Finally finished my mantel and surround

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Project by Elvin posted 03-30-2009 06:22 AM 3107 views 8 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally finished my first mantel and surround. The pictures show the fireplace without any tiles; then the non finished mantel and the finished piece installed. This was really a learning project. I found a couple of videos on the subject but I really followed the instructions in the book by Steve Penberthy “Constructing a Fireplace Mantel.” Everything was going well until the finishing. The Client wanted Cottage White from Sherwin Williams, so I used their premium classic. I brushed on a primer and then the final coats. The first coat was a disaster. It did not go on evenly and did not blend. After it dried, I sanded it down to smooth it out and tried another coat. Again the results were poor and did not blend. I called the paint store and was told by the manager that you can not go over the paint while it is wet because it has a fast drying time and it will cause it to skip and grab, for a lack of a better description. He advised me to use an extender in the paint and only paint 2 to 4 inches at a time, which wasn’t going to help me now that the paint was dried. I have talked to others who really like this paint but I was very disappointed. So, since I was really upset with the results I decided to started over and I stripped the two coats of paint and the primer off, washed it with TSP to remove any oils or residue from the stripper and sanded the entire mantel down to the raw wood. I went to Vista Paints and had them make a Sherwin Williams formula for Cottage White in their “Luster Lac – Premium lacquer” – 60 sheen. I first sprayed on their white lacquer undercoat, let it dry and then lightly sanded. Then sprayed 3 coats of the 60 sheen, lightly sanding between coats. It was a lot of work but I was happy with the end results.
As a matter of information the fireplace had a very wide firebox and the owners only wanted the mantel 50 inches high so we had to play around with the dimensions to make it look decent. Actually my wife has the eye for this concept so it was really a brain storming session with my wife, the owners and me.
Thanks for looking at my project

-- Elvin, Southern California, "How great would life be if we lived a little of it everyday"

6 comments so far

View Vince's profile


1293 posts in 4710 days

#1 posted 03-30-2009 08:00 AM

Nice work…looks good did you do the tile work also?

-- Vince

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 4730 days

#2 posted 03-30-2009 11:52 AM

Looks very nice, good job…...well done

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View mtnwild's profile


4570 posts in 4808 days

#3 posted 03-30-2009 05:00 PM

Nice of you to go to such lengths to get it right. Will look great for years because of it though. Nice job!!!!!!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Elvin's profile


72 posts in 4680 days

#4 posted 03-30-2009 06:53 PM

No Vince, The tile was done by a professional, because the fireplace was in such bad shape and not level etc.

-- Elvin, Southern California, "How great would life be if we lived a little of it everyday"

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4858 days

#5 posted 03-31-2009 03:52 AM

Looks great Elvin tough paint job any time you strip wood you can take away contaminants with the use of naphtha and then seal it with a 2-3lb cut of shellac then you can paint with out problems.



View Elvin's profile


72 posts in 4680 days

#6 posted 03-31-2009 06:04 AM

Thanks Jim, I appreciate the tip

-- Elvin, Southern California, "How great would life be if we lived a little of it everyday"

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