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Question DetailsAsked on 11/16/2011

what kind of paint should i use to repaint mantle? I has a very shiney white paint on it now

what type paint to use to repaint mantle

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3 Answers


With every paint job, the first step is always preparation. It's no different for painting your mantle. I would first start by sanding down the existing coating with a sanding sponge or sanding sheet to scuff up/rough up the surface to help the next coat adhere properly.

To be safe, I would either prime with a bonding primer (such as 1-2-3 by Zinsser) or I would use a self-priming paint (Benjamin Moore Aura, Sherwin Williams Durations, Behr Ultra Premium Plus).

Then I would suggest a higher quality Semi-Gloss paint as a finish coat. The key also will be to let it cure for about a week before placing anything on it to let it harden.

You could opt for oil-based paint as it usually dries to a harder finish, but I would stick with latex if you can.

Answered 5 years ago by jondecpainting


I'm not a painting expert, but here's what learned when I recently re-painted all the inside window frames in my house when I replaced the windows:

Trim is usually done in white high-gloss paint. One thing I discovered is that you will probably want to try to match the white to existing trim in the room, unless you want to re-paint all the other trim in the room to match--- in entryways--door frames, etc. and baseboards, too.

All white is not the same! Some white is bluish, other has a yellow cast, some brown or gray or even pink. (just look at the white paint color strips at the store! It will drive you nuts!) To match your existing color, try taking a fingernail-sized chip off the mantel from a hidden area ( like near the floor on the side--less visible=less sanding) Most paint places can match the background hue of your white from there.

I learned this in the paint department at Lowe's: There's a product called (something like) "liquid sandpaper" that will prep the surface before you paint. which is great if you have any dentil molding, etc. or other fine details which would be hard to get at with sandpaper. It's also a lot less mess and dust. PROTECT YOUR FLOORS and hands, and use safety glasses with toxic or corrosive chemicals, please!

I was told this is very important: You can paint oil-based over latex, but not latex over oil-based paint. I'm not sure how to tell the difference, but I'm sure someone in the store can help you with this. One clue will be the age of your home. Ours was built in '89, and oil was still in use. A knowledgeable person in the paint dept. will probably be able to tell you from your paint piece if it's oil-based or not--then you can go from there.

As to the gloss level, what is on the other trim surfaces in the room? Is it the largest and shiniest piece in the room, and you're looking to tone it down a little? I'm not a decorator, but I wouldn't think you have to go with the highest gloss finish for the mantel--nothing super-shiny. You definitely want gloss for trim, but it doesn't have to be the glossiest. Again, ask for help in the paint dept. You'll be amazed at how helpful these folks are! I was, and incredibly relieved, too. Good luck.

Answered 5 years ago by Tergiversada


One point on the comment by tergiversada- I think he/she (or guys at Home Depot) got it mixed up in the discussion - or the Home Depot people just did not know what they were talking about, which is pretty much the norm from my experience.

Generally, with proper sanding to break the gloss, you can safely paint with latex or acrylic latex over oil based paints. To use oils over latex or acrylics or acrylic enamels, you generally have to first apply one or even two coats of a primer designed for that purpose, because many latex paints blister and peel when the solvents in oil-based paints get on them, leaving a bubbly or broken surface, or a paint surface that will peel free easily.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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