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Tuesday, 6-Aug-2013 21:48 Email | Share | Bookmark
Completing Your New Fireplace Mantel

Painting or Staining?

The first decision that has to be made is whether the new mantel will be painted or stained. Generally this decision is made before buying the mantel, as various wood types and materials are used in producing a mantel based upon if it will be painted or stained. Stainable mantels use wood types known for their grain and appearance, and solid moldings, since the wood's grain will be visible. A lot of 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 use finger-jointed moldings and less-decorative wood or MDF (i.e. Medium Density Fiberboard), since 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 numerous contractors and property owners alike, choose MDF as a cost-effective 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 have to fix it. Certainly, many people paint or stain their fireplace mantel prior to installing it. It is truly an individual preference.

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

Pointers for Painting Your Fireplace Mantel.

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

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

Although priming your mantel is advised, you do not have to. You can simply apply 2 to 3 coats of paint.

Pointers for Staining Your Fireplace Mantel.

Test your stain color on an inside area of the mantel before you install it to make sure the color is what you want to achieve. If you will be using a polyurethane finish over the stain, I recommend 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 using more than one coat of stain, make certain to let it dry before adding the next coat.

When your stain is dry, apply one or two coats of polyurethane (satin or semi-gloss is suggested), or tung oil to protect your finish.

Completing a fireplace mantel is a fulfilling experience, and when it is done, you can see how the new mantel improves the appearance of the room.Heating Repair Phoenix AZ\nHere

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