that you pay for the good products and sand really really well. I still like mine better though as chipped white than grungy brown. Ands I Love your mantle!