Need ideas on updating fireplace surround

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I need some ideas on how to update this fireplace surround to enhance the Oakleaf details. I'm not afraid to paint it either. The room is dark and so is this piece. I want to lighten it up. Thanks!
q need ideas
q need ideas
  9 answers
  • 27524803 27524803 on Nov 04, 2017
    Before painting it....Clean it well to remove any wax or oils... then, I would apply several. light-ish. coats of a clear matte or satin sealer.... that way if you ever want to strip it, back to the wood, ... the paint does not soak into the wood grain (that would really be a pain).
    I think that with PATIENCE and careful hand painting to accent the details... it could be awesome
  • Bijous Bijous on Nov 04, 2017
    This is a fabulous mantel. Please don't paint it. This mantel has great value to the character of the house. Clean it gently.
    If the room is dark, update the lighting in the room, the furniture coverings, the drapes and the paint on the walls.
    • Queenbee Queenbee on Nov 06, 2017
      My thoughts exactly! I would lighten the rest of the room to compliment the wood of the fireplace. A nice coat of polish after u lighten the room would really make this stand out. Too beautiful to paint!
  • C C on Nov 04, 2017
    CHECK out HGTV Fixer Uppers group on FB. They have great ideas.


  • Barb Barb on Nov 04, 2017
    I personally would do nothint to the fireplace being all the wood detail and black insert is the perfect color, I would paint your paneling and paint trim in white, this will bring that fireplace back to life and be the focal point of that room😊
  • Louise Louise on Nov 04, 2017
    I think the wood and the detail is beautiful. Seems a shame to paint it.

  • Morgan Morgan on Nov 04, 2017
    Oh don't paint it. You have a beautiful hand carved mantle done by a master craftsman. If you paint it, you will destroy it (and it's monetary value).

    The better idea is to carefully clean and polish the wood and lighten up the rest of the room
  • Donna Powell Donna Powell on Nov 04, 2017
    I have two ideas. You could use a dry brush painting technique that would only stick to the raised details, lighten the look, and make the oak leaf details stand out more. Or you could use a stripper product like Formby's Furniture Refinisher to remove the old stain without taking a chance of accidentally sanding off the details, and refinish the piece in a lighter color stain. Beautiful detail on this piece. Good luck.
  • Cheryl L Cheryl L on Nov 04, 2017
    Thanks for all the comments. I like the wood look so I will try the cleaning process first. Also, this is what husband person wants to do. There are many scratches and gauges and repairs done previously (not by me). Filling and sanding will take some time and care. Thanks again for your very helpful comments!
  • Queenbee Queenbee on Nov 06, 2017
    If u could find a stain that matches after u clean the wood I would just stain the scratches and gauges if they r not too deep. Otherwise fill with stainable wood putty and then use the stain and a sealer. Some people like the minor wear and tear bc it adds character?