Sunday, June 19, 2022

Mini Patriotic Makeovers on the Mantel

Hey there friends. I know we all like a good project and DIY, but today I'm going to share with you what happens when things don't turn out quite like we might plan. I'm going to share a behind the scenes pair of mini makeovers that I decided on for the patriotic mantel here in the hearth room. Many of us don't like to share those blah frustrating moments when you have a plan that gets off track. (me included). Personally, I think sharing setbacks and makeovers #1,#2, and #3 help all of us and save some time. Even if we have to cringe a bit and admit it was my best shot. 

I had a little mini vision of a new look for the Hearth Room Mantel for my July 4th Patriotic decorating. I love the look of bunting for the 4th and had a smallish one that I purchased many years ago. It was well made cotton and tea stained to perfection, with a look of real age and "vintage-ness". Only problem is that I cannot locate it now. (story of my life) I can't imagine that I let it go during our move, but who knows where it is. So, I checked through Amazon and found two versions of the current bunting that is now available. 

(Sorry, the color of the tile floor and lighting
 does nothing to improve the look of this before pic.)

I chose to go with the tea-stained version. It needed to be the smaller size so that it would fit the mirror above the mantel. I wasn't thrilled with the nylon being the only option. I would have much preferred to have a heavy cotton instead of nylon since it was going to be used indoors. If I could have found a cotton option I would have tea stained it myself so I could control the look. Anyway, when it arrived I was hit with the obvious. Way too orange and not a good look for me and what I had in mind. I've found in the past that the concept of "distressed, tea-stained, chippy, etc." is not understood by foreign manufacturers. enough said. I wasn't happy with the look.

soooooo, I decided to try painting it. Easier said than done. Have you ever tried painting heavy nylon? It doesn't take paint well, so I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in hopes that it would adhere to the fabric at least a little. I taped it off with all I had, which was brown packing tape. This turned out to be a bit of a frustrating job because the "gathering" folds of the bunting made it super difficult to get a good line of paint. Once dry, some of the paint started to flake off. well, dang it. It's the best I could come up with. Long story short, I got through it a bit messily, but passable as long as no one looks too closely. (It seems that's a common thread in several of my diy projects) Hanging up on the mirror (above eye level) made it useable, but just. I guess that's one of the pluses of vintage items and the look... things don't have to be perfect.

Another mini project, and one that was much easier, was spiffing up this vintage eagle piece from the 70's. My husband brought it home from an antique mall trip and at first I was non-plussed. I thought it looked a bit dodgy at first, and wasn't interested. Then later I looked a little closer and decided that with the right setting and a little makeover with a tube of Rub and Buff, it might make the cut. 

Nothing really wrong with it other than being a bit blah and dull looking... I did like the painted banner below the eagle with real blue paint and white raised stars. Okay... it might be salvageable. Below, you can see it with Rub and Buff covering half. It really brightened it up and made it look more like metal instead of just random foamy plastic stuff.

I'm liking it better... it's still here on the mantel and I'll share the rest of the mantel and the patriotic decor in the hearth room next week.

the takeaway?  be careful what you order online...
and nylon fabric is really not paintable.

How about you guys...
any fails in your DIY projects that we can learn from?

joining in here:

The House on Silverado,  Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda
All About Home at Common Ground and Follow the Yellow Brick Home
Inspire Me Monday at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia 
 Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch 
  Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life  Home Imagined at the Antique Journey
Turnabout Tuesday at My Wee Abode, Wednesday Link Party at Our Tiny Nest
 Wonderful Wednesday at Eclectic Red Barn
 Centerpiece Wednesday at Karin's Kottage Share Your Style at French Ethereal,  
Thursday Favorite Things at Follow the Yellow Brick Home,  
Home Matters at Southern SunflowersGrace at Home at Imparting Grace
Farmhouse Friday at  County Road 407  Fabulous Friday at WM Design House 


  1. Wow! This is beautiful! Visiting from Wonderful Wednesday at My Life Abundant. Pinning. :)

  2. Debra,
    I really love how this looks...I have a brass Eagle that I got from my neighbor so now I will be looking to incorporate it somehow in my Patriotic decor!! Thanks so much for the inspiration....


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