A couple of months ago, I posted about my basement fireplace. I had no idea where to begin but someone did this for me on Polyvore! A vintage mantle was exactly what I was hoping for and seeing it come to life was fun. But where to find a vintage mantle? Especially on a budget? I'd seen two at the flea market in March but one was too small and the other way too big.
When we got to the flea market on Saturday, just inside, I saw this!
Now, it was not perfect. The opening needed to be widened in order to fit around the insert in my fireplace. I passed it up. I walked the entire massive building and kept thinking about it before finally reaching the end of the rows and rows of vendors and going back. I figured it if was still there, I'd buy it. If not, it was not meant to be but when we made our way back, there it was. It had come out of a house in Pennsylvania only 2 days before. Sold!
Initially, I thought I'd leave the finish exactly as it was. I thought I could just brush it off, but after getting it home, we realized that it was filthy. I mean I'm not even sure what some of the things that were on it were, but it was disgusting. So, I cleaned it but I also realized that I could not leave the chippy finish. There were chips falling off everywhere and old chippy paint + kids do not mix. My father knew another dad who lost his daughter to lead poisoning from eating paint chips. My girls are still in the "put everything in your mouth" stage and I don't need a child of mine meeting the same fate due to a decor choice. You can barely see here, but there is a little swirl detail covered with loads of paint.
The good news for me is that my dad has agreed to strip it and paint it for me. It would be very difficult for me to use chemicals like that with my girls around so I'm grateful that he'll take on the job. The wood underneath is beautiful and I'm sure it would look great stained, but since this is going in the basement, I need brightness so it will get a coat of antique white.
I cannot wait to have this installed. I've been hating the way our fireplace looks for 5 years and am so excited to finally have a mantle. Its going to look so much better than the bland expanse of brick wall that's there now. I was so excited to find this that we left and didn't even see the second half of the flea market!