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How to paint your mantel and get clean paint lines

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of FrogTape®. All opinions are 100% mine.

Tips for giving your fireplace mantel a fresh new look with paint.

blue painted fireplace mantel

Hello, friends! Do you have a mantel that needs a fresh new look? Giving our family room mantel a makeover with paint has been on my to-do list for a few months. So when FrogTape® recently reached out to me to collaborate on a simple painting project, I knew exactly what I wanted to work on.

Here’s how it looked before the makeover. Not bad, but it was a little dark for the new direction we’re going in this room.

brown and black fireplace mantel

A couple of months ago I shared some inspiration for this room and this blue antique mantel was something I wanted to try to recreate. It’s a little different than what you normally see on mantels, but that’s okay with me. I like to be different. 

blue fireplace mantel and cream wingback chair

Nancy Fishelson

You can see all of the ideas and plans for our family room HERE.

Another thing that I drew inspiration from was a new throw blanket that’s in this room. It’s a stonewashed denim look and it’s so cozy feeling. The kitty loves it too. 

sleeping kitty on stonewashed blue throw blanket

With the help of FrogTape®, I created my version of an aged denim finish and I really like the relaxed look of it. Here’s a closeup of the freshly painted mantel. It’s so much lighter and more casual.

blue painted fireplace mantel

And here’s how I painted it without having to worry about messy paint lines.

How to paint a fireplace mantel

1. Tape off the edges

The first thing I did was tape around all the edges of the mantel with the Multi-Surface FrogTape®. All of their tapes have a special technology called PaintBlock® which is a super-absorbent polymer that reacts with the water in latex paint and instantly gels to form a micro-barrier that seals the edges of the tape. This prevents paint bleed and the need for touch-ups. You get crisp, clean paint lines the first time! Such a great, time saving, stress-free product!

Pro Tip – Apply the tape in short strips instead of long ones for better control.

Frogtape and paint brush


2. Layer different blues

painting over marble fireplace surround

Using several different blues from my stash, I painted them on the mantel in layers, allowing them to dry in between. The first was a dark blue; next was a mix of the dark blue, a gray, and a medium blue; and last was a mixture of a medium-light blue and a clear acrylic varnish. Each layer was lightly brushed on so the previous layers show through.

3. Prime the fireplace surround

painted fireplace mantel, surround, and hearth

After the mantel dried, I removed the multi surface tape that surrounded it. Then I taped over the inside edge of it using the FrogTape® Delicate Surface Painting Tape. This tape is recommended for use on finished wood, fresh paint (dry to the touch), wallpaper, veneer, laminate, vinyl and drywall (primed only).

Next I applied 2 coats of an acrylic bonding primer with a small foam roller.

Pro Tip – if painting next to carpet, use a credit card or something similar to push the tape down between the carpet and the surface to be painted.

4. Marbleize the fireplace surround

painting fireplace mantel

Since I wanted to lighten the fireplace surround, I used the primer as the basecoat and added some veins with a small artist brush. Some of the gray-blue paint was mixed with an artists’ matte medium to make it more translucent and have a longer drying time. 

I added a small amount of the mixture to the brush and softly dragged the tip of it in a diagonal direction, gently rolling it from right to left as it went. While it was still wet, I lightly dragged a larger brush through it to soften it. 

5. Add a clear coat for protection and remove tape

I highly recommended sealing the finishes with a clear acrylic finish. You can use any gloss level that you want. I prefer satin or low gloss, but a high gloss would give you a dramatic look. After you apply your clear coat then remove the tape.

removing tape from painted fireplace mantel

Here’s the finished look. No messy lines and the denim finish didn’t pull off! Woohoo!

blue painted fireplace mantel
blue painted fireplace mantel and cozy decor

I’m working on another post detailing all of the colors and finishes I used for this project so stay tuned for that. 

What do you think of my mantel makeover project? I love the mantel and really like the marble. I’m not sure if it’s going to be too formal for this room. Now that I’ve painted it once, I won’t hesitate to paint it again if I want something different. And I know that with FrogTape® that I won’t have to worry about any paint lines!

Do you have a painting project on your to do list? Be sure to make your job easier by using FrogTape® It’s the very best way to get a professional looking finish on all of your baseboards and walls. And it’s the only painting tape treated with patented PaintBlock® Technology and gives you the sharpest paint lines possible. 

Leave me a comment and let me know what project you could use FrogTape® on!

Need more painting inspiration? See all the paint projects in my archives HERE.

Happy painting!

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  1. Wow! When I saw your first before and after pictures I thought you had totally replaced your marble surround!if you hadn't revealed that you painted, I would never have known. And I love your blue mantle. It is the perfect pop of blue.

    1. It's really amazing what you can do with paint. So glad you like the blue. I love the way it looks in here and if I get tired of it I'll just paint it again!

  2. Angie this is beautiful and love the painting technique you chose with the blues. It gave it a layered look.

    I love paint it works well for anything. Your marble look is perfect.


    1. Thanks, Cindy! I seem to be in a blue phase these days so I'm loving the way it turned out. I won't hesitate to paint it again when my next color phase kicks in, lol. The marble look probably won't ever get changed unless I decide it's too fancy. It goes with any color though!

      Have a great afternoon.


  3. Angie,
    I LOVE the faded denim paint finish on your mantle!
    Today, I took the plunge and had a custom blue paint mixed
    to begin on my vintage heirloom oak buffet and hutch.
    I have waited years, as I couldn't make a color choice decision.
    I'll be watching for the details on your process.
    Truly an inspirational posts. . .and the timing. . .perfect!

  4. I know this is an old post, and I am hoping you see my question, but I was wondering what kind of paint/brand, you used for the primer?
    I’m redoing my fireplace and came upon this post while searching for ideas. This is exactly what I had in mind! It’s beautiful!!

    1. Hi Shannon. I giess I need to actually write a tutorial for the marble painting part of this project. I used Aqua Lock primer. It's a bonding primer and sticks to a lot of different surfaces. You can get it at any Benjamin Moore store or you can order it on amazon here https://amzn.to/33nSiq4 . Let me know how yours turns out!

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