Our First DIY

One day I was sitting in our family room and got the itch to sand down the mantle and re stain OR paint it. I instantly pulled out our electric sander and began sanding. Don quickly stopped me so we could go to Home Depot to purchase all the items needed to finish this project. **Beware… the photos REALLY enhanced my wall color… i can assure you they are not that color***

When we started the project, we did not have a clue on how to stain wood. Naturally we asked the person at Home Depot what to purchase and the process of staining wood. He recommended  paint stripper, prestain, stain and protective laquer.

We got home and instantly painted the mantle with the stripper.  We both were a little excited that we weren’t going to have to put the leg work into sanding… boy were we wrong…or misinformed I should say

It only took off the clear laquer. The employee said it would strip the entire stain off the wood. I knew it sounded to good to be true…so for the next couple of days and a few curse words here and there, the mantle was fully sanded. For any one who is going to be sanding down any kind of wood with intricate grooves and frame work , I WOULD NOT SUGGEST USING THE PAINT STRIPPER ( Its really hard to remove from the small hard to reach areas).

After all of  Dons hard relentless work, I was second guessing whether I wanted to stain the mantle OR paint it white to match the molding around the floors. Three people suggested  to paint it white. One of those three being an interior designer. Well… Dons mother is also an interior designer and suggested for us to stain the mantle. At this point I am going crazy and I literally have the rest of my work day to decide, because when I got home from work we were going to begin staining. I called Don and talked to him about it, He was very quick to state, we did not do all of that sanding just to paint the darn thing.  I agreed and we were to continue our original plan.

We prestained and stained the mantle. Finally after a weeks worth of work we were getting to see what all this work was for.

I am really happy with how it turned out. The wood stain matches all the furniture we purchased for this room and adds richness. The tile on the other hand was done very poorly, and will need to be redone soon.

There were a few disadvantages to doing this …

1.We had freshly painted walls, during the sanding process the walls around the mantle were scratched and will need to be repainted ( See above photo) .

2.The tile within the mantle was so poorly done that the grout extends onto the mantle so when you are close up you can see stained grout.

3.Due to our lack of knowledge about staining, we purchased way to much pre stain and stain. We could have saved a few dollars knowing that a little goes along way. Oh well…

I am glad we ended up doing it, I am much happier with this mantle than the old mantle :0)

Happy Pi Day !!!


One thought on “Our First DIY

  1. It looks AWESOME!!!! I love the stain color you chose–for your next project that requires refinishing, get wire brushes to to get the paint stripper out of the grooves–it helps, but let me tell you, nothing makes the job EASY!

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