How to Brighten Up an Oak Mantle

White Mantle

Hey guys! I was super busy this weekend with lots of fun projects and I can’t wait to share them all with you. Today I’m going to share how I FINALLY updated our fireplace mantle.  It has a honey oak stain and I have disliked it since the day we moved in, but I lived with it for a long time because honestly, I was kind of afraid to paint it.  It’s a really big focal point of our house because we have such an open concept and the fireplace is right in the middle of the living room. But oh my gosh you guys, I can’t believe it took me this long.  It has already made SUCH a difference and I absolutely LOVE It.  

Here is what the fireplace looked like before.  

honey oak fireplace mantle

Yeah a lovely orange golden oak and I really was just not a fan. It made the whole room look so dark and orange. So what do you think I did? Obviously I painted it…WHITE. 

Here’s how it turned outbrighten up oak mantle

Don’t you just love it? You will also get a little sneak peak at the other part of this project we worked on this weekend, but I haven’t had time to style everything yet so I will be doing a full reveal soon.  

The room is just so much brighter I can’t believe it. It even makes the brick look totally different.  I wish I would have completed this project sooner.  If you’re thinking of doing a simple quick project like this to brighten up your space, here is how I did it. This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my disclosure policy.


  • White interior paint 
  • Painters Tape– I prefer this kind
  • Sand paper
  • Paint brush


  • Tape around your wall and brick – taping is really my least favorite part of painting but its necessary for this because you don’t want to get paint on your brick because its hard to get off…trust me. before
  • Give your mantle a quick sanding.  I used 220 grit paper which isn’t very strong. I just wanted to give it a little scuff in order for the paint to stick better.  If you have a really high gloss or clear coat on your’s you might want to use a more aggressive/lower numbered paper. sanding
  • Once you have given it a quick sanding go back through and wipe it down with a wet wash cloth.  You just want to get it clean of any dust so you have a fresh pallet.  
  • Paint it! I painted two coats on our mantle, but depending on how dark your’s is you might have to do more.

Super simple, right? The power of paint is amazing.  AND the best part for me was my husbands reaction.  He said, and I quote, “do you think if we paint the kitchen cabinets white they will brighten up the kitchen that much?” I literally almost died.  So maybe…someday…I’ll get a white kitchen, you heard it here first.


Check back later this week for a full reveal of the fireplace makeover we did.  You can also see how I turned the brass trim on our fireplace to silver here




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