As I've been trying to make our family room fit our style, I've mostly been concentrating on the simple things like accessories. Okay so every update in our family room so far has been accessories. That's because I've been a little nervous to tackle the project I really wanted to do. Paint the ugly dated yellow oak wood. Because I was a bit nervous about stripping lacquer, sanding, painting and then giving everything a coat of poly without ever doing those things to finished wood before, I opted to start with the mantle.
I figured since it was the smallest piece of the offensive yellow oak in our house, it wouldn't be that time consuming and a good piece to start on. Plus I'm not really in love with it's shape or details so if I completely destroyed it, I wouldn't be too heart broken. I even figured I could make a simple, clean lined mantle out of 1x6's using the new found skills I've gained from reading the Knock Off Wood blog (I'm working on a console table for the entry way and a new coffee table for our living room right now).
Here's what the fireplace looked like before.
And here's what it looks like now. Don't mind the white paint splatters on the wall, I was too excited about how good it looked, I didn't want to wait until I could tape it and patch up the mess ups.
I love how it turned out. I think it highlights the slate tile and pops off the brown wall quite nicely. It was super easy to do.
First I applied a good thick coat of lacquer remover and allowed that to sit for 30 minutes. Then I used a scraper to remove it from the flat parts and steel wool for the real detailed parts. Then I rinsed off all the wood with water and allowed it to dry. Then I did a quick sanding with some coarse and then fine sandpaper, wiped it down again and let it dry.
The last step was to apply two thin layers of white paint (mine is Fencepost by Behr)with a nice brush. Make sure that you fully let your first coat dry before you start your second. I let my first coat dry overnight and then did my second. I still need to do a coat of poly to really protect it but for now the high gloss paint should hold up okay.
I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out. Now I just need to tackle the cabinets and banister.