As I was going around the living room, scraping, patching and cussing the previous foks who did the same, I realized that the fireplace mantlepiece, a long hunk of wood, was in dire need of refinishing. It was just lying in place anyway and had to be reattached, and since I'm painting and whatnot all around it, now was the time to get it done. I also went ahead and did warm-season fireplace maintenance while I was at it, cleaning the glass in the door, cleaning the stove & reblacking it and scrubbing the old soot off the fireplace brick. Funny how one job can blossom like a freakin' flower into many more...
carted the thing on out to the back yard. Here it is before I started,
note the huge burned/waterstained (I don't know how they managed THAT in
the same spot) spot, and the glopped-on wall paint along with the
overall worn and tired look.
didn't want to replace it right now, and refinishing is fairly quick
and easy for me since I've done many projects like this with wood. So I
stripped it down to the wood, filled a few spots and sanded it all
better look at the scorched spot, I ended up having to remove some
lifted & peeling wood and filled the hole with wood putty.
Next was stain: Minwax Red Oak color, since I wanted to go a bit darker to help hide the burned spot.
that I put the thing in the garage for two coats of poly
varnish...varnishing outdoors would have been a recipe for insanity the
way the wind blows around here. Finally, my husband removed three, yes,
THREE superfluous 2x4's from inside the mantle (who knows what the Hell
these people were thinking, I've given up trying to guess), redesigning
the thing so it fits properly in it's spot and actually caps the
fireplace brick rather than balancing retardedly on top.
So here it is, all done and back in place!
the greatest picture, granted, but I got all excited about getting it
back into place and forgot to take pics before it was reinstalled, so I
had to stand on tiptoe and hold the camera up at a weird angle.
of all, it is no longer a hazard to walk near for fear of it leaping
off the wall and beaning you on the head, which I'm all for.