Faux Wood Grain Finish Idea For Victorian Style Mantle

by THAT Painter Lady

I had a question from a reader today and the idea of using a Faux Wood Grain Finish popped into my head.

Cheryl writes:

Ok, you asked for it.  I haven't exactly started my project yet but I have
been reading your informative emails everyday.  Actually looking forward to
receiving them as they are full of great tips.

My project is kind of in the planning stage right now and I could really use
some expert advise.

I have purchased an old Victorian Mantle and my brother has built a false
wall behind it to make a bit of a faux fire box.  Herein lies my
dilemma...what do I do with the inside. The material on the floor is marble
tiles in a whitish pink coral colour.  I will be painting the box the same
colour as my wall (Cuban Cigar) and the mantle, I thought that I would paint
it antique white and maybe rub a glaze over all the carvings to give it a
bit of an antique finish.  What do you think???

I was thinking of painting faux bricks on the inside but I am not sure of
the style or coloring I should go for. Should I do cement block type or
brick and if so, what pattern pharmacieinde.fr??  Too many questions. I could really use an
expert opinion??  I am attaching a picture.

Thanks for the wonderful information and inspiration.

This is the picture Cheryl sent in… isn’t this the greatest looking mantle?

It is very Victorian in style and yet has simple clean lines for the most part.

At first I thought that painting the mantle with white and glazing was the best option… but then I thought “Light Bulb” – wouldn’t this look great with a faux wood grain finish? Wouldn’t that bring it back to life? Yep… I knew you would agree.

So Cheryl… my first suggestion would be to learn the easy faux wood graining techniques I teach and go for it. It’s just as easy as painting and glazing with a more spectacular result!

No stripping or smelly solutions – just paint and use the faux graining techniques…. your done!

Okay – let’s talk about the fake fireplace insert. It’s big! If you paint it black it’s going to stick out like a sore thumb. 🙂

At first – I thought you should paint it to match the marble on the floor. Using a pink faux marble technique it would look very “finished”. But… I think it might look odd and not realistic.

Of course, if this were a “real” fireplace – I would suggest a brick looking insert. I’m all about brick these days. But… this is Victorian and they used a lot of tile with a small stove in front of it.  I can see that some unique subway looking tile would be great looking.

In my mind… using “real” tile is the best option… it is a built-in unit after all. You could do a faux tile technique – but I think you would get more bang for your time (and buck) by using real tile.

You could just use the same tile as the floor surround… but cut it into “subway tile” dimensions (3″x6″) and get a nice result. But to go really over the Top… I would look for a tile that looks aged and “Victorian”… something with a crackled glaze and a bit of muted colors.

Check out these Victorian Tile installations for inspiration.

Hope this is helpful in your new adventure!  Make sure to check out the Faux Wood Grain Finishing Ideas.

Anyone Thinking About Remodeling?

I found a great “Free” resource for you. The website is all about Victorian Style Home Remodeling… but the free download book is full of tips and hints you should think about before “any remodel. You just have to give your name and email address… and Whoosh – it’s right in your in-box. Cool huh?

Go – get this great free resource right now – before you forget about it. 🙂

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Becky Bormann January 22, 2010 at 1:06 am

My husband refaced my kitchen cabinets put glass in the top ones and beadboard inset in lower with a trim around the beadboard, I painted them off white but I want them to be atiqued or distressed I tried to use stain mixed with glazing ,hated it, looked dirty, should I put some dings in the smooth part so the stain gose in then wipe off the rest and what colot do you think I should put over the white I dont want them real dark thats what I just got rid of. I want just enough that you can’t tell if it the finish or spilled tea downt the front of them. Thanks for any help you can give me.

Patti Tindell January 22, 2010 at 8:05 am

Please email your “tips and hints before remodeling” resource. Thanks!

THAT Painter Lady January 23, 2010 at 2:26 am

Hi Patti

go to this page:


and sign up for that mailing list. You will get the ebook in your email

THAT Painter Lady January 24, 2010 at 12:38 am

Hi Becky…

First – if the cabinets looked dirty – your glaze was too dark. I think you should start with a light brown/gold glaze.

Second – Cabinets look great with a bit of sanding on the edges and then stained. Just a tiny edge sanded. I wouldn’t ding – but sand instead.

Hope that was helpful…


Cindy April 5, 2010 at 3:46 pm

I have seen some wonderful ideas for inserts with paintings if you are not looking to re-create an authentic FP look but more decorative

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