Secondhand Fireplace Mantel Makeover

6 Materials
$100
3 Days
Easy

Today, I'm sharing a project with you that was directly inspired by something I saw in an episode of Fixer Upper. It took me a few months to find the perfect piece to make it happen, but my patience and determination paid off — and now it's one of my favourite parts of our home.

secondhand fireplace mantel makeover

I wound up finding a secondhand fireplace mantel at a shop near our house called Memory Lane Antiques. Not only had it been marked down a number of times, it was also the perfect shape and size for our bedroom — SCORE!

secondhand fireplace mantel makeover

I began by quickly scuffing up the mantel with some sandpaper. I didn't spend too much time on this, but a small amount of sanding really improves the way milk paint adheres to a piece.


After mixing my paint and adding a bit of bonding agent, I covered the entire mantel and allowed it to dry according to the product directions.

secondhand fireplace mantel makeover

Once I was happy with the way it looked, I added a solid layer of antiquing wax to the mantel — making sure to focus on its edges and ornamental details. I worked in the wax with a soft cloth and then wiped it off with another.

secondhand fireplace mantel makeover

After allowing the paint and wax to cure, my husband and I secured the mantel to the wall at the foot of our bed. Over the course of a few months, I decorated it with sentimental pieces and unique finds from some of my favourite stores.

secondhand fireplace mantel makeover

To find out more about working with milk paint, check out the Miss Mustard Seed website. It's such a fun product to use, and the results it can create are truly amazing.

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Katie Sara Creates

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

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Elisabeth Mackey
    on Jan 25, 2019

    Very nice! Did you use bonding agent because you didn't want the milk paint to crackle? I'm asking because I am about to use MMS milk paint on a vintage trunk and I would like it to chip more than your mantel. It looks beautiful by the way.


  • Francie Kat
    on Jan 27, 2019

    Absolutely beautiful! I can only imagine how happy you must feel looking at the wall at the foot of your bed.

    In a totally unrelated question... I have been looking for a wall wreath very much like the one over your mantle. I've looked everywhere-- online and in stores. Would you please guide me as to where I can purchase one? I appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks so much!!

    • P Caswell
      on Feb 3, 2019

      You could make your own from soda cans. Also home depot, wayfair and etsy have them.

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