How to Restore a Painted Slate Mantel

Written by jonah morrissey
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Slate is an attractive natural material that is often used for fireplace mantels. Through the years, different trends in home decorating may have led you or a previous homeowner to paint over the slate mantel. You can restore a slate mantel in your home to its natural beauty as a do-it-yourself weekend project. Lightly sand the painted surface and apply a special slate stripping solvent to remove the remaining layer of paint to restore the mantel to its natural surface.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Fine-grit sanding pad
  • Slate stripping solvent
  • Solvent resistant brush
  • Plastic putty knife
  • Bucket of water
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Cloth rag

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  1. 1

    Sand all of the exposed painted surfaces of the mantel with a fine-grit sanding pad to remove as much paint as you can without reaching the bare slate surface.

  2. 2

    Apply slate stripping solvent to the mantel with a brush. Allow the solvent to sit on the surface of the mantel until the paint bubbles up.

  3. 3

    Scrape away the excess solvent and paint using a plastic putty knife.

  4. 4

    Pour liquid detergent into a bucket of water. Wash and rinse the mantel with a cloth rag. Allow the slate surface to dry before use.

Tips and warnings

  • You can either leave the slate natural or apply a slate sealant to add a clear matt or gloss finish to the mantel.
  • Wear eye, face and hand protection when applying stripping solvent. Follow the safety warnings on the container carefully.

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