How do I refinish a wood fireplace mantel?


I have a huge solid natural wood beam over my red brick fireplace. the fireplace takes up a whole wall. The beam has some water stains and the beauty of the natural wood has diminished with 40 years of age. I'm not sure how to update it. Should I sand and stain, or perhaps paint it. The brick has shades of red, dark browns, tan and grey. The grout is grey. I plan on repainting the walls a shade of grey with a white ceiling. How can I make the mantel pop?

  4 answers
  • on Jan 09, 2019

    Can you share a photo? That would help!

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jan 09, 2019

    I would also restain the mantle. If you paint it the same as the walls, it will not stand out, but blend into the wall. If you can sand and get the water stains out, you can go with a lighter stain to bring out the natural wood grains beauty and restain it with a light to medium stain, or if you like the look when it is sanded down, just use a sealant like poly. I would ask in your local home improvement store what to use that will withstand the heat. Back in the eighties we stripped our kitchen cupboards that were stained almost black. You could barely see the wood grain. We like the way the stripped cupboards looked, so we just sanded and cleaned them up and sealed them. It totally changed the whole kitchen and didn't end up having to change anything else, we figured we would be changing a lot in the kitchen, but that was all it took.

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Jan 10, 2019

    Linda: Maybe you'd want to consider pAInting the mantel in the same shade of grey as the grout! Easy peasy and stylish!