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Fireplace and Mantel Makeover

Written By petite karinne on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | 6:33 AM


Welcome to our river rock fireplace. It's located in our dining room. One of the features that sold the fixer upper house to us. It's non-working due to a cracked chimney and it is sealed off for energy purposes. There was an electric fireplace heater inserted into it that we removed ... because like most of the house...it was broken as well. We aren't sure if we will ever replace the chimney and reline the fireplace so I leave a bunch of candles in and on it for when we need them. The only thing I've ever done to it was paint the wood mantel from red to black.  Sitting there with a whole bunch of candles. The only one suitable was my log candle on its cast iron base. So it sat the last few years. Always bothering me as it lacked so much and dusting it has never been pleasant. 





But during Christmas season, I decorate it to the hilt. Basically, it's sole purpose has been a Christmas fireplace. 





No matter how much time is spent using the vacuum on this area, it was just a dirty place. 





So I cleaned it well with a scrub brush and painted it with a "rusting paint kit".

Total. Epic. Fail.

The rust base looked nice, then the brown top coat just didn't cut it. The whole area still looked dark and dirty. 





So I used a primer. Well, that is brighter.  Our lighting in this area is quite poor being "yellow and warm" bulbs.  White will work well. 





Then a white flat paint. 





Then I cleaned and poly coated all of the rocks and mortar. Hoping this makes my dusting chore easier. Actually really, really hoping!  




Then I moved on to fireplace decor.  A $13 thrift shop find.  A huge antique look jar lamp that's not antique but certainly vintage. 



Well, I prefer it to be a jar accent piece. So I removed the electric parts. 





Another thrift shop find.  And THIS was my motivational piece to get the fireplace cleaned up.  "A Scottish Raid" engraved print from the original painting by ROSA BONHEUR.  I fell in love with it and it reminded me of my grandfather. I splurged $75 to own it without even thinking of where to put it. I brought it home and looked around the house to hang it. No real special spot anywhere until I placed it on the mantel and realized ... aha! 



So here we are.  At this post. Thanking that beautiful print for getting me off my duff. 



Drilling into the mortar and securing the frame to the mantel wall is when the inspirations began.  That jar will go in the fireplace along with similar decor I thrifted for and this is going to be a far better epic than my epic fail! 





Scored this covered dish with the fabulous trim... 





... and this gorgeously detailed silver tray both under $10 thrifting... (Good  grief! Good junk!) 






...another serving dish ($5)  missing its cover, a heavy pewter pitcher from Good Will ($4) and I put my log candle with cast iron holder back where it was. 





I've got some kind of theme going. 



Visiting my husband's father and fixing a few things in the basement I discovered this yoke with spare parts. I asked my husband about it and he said he had that stashed there for years. I nearly kicked him in the shin. "WHAT?!? You had this all along and never told me? This is going home with us." And it did.  Using just hot water and soap. I cleaned it up and conditioned the wood with coconut oil.


My mom gave me an old handmade wooden box filled with horseshoes, so it will now live here at the mantel.  I also keep a pine cone from North Carolina sitting there, given to me by my uncle who passed away. 


A thrift shop find of wood carved wall art displaying a spinning wheel and an old rocker on a braided rug. 
And this antique wooden shovel my husband had stashed away.  (He is full of surprises, isn't he? )




I scored an antique trunk at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. I'll work on that in another post. It sits where it will live when I finish it. 


And all this time I neglected this area. 




Good bye dingy and hello "old country". 




Not really an antique collector, but now our dining room will be more interesting for me to decorate.


Decorating this room with old family items, photos and awesome good finds is going to be fun. 




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