Corner Fireplace Mantel Makeover

I’ve wanted to make over our fireplace area for a while now, but just never had the opportunity to do it until last year before Thanksgiving. We were doing our usual mad dash to get everything cleaned up and ready to host Turkey Day. If you know me, you know that I just love to overload my schedule and then stress out about it until everything’s done, and last Thanksgiving was no exception! I just couldn’t stand our snoozefest of a fireplace area anymore, and I wanted it to look good for Turkey Day.
We didn’t have enough time to tear out the existing tile and replace it with something else, so I had to work with what was there. I liked the tile in of itself (we did use it for our kitchen floor after all), but it was too dark in back of the wood stove, and it just made the whole corner of the room look dull and dreary.
I decided painting the tile a lighter color to be my best alternative to lighten up the area. I’ve never painted tile before, so this was going to be an interesting experience! I chose to use one of my tried and trusted chalk paint lines for the job: Valspar Chalky Paint in Kid Gloves, Antiquing Glaze, and Limewash Glaze. I didn’t use any type of sealing wax for obvious reasons: I’m sure it would melt right off once the tile started heating up from the wood stove!
I gave the tile two coats of chalk paint, letting each coat dry overnight. It was at this point that I started questioning my decision to paint the tile, as it was extremely bright!
I applied the antiquing glaze, which darkened it up a little too much… it was real close to the original tile color. But when I applied the limewash glaze, it lightened it up to a nice, neutral shade that wasn’t too bright.
I found these corbels at Home Depot. They have a pretty good selection of corbels, so even if these aren’t your cup of tea, you’re sure to find some that are!
I used the chalk paint and antiquing glaze to paint the corbels, then we hung them on the fireplace.
For the fireplace mantel itself, we got a 4″ x 8″ x 8′ wood board and cut it down to fit the mantle as well as allow airspace for the gap between the tile and wall to allow air flow. Please note that if you attempt to do a similar makeover on your fireplace, you may not have to do the same. For safety’s sake, please make sure to follow all the safety specs for your particular fireplace/stove insert/freestanding stove/whatever and check with your local building department to make sure everything you plan to do is up to code.
I stained the mantel using a vinegar and steel wool stain. If you are not familiar with this stain, there are several recipes for it that you can find online.
Here’s the finished product before we put the stovepipe back on. We also finished up the sides of the tile with some crown moulding. I am so happy with the results, especially the fact that we were able to get finished up before Thanksgiving!
I forgot to get a pic of it with the Thanksgiving decorations, but this is how I have it decorated now. I am so happy with the results; especially since I was able to do it without ripping the original tile out or spend a lot of money!
To see more pictures of this project and to see some of my other DIY projects, please click on the link to my blog below!
Thanks for checking out my project! :)
Michelle @ The Painted Hinge
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The Painted Hinge

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Bonnie moughler
    on Oct 13, 2017

    It looks great! I would like to know how you attached the finials as I am looking to place a mantle on my wall but have stone beind it.
    • Lisa West
      8 days ago

      There are drill bits just for stone and tile. If you can pit water on it to help with the drilling. Them you can hang corbels or what ever type of shelf hanger you want to use. Home depot lowes and little non and pops store will have thos bits to put in to a screw gun dremel or what ever you have to use. Just take your time. Dont rush it. As you dont want to crack or break the tile. Food luck AMD have fun.

  • Angel
    on Nov 23, 2019

    Does anyone know the restrictions for wood burning stoves in NY? My kid just purchased a home with one and there’s no tile behind it. This came out beautiful! I am very nervous about these though

    • Lisa West
      8 days ago

      Tile or brick. Did he or she have it inspected? If not your child needs to do this. Because if a fire happens and the install was bot correctly the home owners will not cover the damage. When I had my home in a lake community our pellets stove was inspectes. We had a wood floor and brick behind it about a 5 foot span give or take.and the pipe to the out side had cement around it. I dont remember the thickness. Please remember you can paint the brick to your liking.

  • Maureen
    on Nov 25, 2019

    Maybe use the same paint treatment used on the corbels on the white side trim pieces? Love the look!

Join the conversation

2 of 45 comments
  • Lisa West
    8 days ago

    Very beautiful. I see some cute stocking and Christmas deco aroumd the fire place. And possible a dog or cat in front of it lol. My dog and cat loved sleeping in front of our pellet stove when we lived in our old house. I love the comfy homeless of a fire place or letter stove. So cozies and adds a romantic vibe as well. I'm my apartment now I have an electric heater that looks just like a fire place. In fact I have 2. One for my living room and one for my bedroom. I love the romance it creates and the coziness.

  • Chet Rana
    7 days ago

    very beautiful and ideal

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