french gray mantel

Today I’m posting about my favorite addition to our bedroom. You know how I love mantels. Whether they are attached to a fireplace or not, makes no difference to me. πŸ™‚ Β I think they make a great statement in any room in the house.

I found this mantel for a client at Salvation Army. Sadly, it didn’t fit her fireplace. I was secretly happy (sorry, B) because I loved it so much and pictured it in our bedroom.

I love the size, shape and details but the brown had to go! So I gave it a couple of coats of Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Light French Gray.

Someone asked in the comments how I paint so fast. The answer is I am a big fan of assembly line painting. Since all the pieces that I painted for my bedroom are the same color, I painted them all at the same time. I love doing this because it is a huge time saver.

Here is the mantel after…

A light sanding really accentuated the beautiful details.

The french chairs on each side help create a beautiful focal wall.

See the suitcases underneath? I showed you the bottom one last week. I found it at Salvation Army.

It painted it in french gray and I love how soft it looks now.

One more before and after of the mantel…


Linking up here:
PhotobucketDomestically SpeakingPhotobucketChic on a Shoestring Decorating

34 Responses to french gray mantel

  1. Nola March 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    Have to ask….where do you get your inspiration? And where do you store all the wonderful pieces while waiting to work on them? I live in an apartment and collect old furniture that other people throw away but have to ut it in storage and work on it when the weather is warm. Makes for a hassle but better than just dreaming all the time!

    Thanks so much for sharing all your wonderful ideas and especially for including all the pictures.

    • Maple & Magnolia March 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

      Hi Nola, I get inspiration from everywhere! Books, magazines, blogs, everywhere! But usually it starts with one piece and then everything sort of comes together after that! In this case, the mantel was the inspiration piece. At the moment I have furniture in our basement, garage, dining room and library. My husband calls me Fred Sanford. I just can’t turn down thrifty pieces with potential. It’s addictive! Luckily most of it is sold and being picked up soon! I’d love to see some of your re-dos. Send photos if you get a chance!

  2. Ann March 29, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    Hi! I’m beside you at Wow Us Wednesday. I am totally floored by this mantel and the luggage. How lovely. I hope you have pictures of the rest of your bedroom in a post somewhere…I’m dying to see it. I’m not much of a painter but I’ve been inspired by all the talented painters in blogland. Thanks for sharing. Come visit my blog if you have time. ~Ann

  3. Ashleigh @ Sincerely March 29, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    I love mantels used decoratively and can’t wait until I have a place to have one. You’re is gorgeous!

    I also love your suitcases! I bought one with the intentions of painting it but haven’t gotten around to it because I’m not sure how to start. Did you do anything special to prepare yours or just go with paint and primer?


    • Maple & Magnolia March 29, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

      Hi Ashleigh, Nope…I just painted it. I used Behr with the primer built in and rolled it on, using a brush for the small areas. Happy painting! πŸ™‚

  4. Mel March 29, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    Whoa! The mantle is to die for. The suitcases look etheral. Smashing redo, as always. I’m so looking forward to your final reveal on Friday. Whoot Whoot!

  5. deanna March 29, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    i love this~! love the whole display, the mantel is so soft and inviting and the suitcases draw you in and add tons of vintage interest, and the french chairs are the cherry on top!

  6. Kelsey March 29, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    That turned out SO gorgeous!!! Love the stacked suitcases underneath! You did an amazing job!

  7. Melissa Darr March 29, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    Wow i love what you did with the mantel! Gorgeous! You’ve inspired me to go and paint something! πŸ™‚

  8. Pat@Back Porch Musings March 30, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    I absolutely love this. The mantel is a wonderful find and the grey is perfect. Looks fabulous with the luggage.

    I put together a mantel in our master bedroom, last year. It has certainly added to the coziness of the room, plus we installed a small electric fireplace that has added to the warmth over winter…form and function.:-)

  9. Becca March 30, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    Beautiful !! The color is gorgeous … love the stacked suitcases, too! *Becca*

  10. Susan J March 30, 2011 at 8:40 am #

    Just beautiful.

  11. Linda March 30, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    This turned out beautifully…looks wonderful in the room! Hopped over from Wow Us Weds…

  12. Debbie March 30, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    What a great transformation! I want to go gray, not just my hair though! Love the idea of painting the suitcases!

  13. cassie March 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    that is sooo beautiful. i really love the vintage suitcases stacked in it, too- you are so good!

  14. stefanie March 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Oh, I am in LOVE with this!!! so clever!

  15. Jen March 30, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    I love your mantel! But I love the suitcases even more! I found a couple awhile ago they are very old very worn and not so pretty but I felt a little bad painting them! They are still a work in progress but they do have a coat of primer on them. I’m glad to see some others that have been painting. Very beautiful.

  16. Theresa March 30, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    AMAZING!! The color is wonderful and I LOVE it with the painted suitcases, really gorgeous! xoxo

  17. Lindsey@ The Savvy Speechie March 30, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    WOW WOW! So great! I feel I need to be on the hunt for a mantel too! Looks beautiful!

  18. Amanda@relovedrubbish March 31, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    Your mantel is absolutely gorgeous! It looks so much better painted the soft gray. I love how it looks with the vintage suitcases stacked inside and the French chairs next to it. I am a big fan of assembly line painting too!


  19. Kristi March 31, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Beautiful mantel, just perfect. I am so enthralled by those suitcases! I have five vintage suitcases and now I realize I can paint them!! How amazing is that?? May I ask…did you use spray paint on them? Any special treatment?
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Maple & Magnolia March 31, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

      Hi Kristi,
      The white and cream ones are spray painted. The largest one (gray) I rolled and brushed on. It has the best coverage. I didn’t do anything special…just painted it with behr that had primer built in. Happy Painting! πŸ™‚

  20. Heather @ The Black's Best March 31, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    I love the mantel…I’m going to be on the lookout for something like this for my room! Also, I just bought and old suitcase and was thinking about painting it…now I know what it can look like and I’m definitely going to do it!

  21. Kate @ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating March 31, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

    LOVE this… totally featuring you for Flaunt it Friday (again) πŸ™‚ Thanks for linking up!

  22. C.K. April 1, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    This is just too gorgeous !!!!

  23. Pamela April 1, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    This is beautiful! I just painted two pieces french grey and love it!
    Love the painted suitcases!!

    Pamela πŸ™‚

  24. Tammyt April 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    I really like it!! What a great find!
    Your newest follower. I hope you can visit me sometime soon!

  25. mollie April 1, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    i’m in love. we have a very long blank wall in our bedroom that is begging to be loved. this is perfect inspiration! thank you thank you!

  26. Lucy April 7, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    love love love…..that’s really all I can say..:)
    Oh and hope you have a great weekend !

  27. WEST FURNITURE REVIVAL April 7, 2011 at 10:56 pm #



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