In this post: Our circa 1999 fireplace mantel had been updated but still wasn’t pretty. So, we did a Shiplap and Barn Beam Fireplace Mantel Makeover.

This post was sponsored by Valspar Canada. All opinions are, as always, our own. For our full disclosure policy click here.

Finally decorate your own home – with confidence!

You’re so much closer to a beautifully-decorated home than you think. You just need a little help to get there!

Have you ever wanted to give an outdated fireplace mantel a makeover? Well, we totally just did a Shiplap and Barn Beam Fireplace Mantel Makeover.

shiplap and barn beam fireplace makeover pin 1

Fireplace Before

One of the things I loved about this space when we moved in, was the fireplace. At our old house we had an electric fireplace, which was nice. But the warmth from this gas insert fireplace is extra lovely.

Of course, the “before” left a LOT to be desired as far as looks go! 

So, shortly before our first Christmas here, I painted the mantel and surround, which made a huge difference.

living room with fireplace

And a little while later, Dean removed the vent cover things (I’m not sure what they’re really called) and spray painted them with black “stove paint”. (“Stove paint” is made for high heat situations so it was safe to use here.) That, and a lovely sign from Splinters and Grace Designs, made a huge difference in how the space looked. 

fall fireplace in living room

We lived with it for a couple of years…until I found a great barn beam in a little shop in just outside of Port Perry and a new plan for the fireplace formed in my brain!

Shiplap and Barn Beam Fireplace Mantel Makeover

Adding the Barn Beam and Shiplap

So, to clarify for anyone wanting to do their own fireplace makeover, we did not modify the actual fireplace surround in any way (except for cutting off the mantel top crown molding). We didn’t want to worry about the rules for gas inserts or anything. So we left that as it was built. We simply built a shell that was actually wider than the original surround and installed shiplap over that. We used the same plywood for the shiplap that we did for our kitchen backsplash and also our black living room accent wall. Then Dean added supports and custom brackets to hold the mantel. 

Here’s how the mantel looked about a week ago, when I shared this year’s fall home tour

living room fireplace mid makeover

After that it was time for me to paint the shiplap. 

Choosing a Paint Color

Here’s where the project actually got complicated for me. I just couldn’t decide on a color! 

I mean, I chose two colors – a quart of white and a quart of black. Which was actually super easy because I used Valspar’s handy Pinterest Analyzer and Photo Match tools to find a white and a black that coordinated perfectly with our existing decor and paint colors:

  • Deep Well 4011-2 (also called Deep Kettle Black)
  • Heirloom Pink 7001-18 

I just couldn’t decide which one I wanted to use in the space! 

On the one hand, white shiplap and barn wood is a look I adore. Especially in bright, farmhouse style photos. 

On the other, I love the moodiness of black with wood too. (Obviously, given our black island and black shiplap wall.)

Painting the Mantel

I decided to just start painting and see what I thought.

I painted part of one side white and part of the other side black. And I still couldn’t decide.

white and black paint test

Both are gorgeous colors. The white is pretty neutral in our space and the ever so slightly pink undertones work well because our floors are slightly pink. But the black is really a beautiful shade of gray/black that worked well too. 

I was so torn. 

Then I remembered what I tell everyone else – it’s just paint.

Both colors fit the space. It was really just a matter of which worked better.

If I didn’t like the end result, really I just had to paint it again. And since it’s such a small space, the cost and time to repaint weren’t really a huge deal. 

So, after polling y’all on Instagram and getting results that were slightly skewed towards white, I painted it all white.

Living Room New Shiplap Fireplace

Truthfully, I like it. But I’m not sure it’s us enough to keep it white long term.

farmhouse style fireplace corner

 I may still paint it black later. 

white shiplap and barn beam mantel

What do you think of our Shiplap and Barn Beam Fireplace Mantel Makeover? Would you keep it white or paint it black?

shannon photo and sig oct 2022

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    1. Ceej Huber Lol. Well, that’s because we’re not a “typical” homeschool home, I guess. The kids do their lessons online now and have for a few years. They’re also all in high school, so it’s not quite the same as when they were little. We don’t need as much stuff. Their laptops go on a shelf in the basement and they go down to get them every morning and put them away every evening. Their books go in their rooms and they bring them up and down each day too. That up and down the stairs gives them at least a bit of regular exercise. Lol. We used to have way more stuff when I was teaching them and when they were younger and needed counters and math-u-see blocks and such. The main floor stays pretty clutter free because it’s easier to host friends and family that way, it drives me less bonkers and our doggie is safer that way too (he tends to try to eat everything even at five years old). It makes a huge difference since the kids are bigger.

    2. Home Made Lovely having bigger kids does make a huge difference, my kiddo is now 10 and usually keeps the crazy to his room. Now I just need to decorate after my move.

  1. Your fireplace surround looks lovely. The white shiplap is pretty. I wonder if you’re torn a bit because the surround seems less noticeable (at least to me) painted white. I think your chairs would pop with it painted black. Either way, it’s beautiful.

  2. I love your makeover. Up to date and relaxed. Where did you purchase the two chairs ( discovered chairs). I have been looking for something similar but having a tough time finding them.

  3. My first impression was that the room (that corner) is too top-heavy: the continuous black line of the curtain rods and the tv, along with the dark wood of the blinds and the mantle. However, I like the white in that it lightens up what is already an imposing focal-point. I am not enough of a designer to know the relative impact of black vs white in achieving your goal.

    Have you considered having a smaller tv, one that is not almost as wide as your mantle? Or, perhaps moving the topiery’s to the floor would help.

  4. I love the white, especially with the wood beam, but I do think black would also look amazing. It looks like the trim around the insert is now painted white & previously it was white – maybe painting it back to black will make a difference.

  5. I might have used a gray. Going black w the tv above seems really heavy to me. It’s a lot of contrast right now, gray would soften that. The shiplap is always a look i love. Beautiful room.

  6. Hello! I love this, we are thinking of doing something similar. Would you mind providing the dimensions? Wall to wall, size of the fireplace insert, hearth to mantel, flat screen size? Of course my husband wants a larger tv and we already have a 50 in! I just want to make sure it won’t take up too much space.
    Thank you!