Farmhouse Mantel Makeover

Fireplace Makeover Tutorial by

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I’m thinking what they say about the third time being a charm is going to ring true with my Farmhouse Mantel Makeover!

If you’ve been following along here the past year or so, you’ll know some of the details of this fun piece, but I’ll recap for anyone who is new!

Fireplace Makeover on a Budget by

*This post contains affiliate links to products I know &/or love.

A little bit of history…

This Electric Fireplace Mantel DIY post was the first blog reveal, but it actually all started 10 years ago when we originally found and purchased this mantel from Craigslist.

Mantel Before - by

It sat for an embarrassingly long time until last year when we finally decided to make the mantel work for an electric fireplace instead of a gas fireplace like we had originally planned.

We found the electric fireplace on amazon, and have been really happy with the look and functionality!

Having this mantel sitting around our house waiting to be finished is just such a true picture of the nature of some DIY projects, isn’t it?

They sometimes just need to sit patiently until you’re inspired and ready to tackle them! Along with some minor adjustments to the body of the mantel itself to fit the smaller electric fireplace unit, we also painted the fireplace white.

Farmhouse Fireplace by

As is also the nature of some DIY projects, I decided not too long afterwards that I wanted to give the plain mantel a little bit of a facelift.

So next came the Simple Mantel Makeover where we added back in the ballasters on either side of the lower portion of the mantel, and the marble look contact paper around the fireplace itself.

That brings you up to speed and back to current day!

Adding Trim to a Mantle by

Today’s Farmhouse Mantel Makeover:

I knew the fireplace was getting close to being finished, but I wanted to add some design elements to the top portion that was feeling a bit plain.

I also decided that I wanted to bring in some color in place of the white.

For the design elements, I chose this wooden laurel wreath applique from Etsy, and two trimmed rectangles to give a paneled or framed look on either side.

DIY Victorian Farmhouse Mantel by

At first I had thought about doing 3 sided rectangles that opened and highlighted the wreath in the center, but decided against it once I taped them up and saw it coming together.

Switching to a 4 sided rectangle ended up requiring another trip to home depot for additional trim and needing to recut all 8 pieces. Sometimes a true DIY project just requires a couple of trips to the hardware store!

For the color, I have really been loving the shade I have on both our bi-fold closet doors, and our upcycled armoire, but I didn’t want to overwhelm the room with too much of that exact shade.

My solution was to stick with the same color family, but to go a shade darker.

The color is called “analytical grey” and is Sherwin Williams’ Pro Classic paint with a satin finish. (Sherwin Williams code #SW7051)

Farmhouse Mantle Makeover by


To recreate this look for your own farmhouse mantel makeover, here’s what you’ll need:

Painting a Mantel by
Farmhouse Fireplace Mantle Makeover by

The Process for our Farmhouse Mantel Makeover:

Step One | Attach the Wreath Applique

I measured our mantel face to center our wreath (both horizontally and vertically) and confirmed it was level, then taped it into place. Then used our pin nailer to secure it there.

Adding Trim to a Farmhouse Mantel by

I chose to use the nailer instead of wood glue and skipped the caulking around the edges because I know myself, and sometimes I change my mind about things.

I figured that removing this later down the road would be much easier if it was simply nailed in place.

DIY Farmhouse Mantle by

Step Two | Attach the Rectangle Frames.

We measured the remaining space on either side of the wreath and cut the 4 pieces of trim required to make each rectangle.

My husband used his miter saw to create nice 45 degree cuts on the ends so that it fit together really neatly when we installed it.

I used my 220-grit sandpaper to smooth down any rough edges left from the saw cuts.

Then I followed the same careful process to measure where the rectangle belonged on the face of the mantel and carefully made sure it was level and straight before taping it down and nailing it in place.

Adding Trim to a Farmhouse Mantle by

I used a little spackle to cover and fill in the holes left by the nailer, and then we were ready to paint!

Fireplace Makeover on a Budget by

Step Three | Prep & Paint.

We prepped the area for painting and taped off the marble contact paper to make sure we could paint neatly around it.

How to Paint a Mantel by

Here are some of my “painting 101” tips!

  • I like to remove my painters tape as soon as I’m finished with the last coat of paint – while it’s still wet. This might partially be because I’m inpatient and excited to see the final look, but it also allows me to do any necessary clean up right away if paint bled through the tape in any spots.
  • I clean up the paint while still wet with a qtip soaked in water, or if it’s dried too much already, I carefully use a razor blade to scrape any bleed through away.
  • I always like to paint detailed sections (like the wreath) first to make sure I take the time to get the brush everywhere it needs to be in the nooks and crannies.
  • Then I move on to the edges of the larger areas and then carefully fill them in.
  • When painting across a long surface, like the top of this mantel, I mentally cut the surface into sizeable sections that I can easily cover with smooth long brush strokes. Those long even horizontal brush strokes will really help make your painting look professionally done.
Painting a Mantle by
DIY Victorian Farmhouse Mantle by

I ended up doing 3 coats of paint. I probably could have done just 2, but it was going so quickly and I had leftover paint so it was easy enough to add another coat.

I love how the satin finish feels almost like a chalk paint – but without the added step of needing to apply the wax coat!

I’m also really thrilled with the color, and something about the color and texture gives me a stone/concrete feel which I absolutely adore! A surprise development I wasn’t even expecting.

Farmhouse Mantel Decorations by
Adding Trim to a Mantle by


Some fun news is that the cute little wreath I ordered from Etsy came in a two pack! And you know what that means, right? A giveaway!

It’s carved birch and about 5″ wide and a little over 7″ tall.

If you leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite thing is about She Holds Dearly, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win the 2nd wreath!

I especially love feedback like this, because it helps me know your favorite types of things for me to share more of!

The giveaway closes June 13th!

*Giveaway Closed*

Congratulations to Lissa on winning the wreath! Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

Fireplace Mantel Ideas by

Pin this Idea for Later:

Farmhouse Mantel Makeover by


  1. Amy Thomas
    June 10, 2020 / 5:31 AM

    I love your mantle makeover and I absolutely love watching your videos! You have a wonderful gift for explaining how to do things as well as your thinking process along the way. Thank you for sharing!! The wood piece is so lovely. I have a fireplace in my formal living room. It would look so pretty with a piece like that. Take care!

  2. Bunny Bryant
    June 10, 2020 / 6:15 AM

    I just found your channel this mornin and I subscribed right away! You are Awesome!!!! I am currently watching you farmhouse before and after…. I love that you have so any garage sale finds and Craig’s list! I am currently building a new home that I want to be old… if that makes sense… and I’d love to win the wreath to do my fireplace!

  3. Joanna A.
    June 10, 2020 / 6:52 AM

    I recently found your channel and my jaw dropped as I saw you 1906 Farm House Tour. Everything looked beautiful and I was able to get so many ideas for our home. I appreciate how inexpensive the items in your home are. It made me realize that I can make my home my dream home without breaking the bank. Thank you for sharing your creations and being so helpful with so much information. I just want to binge your channel all day.

  4. Patricia Murphy
    June 10, 2020 / 7:22 AM

    I can’t begin to tell you how much I love your site! In addition I appreciate how you make your DIY’s relatable by including your thought process AND any mistakes you might make along the way. That makes you more relatable and me feel so much better when I make a mistake too. As a kindergarten teacher I often tell my students that our mistakes are our best teachers. You help to teach us with your style AND any mistakes you might make along the way! Thank you!

  5. June 10, 2020 / 9:11 AM

    I have been watching faithfully for a year now, every episode. You are truly a sister from another mister!!! I to love to buy on the cheap and change my look from time to time. People often ask how I can do it, I tell them with a little inspiration (you) and knowledge (from you) I pull it all together. It’s nice to feel like you can relate to someone who likes the same things you do and likes to find the “real deal” ( the real antique, or old at a deal). You have proved to me that I am on the right track. I truly look forward to watching your videos to see what you are going to do next. If you are ever down South, I live on the beach and it would be cool to meet ya. (not a stalker, or weirdo, just being nice, lol) Keep up the good work.

  6. Monica
    June 10, 2020 / 9:15 AM

    I love your DIY projects and seasonal decorating posts! Now I want a fireplace in the bedroom. Not to mention a bee skep for my Summer decor, a tuteur…you get the picture 🙂 Inspiring!

  7. Laurel Creek Farm
    June 10, 2020 / 11:10 AM

    I just found your blog & channel recently. It is so inspiring to see your home & farm. I love your diy projects & gardening. I made the apron from your tutorial that uses a men’s dress shirt & wear it almost everyday. Your fireplace makeover is so beautiful. I love the idea to use satin paint. I’m a homeschooling mama of 5 & we live on a small farm. Your French country style & love for the Lord aligns so much with my life! Thank you for inspiring me!

  8. June 10, 2020 / 11:13 AM

    I think one of my favorite things is your personality. Your sweet personality mixed with your beautiful home are a delight to watch.

  9. Heather Anne
    June 10, 2020 / 12:56 PM

    I love your blog and your YouTube channel – you have inspired me in so many ways! Sometimes when I feel like I’ve got all the right ‘ingredients’ for a project but it’s just not coming together for me, I will watch your videos of similar projects for inspiration and direction – it is so helpful! Thank you so much for sharing your gift of DIY home decor on a budget – I truly look forward to each new post or video!

  10. Roxane vogel
    June 10, 2020 / 3:02 PM

    Hi Sarah, Love Love your channel. I really enjoy your content. Mostly I love your decorating style on a budget, that doesn’t look like you did it on a budget. Your ideas are always fresh and current. Thanks again for brightening my day, when you post a video. You inspire me. Thanks again

  11. Amy Hanson
    June 10, 2020 / 5:34 PM

    Dear Sarah,
    There is something so welcoming about your gentle greeting in each of your videos. Honestly, I think it’s my favorite part! Your advice is built on years of experience and your ideas are original and inspiring… but it’s the gentle love you wrap it all in. That’s what really gets me!

  12. Julie S.
    June 10, 2020 / 8:19 PM

    As a new subscriber to your YouTube channel, I appreciate the fact that you ‘teach’ us the steps to achieve a particular look or create a decorative item. Your honest and gentle tone of voice makes me think I am in a design classroom.
    I commend you for faithfully honoring the Lord in your home and life.

  13. Kathy
    June 10, 2020 / 9:37 PM

    I also am new to your videos and posts. You had me at reusing drop cloths as I am in that process. I appreciate that you take thongs step by step. Doing what feels right at the moment, sit with it and love with it, then decide what is still needed, as with this mantle. The wreath is beautiful and really “kicked it up a couple of notches”. I just purchased a reproduction of a late 19th century farmhouse and need to make it my own. So happy to have found you. Also enjoyed the shopping trips to Ikea and the antiques mall.

  14. Elizabeth Leonard
    June 11, 2020 / 2:39 AM

    I recently discovered your channel and love your style. I used to own a 1903 vintage home and loved all of the character and fixing things up. I wish YouTube had been a thing back then! I enjoy your sense of humor and your budget friendly, vintage inspired projects!

  15. Denise Valente-McGee
    June 11, 2020 / 4:17 AM

    The mantel turned out great. The wreath looks like it was always there not just something you plopped on! I appreciate your design expertise. I like that you explain how and why you are doing your makeovers and projects. I’m a big decor person but I do like a good makeover. I also enjoy decorating for the seasons and you do all of those things on your YouTube channel. I’ve learned that most people are visual learners and seeing you do these projects on YouTube is extremely helpful.

  16. Deb H.
    June 11, 2020 / 5:14 AM

    I adore this mantel makeover, the color is perfection! I love your site because you are clear with instructions and because you have fabulous ideas. And I love how positive and kind you are. Thank you for all that you do for so many!

  17. Lissa
    June 11, 2020 / 5:41 AM

    I found your site when I spent long hours and days in NICU with my baby 🙂 I like your simple diy projects and I love to thrift!

  18. Mishann Lepley
    June 11, 2020 / 6:19 AM

    Your blog is like a breath of fresh air. I look forward to reading every single one. The thing I like most about your blogs is your DYI projects & tips. I also learned something new every time I read it. Who knew you could get a Laurel Wreath cut out on Esty. I would’ve never even thought to look there because I didn’t even know they existed. Thank you for the tip. Be well.

  19. Kari
    June 11, 2020 / 6:27 AM

    I love,love,love the mantel. I am now thinking about adding one to our master bedroom. You have such a happy blog with beautiful ideas.

  20. Joanne
    June 11, 2020 / 6:53 AM

    Omg! I was just looking for this type of thing for headboards we just made. Opted to not use the extra embellishments but am getting a secretary that it would be fabulous on! You gave the best way of keeping us engaged in your projects! Gives me the hope and encouragement to tackle my own projects!
    Keep the ideas and projects coming!

  21. Tamara Millage
    June 11, 2020 / 7:31 AM

    I am a new follower of your blog and I’m hooked! What I like most about “She Holds Dearly” is the realness that comes through your videos and posts. I am inspired to make our home a little better through the information you share. I resonate with your style and the colors you use. I keep wanting to type “I love…”, “I love…”, “I love…”! Thank you for the glimpse into your world.

  22. Marie Empringham
    June 11, 2020 / 7:37 AM

    Sara, you have such beautiful taste. There is an elegance to your style which transforms ordinary into exquisite. It’s hard to say what I like most about She Holds Dearly but I think repurposing and DIYs speak to my soul. I do not like to throw things out but reach into my creativity to consciously rework pieces I have into something different. Daily, I look forward to your inspiration. Of course, my mind is buzzing with ideas for the wreath.

    Blessings to you and your family.

  23. Ruth Newton
    June 11, 2020 / 7:40 AM

    I love this mantel. It looks perfect in your bedroom. I would love to do this project myself someday. I love your blog, especially your DIY projects. I’ve made several and just finished the 1776 pillow this week. I love that your projects are easy and you give me the templates I need to do them. I made the lamb and bunny garland you made at Easter. I bordered it with gold glitter. My next project is the bees keep. Thank you for inspiring me. And I love the little wooden wreath.

  24. Sandra Ryce
    June 11, 2020 / 8:10 AM

    I especially love your videos! I really like your diy projects and it gives me so many ideas of things I can do here at home. Thanks!

  25. Deana
    June 11, 2020 / 8:39 AM

    I adore watching your YouTube videos and have been so inspired by your projects. Beautiful design with diy budget in mind is so essential to a realistic and economic lifestyle. This mantel is lovely. How proud you are of your home when you look back and see that you had your hand in it’s style. I love the mantel wreath! It has a hint of Christmas, yet it has a classic, year round beauty as well. Christmas is my favorite. I redid my kitchen and rather than doing a wall of cabinets and countertop, I decided to have a huge hutch there in a complimentary color. The kitchen cabinets are white. The island is a long wooden baking table, and the hutch is a distressed gray blue. I love it! I would add this wreath to the hutch. It would be perfect. Please just keep doing what your doing. I check for new videos each week. Thank you!

  26. Katina Rusch
    June 11, 2020 / 9:34 AM

    I love watching your channel. It inspires me to get out and do my own diy projects.
    We are remodeling our basement and adding a bedroom down there and we will be making a fireplace. I am going to do exactly what you did with the front of yours and this wreath would be perfect.

  27. Rosanna
    June 11, 2020 / 10:49 AM

    What a great fireplace and mantle at last..I’m loving it!! One of my favorite things about your blog and channel, is how you explain things! It just makes sense. And even gives me courage to try things I never would’ve thought I could do,and that I even wanted to do..😁
    I love your style,how you use old-interesting-& even “out of the box” items…so fun!
    Probably my favorite is your front porch rocker and those lockers you redid…and your sons room..and… ok,all of it,yep..all of it!!

  28. Tracey
    June 11, 2020 / 3:54 PM

    Your fireplace turned out beautifully. I appreciate your decorating thriftiness. My mother always said you have to be more creative with less money and I try to remember that when I am working on a project in my own home. Thank you for the videos as well. Love watching them.

  29. Alison Anderson
    June 11, 2020 / 6:16 PM

    Sarah, you are just the sweetest thing! I so enjoy watching your videos! Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents! Have a great weekend! 💜

  30. June 11, 2020 / 6:36 PM

    Very pretty and simple, which to me, gives it its loveliness

  31. Beth
    June 11, 2020 / 7:02 PM

    I appreciate your color scheme and how you make your projects look sooo easy!

  32. Susan Norton
    June 12, 2020 / 1:20 PM

    I was just looking up in your YouTube description for the resource for this wooden wreath. It would be perfect addition to my mantle. I have tiled the inner portion and flooring with black and brown marble which matches my black element decor. I do get too cluttery and that is why I like the simplicity of your style. I overdo sometimes, Okay, many times. Keep up your encouragement and elegant style.

  33. Jennifer Johnson
    June 12, 2020 / 5:11 PM

    I love how you take items that we may already have or are just a thrift store, marketplace or antique purchase away and see all sorts of potential in recreating the item to have purpose and enjoyment in our homes ❤️

  34. June 13, 2020 / 6:43 AM

    So I am fairly new to your blog but I am loving it. My favorite new project was the covering of the dining room chair. I actually used it to cover a chair for my sewing table. Thanks for all your tips and tricks!

  35. Mary
    June 13, 2020 / 11:23 AM

    I enjoy your DIY projects especially when you paint furniture. Your mantle is beautiful!

  36. JoAnn Keeler
    June 13, 2020 / 12:55 PM

    I love your DIY videos. They inspire me and are a great source of ideas. I loved this mantle idea, and the US map decoration. Among many others. Fun! Thank you!

  37. Linda Spencer
    June 13, 2020 / 3:12 PM

    I loved the mantle before, but the after is yummmmmmmy! In the midst of entire house reno right now and currently catching up with you while I paint a leopard/rose floorcloth for my entry! LOVE DIY! I’d love to have your sweet ‘lil applique, I too, have been looking for one forever….. 🙂

  38. Tammie N.
    June 13, 2020 / 7:48 PM

    I enjoy your DIY makeovers and your videos. I watched a video about how to make an object look like mercury glass that was really helpful.

  39. Carolyn Toepke
    June 14, 2020 / 2:52 PM

    Thanks. I love your how to knowledge to get your decor put together, such as going one shade darker or lighter with different pieces in the room. Plus your thrift hauls!

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