Sunday, September 06, 2009

Before and After: fireplace mantel...

I should say: After and before... There are diehard fans of woodgrain finishes out there I know. They'll never paint over a wood surface no matter what. But many don't distinguish between fine and beautiful and unique grain - and just plain old cheap looking pine. And others don't pay attention to what works best with the overall color scheme, decoration, and balance to a room.
What I have done here is to highlight the panel edges and moldings by distressing or sanding away paint just enough to let some of the warmth of the wood color to show through. Then the entire mantel is sealed with two or three coats of urethane. It's a much more sophisticated look - and works well with the client's dark furniture and artwork.
Most new houses come with the blandest of finishes on woodwork and cabinetry. The orangey finish actually clashes with the brick - and much of the detail of the raised panels is lost due to the similarity of value.