DIY: How to Update your Mantel with Paint


This is my first post about our “new” fixer-upper home in Washington! Thank you for reading and bearing with my ramblings. :)

For a little background, Alex got out of the Navy in August and we decided to rent out or home and move closer to his new job. We put an offer on this house and fortunately for us – we got it! (That is almost sarcastic because we won the bid war and were actually pretty terrified because we knew the amount of work we were about to take on!) Since moving, I’ve secured a great job working 30 hours a week and am still able to be home for the kids during the day and work on the house with whatever free time I have. I feel so blessed in so many ways, and even feel blessed to have a strong body that can do the work needed to get these jobs done…because let me tell you – this ain’t no walk in park. Fixing up a home requires some serious sweat and persistence!

I know that much of what I see on Pinterest for home renovations are from blogs that are sponsored by companies to try their products. This would be really nice if I had that opportunity, but seeing as I currently don’t, everything I’ve done is VERY inexpensive.


(We got rid of the deep red and went with a muted light green. We also painted all the brown trim white.)

Paint Used:

Valspar Semi-Gloss Paint 



Bulls Eye 1.2.3 Water-based Primer


1 Good Paintbrush (this makes a huge difference! I also like an angled brush for cutting in on the corners)

Fine grain sandpaper

RUSTOLEUM Black Metallic Spray Paint


  1. Clean and dry all surfaces.
  2. Paint 1 coat of the 1.2.3 Primer. Much like the Frank’s Red Hot Commercial, I love this stuff because, “That sh*t covers everything”.
  3. After this has dried, give the primer a light sanding with a thin grain sand paper. This will give the paint a smoother look. You can paint 1 more thin primer layer if you want, but my lazy self says that is not necessary.
  4. Now paint 3 thin layers of the Semi-gloss Sable Evening Paint. Your first coat will look thin and terrible. The second coat will look much better and by the third it will look perfect. If it doesn’t – go for a 4th coat. You really can’t rush this process.
  5. If you have any brass figures, remove them and spray paint outside. If you can’t remove them, tape up a plastic drop cloth and spray paint directly.
  6. Enjoy your new mantel! Wait up to 12 hrs to place objects on top.



No more brass! And the dark grey really makes the white tile pop! There are many shades of grey…probably more than 50…(sorry just had to do it). This is a greenish tint that works well with blues and creams. I also used this same color to paint the cabinets in the renovated Boy’s Starwars bathroom.


I will be posting about this bathroom soon! This was my first time tiling and doing grout work. It was tough but I now LOVE the look of this bathroom! This full renovation cost right around 100$.




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