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Tuesday, 27-Aug-2013 15:39 Email | Share | Bookmark
Completing Your New Fireplace Mantel

Painting or Staining?

The first decision that needs to be made is whether the new mantel will be painted or stained. Usually this decision is made prior to purchasing the mantel, as various wood types and products are utilized in producing a mantel based upon if it will be painted or stained. Stainable mantels make use of wood types known for their grain and appearance, and solid moldings, since the wood's grain will be visible. Many individuals who plan to stain wood want the grain, as well as other natural imperfections, to shine through and would never cover those natural features with paint. Paintable mantels make use of finger-jointed moldings and less-decorative wood or MDF (i.e. Medium Density Fiberboard), because the wood will not be visible. As soon as it is painted, it is really tough to determine the material used, and that is why many contractors and homeowners alike, choose MDF as an economical alternative to wood.

Setting up the Mantel.

While it is not really necessary to complete a mantel after you install it, it does make the task easier if you do this while it is on the wall, as it is similar to painting any other wood trim. If you complete it, and then afterwards, mar the mantel when putting it up, you will need to fix it. Certainly, lots of people paint or stain their fireplace mantel prior to installing it. It is truly a personal preference.

Whether painting or staining, I have created a list of pointers below to assist homeowners complete their new fireplace mantels.

Tips for Painting Your Fireplace Mantel.

I suggest using a high quality semi-gloss paint in the color of your choice, however, any paint that is used for inside house trim is suitable.

Have various size paint brushes available. You will want a smaller sized brush if your mantel has dentil molding so you can get the paint into the small crevices. A bigger brush will help you paint faster and avoid stroke marks in the paint.

Although priming your mantel is suggested, you do not need to. You can simply apply two to three coats of paint.

Tips for Staining Your Fireplace Mantel.

Test your stain color on an inside location of the mantel before you install it to ensure the color is what you want to achieve. If you will be using a polyurethane finish over the stain, I suggest testing the polyurethane on top of the stain so you can see the final look of your mantel.

If sanding the mantel, use a fine (220) grit.

If applying more than one coat of stain, be sure to let it dry prior to applying the next coat.

When your stain is dry, apply a couple of coats of polyurethane (satin or semi-gloss is recommended), or tung oil to protect your finish.

Completing a fireplace mantel is a gratifying experience, and as soon as it is done, you can see how the new mantel improves the look of the room.Visit This Website\n

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