Thursday, December 20, 2012

Finishing Touches on the Mantel

I’ve actually been finishing some projects. What is going on here?  (I guess the holidays and upcoming New Year’s celebration are helping kick my butt into gear!)  First the Maligayang Pakso sign got done in one day, then this mantel stuff.  I’ve also been doing other little things finally, that maybe I’ll group into one post.

So last time I left you with the mantel, it was looking pretty spiffy, but I just wanted a few last additions to really make it look well-planned and neatly finished (neither of which it was! ha!).

Here’s what I came up with!

finished mantel

See my cool corbels under the shelf and tiny detail trim on the tile?

Little things, I know, but just finishing touches.

Here’s where it was last time I posted about this project:

mantel in progress

I love the look of the corbels and the detail trim just meant I didn’t have to try to do a crazy caulk job in between the tile and the fluted trim.

I actually began these finishing touches right after I finished the mantel, but some snafus (as always) came up and set me back a bit.  I started by going to Lowes and finding the trim and corbels.

corbels and trim from Lowes

I gave them all a coat of Zinsser Smart Prime and then a couple of coats of Benjamin Moore Advance in Simply White, the same paint I used on the pantry and rest of the mantel.

But then, the grain had raised and was showing really badly on the corbels. The difference was so great, that when I sanded them down a bit, they looked like this:

wood grain in the corbels

It’s not that I don’t like the look of wood grain under paint, but nothing else on the mantel is showing grain, so I just wanted the overall look to be consistent. So I primed, sanded (with 220 grit), and primed again, and sanded again a few times until I thought it all sort of smoothed itself out. I gave the corbels another coat of paint, (sanded a bit more), and painted on a second coat before they were ready to hang.

In the meantime, I hung the small detail trim, but my attempts to keep the nails from hitting the tile (or something hard under there!) didn’t quite work out, because I had 4-5 nails that looked like this:


Yeah, that nail totally curved as it went in and came back out.  Because they’re just 18ga, I was able to cut them off with a pair of lineman pliers as close to the wood as possible, then used a nail punch set to sink them into the wood. I used wood filler to fill all the holes.

To attach the corbels, I first nailed little 1x2 scraps of wood to the top plate of the frame, then attached the corbels to the wood.


I didn’t get pictures of the process because of course the 2 corbels had different measurements on the inside (the support braces inside were in different places) and I only measured 1 corbel when I cut my little blocks of wood. So I had to say some bad words as I was putting them up instead of taking photos.

But once all the nail holes were filled, and all the seams were caulked, and a little bit of touch up paint was applied, I had a totally finished mantel that I am so happy with!  We’ll just look at it again. :)

finished mantel

It’s so clean and neat.  I’m excited to see and post about the mantel post-Christmas with some other kinds of art, etc. up there!

Do the finishing touches on your projects take as long and go as wrong as they do on mine? ;)

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