Fireplace Reveal!

If you missed the first three chapters of our fireplace mantel story, you can catch up here:

Chapter One: A Blank Wall

Chapter Two: Purchasing an Antique Surround

Chapter Three: Fireplace Mantel Update

The short story is that we started with a blank wall with a gas fireplace box. We shopped architectural salvage to find a full fireplace surround that fit our dimensions, style and budget.

We purchased this ugly duckling: solid oak fireplace with at least four layers of paint from as many generations if not more.

A lot of time, elbow grease, and a few dozen prayers later, our ugly duckling became this beautiful swan. We love her!

The details: We used a chemical stripper to get off as much paint as we possibly could. This took a very long time, as each stripped coat of paint revealed another coat of paint, in a new color, underneath. I couldn’t be around the chemical stripper or the endless layers of lead paint due to the pregnancy, so my marvelous husband did most of the hard work. As a result, we decided against stripping down to the bare wood and staining and we removed the bulk of the paint and put a fresh coat of white paint on her and called it a project well-enough done.

We also had a mirror cut to size, which we installed.

I picked out this glass mosaic tile at Home Depot-it was only $4 for a square foot and we were able to do all of the tiling for less than $50.

Close up of tile detail:

All of the items on the fireplace mantel are from Joann Fabrics and many of them were on clearance and probably still available to you as I just shopped for them last weekend. I need to pick up some sand to go in my tall glass vases.
The wall color in the living room is Silver Sea by Valspar.


  1. It is even more fabulous than I imagined!! Great work Mr. Marvelous.
    I think fate played her hand and insisted it be painted, but I LOVE it and couldn’t imagine it looking any better, no matter what else you might have tried.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh my goodness that came out LOVELY! I wish I had a fireplace to decorate b/c I would totally use yours for inspiration. Well done!

  3. I love everything about your fireplace, and I mean everything!! The tile surround. The mantel decorations. The fireplace itself. And that gorgeous wall color. I’m actually going to pick up a sample of that color for my bedroom this weekend. All of your hard work is beautiful, as always!

  4. AMAZING! I love it. I have one of those black metal fireplace surrounds and your post has inspired me to tile it. I am going to show this to the husband. Thanks, Lori

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