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Mantel Makeover – Part Two

In Mantel Makeover – Part One I shared the story of how I thought I had really messed up renovating our playroom mantelpiece; and promised to show you the final outcome in Part Two.before/after

Where did I get to? … Ah yes, the Duck Egg Blue was an improvement on the disastrous Florence, but there was still something Not Quite Right. The finish looked a bit too uniform, which jarred against the old and imperfect tiles.Sanded edge

It needed to look a little more lived-in, so, after applying a coat of wax, I gave some of the edges a light sand, focusing on the areas that would have become bumped, battered and worn with use over time; and on the bits of carving that would benefit from being highlighted.

Sanding leftAfter that, it was starting to look much better! In fact, I dared to think it was looking (whisper it) quite nice.  In the areas that I had sanded, the initial coat of Florence, and even some of the original wood, was peeking through, which added depth and interest to the finish. It also gave it a naturally aged look, which was really pleasing. I gave it a final coat of wax, and, when dry, polished it to a soft shine.

Sanding close-up


And so, despite originally threatening to spell disaster, the first coat of Florence turned out, in the end, to have been an unintended stroke of genius. I would never have thought to use two colours in that way, but it was exactly what was needed. Who knew?!

Post-project consultations yielded a “much better” from Mr LetsTryThisAtHome and a “lovely, Mummy” from Bird Girl.  Chief Stick Collector declared it to be “very blue”, which I took to be a ringing endorsement, since blue is, occasionally, his favourite colour.

What did I learn?  Be adventurous and step outside of your comfort zone from time to time. Even if it doesn’t work, and you think you have made things worse, you can almost certainly remedy the situation, and the biggest mistakes might lead to some unexpected happy discoveries.

What’s that? More ‘after’ pictures? Oh, go on then!

Mantel Close UP

Full 'after'










  1. Pingback: Mantel Makeover – Part One | LetsTryThisAtHome

  2. Pingback: Chair upcycling | LetsTryThisAtHome

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