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I finally got around to antiquing a mantle.  Something I had always wanted to do but no more than the one in this house.  I wasn’t crazy about the existing one and Dan wants to eventually replace this one with a walnut wood piece, but in the meantime I could’nt stand looking at it and how plain it was.  But that color against the red brick was just too much for me!!!

Antiquing a Mantle-before

So here we go…another quick project!

antiquing a mantle-after

This is my BEFORE of the oak stained mantle.  Beginning with some light sanding, wiping clean, then rubbing some dark stain in certain random areas before doing the initial white wash.
Antiquing a Mantle-stain
Followed by some crackle medium (shown here-it’s clear). I brushed this over the majority of the mantle but in deliberate areas. I let it dry overnight.
antiquing a mantle-stain-1
Next I brushed on the satin paint that I bought in a creamy white color. I covered the entire mantle with this. When using crackle you need to make steady and long brushstrokes and not repeat over the painted areas. If you do, you will ruin the crackling process. You will see the crackle begin immediately taking place.
I allowed it to dry then put another coat of paint on it.  Next I rubbed some dark brown gel stain in random areas.  Allow to dry completely before sanding down corners, long lengths and crevices to give it that aged appearance.  I also took a metal handheld meat tenderizer and dinged it up in various places for an aged affect.
Here’s what it looks like.
After it was all completely dry, I covered it all with a polyurethane coating to seal it and give it a slight gloss.
antiquing a mantle-pin
These are the things I used:
  • Valspar Interior Satin in Divine Cream
  • FolkArt Crackle Medium #695
  • Minwax Gel Stain in Ebony & Walnut
  • Minwax Polyurethane Finish
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You will also need:
Foam brush (for polyurethane)
Disposable gloves for applying stains and poly
Regular Paint Brush
Sanding block or paper
Stain cloth or old rag (to apply stains)
Drop cloth or old newspaper to tape off area
antiquing a mantle-after-1
antiquing a mantle-final

I’m a whole lot happier with this look and I will sleep better tonight.  Antiquing a mantle doesn’t have to be difficult and it will give your living space a beautiful new look!

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