Mantel Makeover

Last spring we decided to paint our family room, after 6 months of being tormented by builder-grade beige flat paint. By this point, the kids had learned they could color on the walls by scraping toys, or even clothing against it. Yep, that's how bad the paint was!

Can you see that?  Yes, I did just color on the wall with a toy!  (Don't tell my kids!)
Oh well, that didn't show up quite as well as I had hoped!  Below is a picture of what the family room looked like before moving in (& before carpet!).

I knew I wanted to do something special above the mantel.  I had been to a neighbor's house & they had added wood above the mantel to create a small recessed area to hang artwork.  I thought it would be perfect for the space above our mantel.  Unfortunately, my husband hadn't seen it & I didn't even know what to call it (I still don't!  Please leave me a comment, if you know the technical name for this!).  

After scouring the Internet, we found a couple of pictures that helped my husband understand what I wanted, and he got to work!

Since this was done before I started my blog, I don't have pictures, but here's the basic rundown of what he did...

First, he grabbed two pieces of finished plywood we had used for another project.  He cut each piece to the width of the existing mantel & cut the height so they would reach from the mantel top to the ceiling.  Then, we took a flimsy yardstick, used it to figure out the curve we wanted, & traced it onto one piece of plywood.  After cutting the curve with a jigsaw, we flipped the wood & traced it onto the other piece of wood, so that when we put the pieces together it would give us a nice arch.  (Hopefully this is all making sense & you will understand when you look at the pictures below!)

Next, he hung the pieces above the mantel.  He added crowned molding to the top for some extra dimension.  At that point, it looked pretty good, but to make it looked more finished, he added some trim to the inside of the arch.  We also added corner trim to the outside pieces of plywood.

Here's a better picture of the trim.  Pay no attention to the bad paint job!
The final steps were to caulk the gaps, prime, and paint. 

Here's what it looked like a year ago:

And, here it is now:

I hope you enjoyed!  I better go clean that writing off the walls before my kids (or husband) see what I did!  Have a great weekend!

I'll be linking to these parties:

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia


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