Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mantel Makeover & 2 Found Treasures

primitive farmhouse mantel makeover

A makeover of the mantel in the dining room.  A new old repurposed mantel for the dining room that was part of the home structure.

primitive farmhouse mantel before and after

The existing mantel was probably installed around 1940 or sometime shortly thereafter when the dining room floor was redone along with the kitchen addition in '43.

As you can see it was small, shabby, wobbly and very unbecoming.

primitive farmhouse mantel before and after profile

Along with the house came this wood beam (and 2 more like it), they were in the basement and this one had a label on it:

'part of the original corner post removed from kitchen area of peninsula'

In all honesty I don't think this post was original to the 1740 build (we have a few of those beams exposed in this house and they are MUCH, MUCH rougher) but I do believe this post was built into the home at one time and saved when the 1943 kitchen addition went on. 

So I repurposed the post as a mantel:

primitive farmhouse mantel before and after corner

I can't take credit for hanging this one though.  My contractor friend's carpenter has been fixing some wood rot around the exterior doors and I asked if he would hang this post too.

You can see from below he used L shaped brackets installed into the wood backer board and then carved out a channel for the bracket to sit flush in the post:

how to install a wood beam mantel

I'm still on the fence as to whether or not I should stain it but I'm leaning towards no.

The age and character is great on it's own:

raw wood beam mantel

And yes the dining room has been painted, Benjamin Moore simply white matte with semi gloss white trim.  I still have doors and a light fixture to finish before the full room reveal.

antique farmhouse mantel before and after

As for the 2 found treasures, when I removed the existing mantel I found an old key hole and a turquoise ring:
old farmhouse found treasures

My girls immediately wanted to wear the ring but I cleaned it up and added it to the box of found treasures from this house.

saltbox project


  1. That mantle looks great and I love the fact that it has a story too. Your other treasures are beautiful as well, isn't that fun to discover something like that and wonder how and why it got there?

  2. love the rustic look! and i had a ring like that when i was a kid! too funny!

  3. Your new mantel looks great. I love the treasures you found. Your house is going to be so much fun to live in. :)

  4. I hope these are the first of many historical treasures you find during the renovation of your home. The new "old" mantel is much more fitting to your home. How lucky to have original wood beams saved for you!

  5. Love the size of the new mantel compared to the old one! And I love these treasures you're finding!

  6. Love it! Reminds me of mine except we used a tree from our property. I have to go and check out your treasures!