Simple and Rustic Mantel Makeover

I don’t know about you, but any time I’m feeling extra stressed or anxious there are three things that really help me: prayer, going for a run, and doing something creative. Prayer is definitely my best stress-reliever, but being creative has always been a great outlet for me too. I LOVE working with my hands, even if it’s something as simple as organizing a closet or doing a small DIY, it’s therapeutic for me. Especially if I have good music playing and a cup of yummy coffee in hand–I just zone out and focus on what I’m doing. Anyway, when I woke up yesterday I was craving a project. I needed a project, so I grabbed the sander and did a simple and rustic mantel makeover in our front room.

This project turned out better than I ever could have imagined and it totally transformed this space. I’m so excited to share it with you today!! Let’s start with a before photo of what the mantel looked like when I started:

Mantel Before

Simple and Rustic Mantel Makeover

This space always felt kinda blah to me. Sure it was pretty, but it lacked pizazz. Something just felt off, but I never could figure out what it was until it dawned on me that the mantel should be a natural wood color! The white needed to go.

Simple and Rustic Mantel Makeover

Here’s a progress shot. I honestly thought this project would take me about thirty minutes, but oh boy I was wrong. It ended being about 2.5 hours of sanding, mostly due to the fact that I had to sand down through one layer of paint and two layers of stain. It was way more work than I anticipated. And let me tell you, sanding makes a huge mess. I wasn’t expecting that either, but this entire room was covered in dust. Anyway, I got it done and here is the finished look:

Rustic Mantel After

Simple and Rustic Mantel Makeover
Simple and Rustic Mantel Makeover. Farmhouse style fireplace.

Eeeeek!! Isn’t it so pretty?! I seriously love it so much more than the all white. It gives this fireplace much needed contrast and warmth. I just can’t get over what a difference this made and now I’m kicking myself for not doing this sooner. The natural wood is what was missing all along.

Simple and Rustic Mantel Makeover. Farmhouse style fireplace.
Simple and Rustic Mantel Makeover. Farmhouse style fireplace.
Simple and Rustic Mantel Makeover. Farmhouse style fireplace.
Simple and Rustic Mantel Makeover. Farmhouse style fireplace.
Simple and Rustic Mantel Makeover. Farmhouse style fireplace.

I can’t get over the before and after of this simple and rustic mantel makeover–it’s just so dang good!! And it’s amazing to me how a little bit of natural wood tones can really warm up a space. It just makes this whole area feel more cozy and pulled together. I’m loving this change and now I’m wondering what else I can sand down. Ha! Anyway, I hope this post gives you an idea or two for your own home. And I hope it inspires you to get creative or simply spend time doing something you enjoy. I promise you’ll feel better for it! xo

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The Comments

  • Michelle
    March 16, 2020

    Love the results! Thx for sharing your inspiration!

    • Sarah
      > Michelle
      March 16, 2020

      thanks for stopping by Michelle!

  • Joann
    March 16, 2020

    Looks so good Sarah, at first I thought you were trying to sand the brick!! Whew ! 🙂

    • Sarah
      > Joann
      March 16, 2020

      haha oh boy that would have been tough!

    • Coreina Spencer
      > Joann
      April 1, 2020

      Luv it.have a mantle with sides painted gray. I’m coastal farmhouse any suggestions. Ty

  • glenda lafont
    March 16, 2020

    looking good, Sarah

    • Sarah
      > glenda lafont
      March 16, 2020

      thank you, Glenda. xo

  • Melissa
    March 16, 2020

    love the natural wood mantle. The perfect contrast!! Also, where did you get those little mini benches on either side of the mantel? Please tell me you have a link, they would be perfect in my living room! GAH!!!

    • Sarah
      > Melissa
      March 16, 2020

      Hi Melissa! Those chairs are from Target, but unfortunately they’re not sold anymore.

  • Lynsey
    March 16, 2020

    It’s perfect! I love natural wood with white.

    • Sarah
      > Lynsey
      March 16, 2020

      thanks so much Lynsey!

  • Deedra
    March 16, 2020

    The natural wood is exactly what the space needed. It looks great!

    • Sarah
      > Deedra
      March 16, 2020

      yes, Deedra!! This is what it was missing!

  • Nikki
    March 16, 2020

    Love the natural wood!! The change really did make a difference. What a cozy space.

    • Sarah
      > Nikki
      March 16, 2020

      thanks Nikki! I’m loving this change. Hope you are doing well! xo

  • Jena
    March 16, 2020

    Looks good

  • Debbie Sigler
    March 16, 2020

    Beautifully done! Your insight to accomplishing your goal is right -on. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sarah
      > Debbie Sigler
      March 16, 2020

      thank you Debbie!!

  • Karen
    March 16, 2020

    Wow ! So much better . Isn’t it funny how it all cycles …. we paint the things …. then sand the things 😉 it really is so pretty !!❤️

    • Sarah
      > Karen
      March 16, 2020

      haha yep! So funny how things change.

  • Suzanne
    March 16, 2020

    Looks great – it really ties in with your floors now & warms up the room as well!

    • Sarah
      > Suzanne
      March 16, 2020

      I agree Suzanne–it really does go well with the floors!

  • Kathy M
    March 16, 2020

    So pretty Sarah!

    • Sarah
      > Kathy M
      March 16, 2020

      thanks Kathy!

  • Tracy
    March 16, 2020

    Love the change! Love how we can see things differently and making those changes makes the difference ! LOL!

    • Sarah
      > Tracy
      March 16, 2020

      Yes, you’re right Tracy! It’s funny how we change our minds on things over time.

  • Linda
    March 16, 2020

    It looks great! I didn’t think anything was wrong with it, but that made a huge difference! ❤️

    • Sarah
      > Linda
      March 16, 2020

      So true Linda, it made a huge difference!

  • Debby
    March 23, 2020

    Love everything! Where is the mirror from?

    • Sarah
      > Debby
      March 24, 2020

      Hi Debby, that’s from Arhaus!

  • Lesley
    March 31, 2020

    I love the wall color you use! It looks so fresh and bright yet cozy! I can’t find anything on your site, however, that specifies the color.

    • Sarah
      > Lesley
      March 31, 2020

      Hi Lesley, it’s Alabster by Sherwin Williams!

  • Judy
    April 1, 2020

    You’re so right. This project was a great idea to really make a difference. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jess
    May 8, 2020

    It looks so beautiful! We are in the process of renovating our fireplace, and we’re also looking to remove the white paint on our mantel. Would you mind sharing what sandpaper grit and type you used? Thank you.

    P.S. Thank you for all the DIY home reno inspiration on your page! You make it all very approachable and easy-to-follow! And not to mention, beautiful!