I meant to get this post up at some point last week, but I have been sick and traveling and I was just too tired at night to open my computer and think.
Last weekend, I was cleaning up the house a little bit and was focusing on cleaning up our family room because with a toddler, toys.are.everywhere! While I was cleaning up, I started thinking about how my fireplace mantle could finally use a small update. It had sort of became the place where I just threw things up as I was unpacking and left it alone.
So, deciding to spend almost no money on this, I started looking around the house and playing with what I had.
A few years ago, I purchased two gold candle sticks from Everything but the House, with no actual plans for them. I wanted to use them on the mantle but not in the current state. I still like gold accessories, but these were just so dated and not the style of the room.
What I really wanted was something that looked more rustic and would fit the style of our room. Something like this:
I did a lot of looking around and it looks like most versions of this candle stick are made from wood. I didn’t want to totally ditch what I had because I already had them. So I figured I would play around with paint and see what I could do. If it was a total fail, I would just paint them a solid color.
I bought the Martha Stewart Vintage Decor paint in Linen and Clay. These had a matte, chalky finish, so I figured I could apply and sand where I wanted to distress. Also, I was lucky timing-wise that they were buy one get one half off at Michaels because they are a little pricey.
The rest was pretty easy. I applied two coats of the clay and followed the instructions on the back of the bottle. Apply and let cure. I was purposely sloppy with how the paint went on because it was going to be sanded down.
After the clay covered completely, I applied two coats of linen and let dry overnight. Again, not really caring how smooth the paint went on.
My plan was to sand most of the linen off the top and expose most of the clay. Sanding was not going the way I thought it would. It took a lot of effort to sand and when I made it through the top layers, it went straight back down to the gold. Hmm
Plan B: Dry brush* the clay over the top and hope it looks good. And that is what I did for both.
*Dry brushing is when you dip your brush into a little paint, wipe it on a paper towel or paper plate and then paint your piece. It cuts down the coverage and gives it the look that I spent all day sanding.
I was so happy I was not particular about how the bottom layers of paint went on because it created this really nice groove effect on the top to give it way more dimension.
I totally eyeballed how much to put on and when to stop.
I mounted the long window I actually found in the trash back when I was looking for wedding decor. I think it is such a cool piece and lucky me to find it.
Such an easy and cheap project to take off the to-do list! I am brainstorming ideas for a new screen. I will tackle that once we have the fireplace serviced. When we bought the house, the seller was in the process of switching it from gas to electric and just stopped halfway through. So we are going to hire someone to come take a look and make sure it works in time for winter.