Restoring Old Homes Part !!

Rebirth of an Antique Fireplace Mantle

The existing fireplace was damaged and covered with fake 'tiles,' and cheap 1/4" painted plywood.
The existing fireplace was damaged and covered with fake 'tiles,' and cheap 1/4" painted plywood.
I "won" this beautiful antique mantle at the first auction I'd ever attended.  It is in perfect condition
I "won" this beautiful antique mantle at the first auction I'd ever attended. It is in perfect condition
After hours &  hours of removing the former exterior and cleaning/acid washing the original brickwork, it was time to install the mantle
After hours & hours of removing the former exterior and cleaning/acid washing the original brickwork, it was time to install the mantle
Installed.  Tiles found that match the new paint in the room, floor is in the process of sanding and refinishing
Installed. Tiles found that match the new paint in the room, floor is in the process of sanding and refinishing
Done!
Done!
Finally, the floors, mantle and windows are done
Finally, the floors, mantle and windows are done
To the right, through the one door to the pocket door
To the right, through the one door to the pocket door

Just one step of many

Here is the metamorphosis of an ugly fireplace turned back to what it once (probably) was. All the old homes here have amazing mantles; this one must have, too, but it was removed and replaced with synthetic and unattractive 'updated' stuff. We also cut two holes in the wall leading into what is now a bar; once was probably a pantry. When I bought the home, it was a laundry room but I've moved that back downstairs.To the right of the mantle in the last picture was once a solid wall but I could see that there once was a door located there because of the markings on the floor when we were refinishing it.  Sure enough, new sheetrock had been put up to close the wall (??).  Then, just to the right of this door, through the bar, was another, apparently, solid wall...NOT!  It looked to me like there must have been a door there, too and, YES! it was a pocket door.   We reinstalled this pocket door using the original door we found in the attic. We had to replace the railing; we got this from the old pole barn at the farm. it was laying on the ground, unused for decades I bet. We cleaned, sanded, oiled and installed it where the old railing had been. We attached the gliders to the door and then hung it on the railing before installing the railing. This was crazy hard but we got it done. More to come - pictures - detailing this.

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Comments 6 comments

vietnamvet68 profile image

vietnamvet68 5 years ago from New York State

amazeingly beautiful, you are one awesome restorer.It looks beautiful. Great job


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Thank you, my dear!!! VNV68 I really enjoy doing this..it is my second love, animals being my first. I wish I could find the very "before" pictures when the walls were a murky mustard color, the floor was covered with an old shag rug and the windows were in very poor shape & there was no door to the right of the mantle (as you face it); it was a solid wall. We made the casings, "Plymouth blocks" and built in the reveal and mouldings. Challenging for us but so cool when finished. Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!


Stacie L profile image

Stacie L 5 years ago

I've always loved restoring older homes. I grew up with a father that tore the house apart every winter and remodeled so I am used to getting my hands dirty.

That fireplace came out so beautifully.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi Stacie L! Thank you so much...I love working on older homes and restoring them with reclaimed flooring and items. What a lucky one you are to have a father who loved this work. My love of older homes and working on them came much later in life; after I'd purchased a '50's ranch style and then was introduced to Italianate, Victorian, Tudor and other styles of turn of the century houses...I tried to turn my ranch into a victorian...well, it works for me but, authentic...uh...

My favorite thing is to rip out walls and additions that aren't 'period,' and rebuild to the original blueprint and also replace '70's 'improvements' with antique fixtures, etc...like this mantle. The former owners had replaced what used to be just like this mantle w/think plywood painted white and fake logs and faux tile...

But, I'm going home to Calif. and this home is in contract...sale close..Oct 14!!!!

Thank you so much for the visit and comment...Kathy


Mr Archer profile image

Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

Why oh why oh why do people think the newer home furnishings look good in these classic homes? Classic means classic. You did a great job on this.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

I'm completely with you, Mr. Archer...completely! Which is why Al and I worked feverishly to return this gorgeous home back to it's origninal style. It was a glorious home. thank you so much for visiting and commenting.

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