How to paint a fireplace surround and mantel.
I recently made some minor changes to our family room that we absolutely LOVE!
A little paint and some new wall sconces made such a big difference.
I didn’t think it was possible for this room to feel more cozy and comfy, but
all of us were surprised at the difference these small DIY projects
I just realized while writing this post that I haven’t blogged about our
family room for nearly a year! WHAT. Even I’m surprised, because this is
probably one of my all time favorite rooms in both this and our last
You know me…it was about time for some updates! I’ve been contemplating both
of these projects for some time, and finally got to working on them.
The first was painting our fireplace surround and mantel. I’ve been toying
around with painting it dark to match the walls forever.
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And have loved it! I’ve always been drawn to the contrast of white trim and
and a dark wall.
and wainscoting that all match. Similar to
what I’ve done in our basement:
So I decided to give a go!
The great thing about paint is if you don’t like it, you can change it back.
I know that’s easier said than done after you’ve spent time painting…but
that’s why I always say paint is one of the best ways to makeover a
It’s VERY rare that I’ve disliked anything I’ve painted over the years. If
you’re considering a paint change, just do it! 🙂
painting interior doors
or trim work. Start by cleaning it well — I usually just use a wet rag, but
if it’s super dirty I recommend using some kind of cleaning solution:
If you use a solution, make sure to rinse the surface well and then let it
I taped off around the fireplace tile with painter’s tape:
Our mantel was painted in semi-gloss or glossy paint, but there’s no need to
sand it down.
Since I was going with a dark color to match the built ins and fireplace
wall, I could have primed the white mantel with a tinted primer. (Paint
stores will tint regular white primer for you.)
But I just went ahead with it! Either way is fine. I always paint the
detailed areas first with a brush, and then go in with a small foam roller
to do the flat portions.
It allows you to really get in there and easily cut in small spots.
Don’t freak out after the first coat or two!:
It took three good coats and a few touch ups to get the white fireplace
mantel and surround painted this dark blue color.
We LOVE it!!
I always say, when it looks like it should have always been this way, it’s a
good change. 🙂
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to painting trim or mantels! If you
enjoy contrast against a dark color or light and bright walls, stick with
white. If you prefer a warmer, moodier look, then you’ll like your trim
painted to match.
I used semi-gloss paint for our mantel because I like having a bit of
sheen on trim, but matching the sheen to your walls is fine too!
The other quick update was changing out our sconces on either side of the
fireplace. I picked angled sconces when we built our home:
Over time I’ve been thinking about changing them out to something that
would give us more light shining up both of those walls. I thought it
would be pretty to have them light the walls above instead of the
concentrated light going down.
These are pricier than I would usually spend on lighting, but they I
couldn’t find anything I liked for less. I loved the soft, elegant lines
of the light, and of course that pretty brass tone.
I finally got them installed the other day…and afterwards I was
annoyed it took me so long. Ha!
The soft light going up the walls is LOVELY and I adore how cozy this has
made our living room feel at night and early morning. I absolutely love
Now I can’t wait to decorate that mantel for fall! 🙂
The new sconces just fill in that tall space better overall. It lifts
everything up and looks so much better:
Our teenage son keeps commenting on how much they changed the whole “vibe”
of the room. 😍
Both of these DIY projects combined took me an afternoon to finish up.
It’s funny how often I find smaller changes like this make the biggest