before and after

before & after: mantel bookshelf

by Kate Pruitt

Sometime in my adult life, I would love to live in a home with a working fireplace, but in lieu of that, I will settle for a great mantel. I love that you can find loose mantels because they are truly versatile objects — just the other day, I saw that Shauna & Stephen had turned one into a TV unit! Chenin Boutwell has also made great use of an old mantle by converting it into a bookshelf. I love the tan and yellow color combo in this vignette, and the bright color really allows the items on display to stand out. Great job, Chenin! — Kate

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{Note: The framed artwork above mantel is a photograph by Sharon Montrose}

Read how Chenin transformed this gorgeous mantel after the jump!

Time: 7 hours (including drying time)

Cost: $155 (including supplies)

Basic Steps: After carefully measuring the interior dimensions of the mantle, we built a basic MDF box with shelves to mount behind it. We attached that box to the back of the mantle using wood screws, and then used carpentry nails to attach a piece of masonite to make the back of the shelf. We then used pre-fabricated trim pieces from our local hardware store to trim out the form of the shelves and the bottom of the mantle. The mantle was then sanded, primed and painted.

My advice is to measure and measure again. Also, don’t cut corners with sanding or priming, or you won’t get a clean, smooth finish.Chenin

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