So excited to show you guys my project from the last couple of weeks.  I’ve been dying to give my family room fireplace and media cabinet a makeover, and I finally got around to it!   Check out the before picture:




We have tons of oak in our house, and beautiful oak crown moulding that I plan to brighten up over the next year to white/offwhite – which will really help to brighten our house.   For my family room, I wanted to paint over our existing built in oak bookcase, and change out the mantel above the fireplace to modernize the room.

I really wanted to go with a barn wood type mantel, but didn’t want to spend $300+ on a new mantel.   Fortunately when researching online, I figured out a way to get my barn wood looking mantel for less than $50 – finished!   I posted the full tutorial here for my DIY Faux Barnwood Mantel (Veneer)

For the bookcase, I debated painting it white, but in the end, decided to go with a soft blue grey color to lighten up the room and will eventually provide a contrast when I paint the crown moulding white.

I started by removing all of the doors and drawers and applying a deglosser to the entire surface of the cabinet.    Next, I went over all of the wood with 150 grain sandpaper to rough it up just a bit.   I opted to go with a paint+primer combination (just cause I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to paint twice) – so far its held up well but I will report back if I have any major regrets for not using a primer first!   🙂






I applied 2 coats of the paint (make sure to let it dry at least 6 hours in between coats) and then finished it off with a water based polyurethane spray paint.   Water based ploys are known to not yellow as much as oil based ploys.







I finished off the cabinet with some cool wrought iron looking drawer pulls and door knobs, and pulled in a bunch of cool natural, white and silver accent pieces from around our house – if you see the before picture, we used it very functionally as a bookcase, but it didn’t look very pretty.

bookcase-2 bookcase







Get the full instructions for the DIY Faux Barnwood Mantel here >>



Credits:   Thank you to for your mantel inspiration and the idea to use wood veneers on the sides!

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