Thinking about updating your living room, maybe modernizing your fireplace? Painting your fireplace is definitely a high-impact way for homeowners to freshen up their living space, but DIYers beware: This is not your average paint job. Here are some things to keep in mind before you get started:
When it comes to fireplaces, even the non-functioning kind, it’s critical to think about safety before you start painting. Some paints are combustible (products that cannot handle high temperatures), so look for non-combustible paints for your fireplace and ask your paint supplier for proper application techniques.
Is your fireplace made of stone? Has it been stuccoed? What type of finish does your fireplace have? For brick and natural stone, it can be tricky to remove finishes because these surfaces are absorbent. You’ll likely need to sandblast to get rid of an applied coating, but it’s best to hire a professional to do this as it requires special tools and can cause major damage if done incorrectly. In the case of a wood fireplace, simply sand with a lightweight sandpaper and wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any loose dust particles. If you have a metal fireplace, using a coarse metal brush and some de-greaser, scrub it down and then rinse it with wet cloths and allow time to dry.
Priming is key for a few reasons: It hides previous colour, increases paint coverage and topcoat adhesion, and helps maintain sheen and give an even finish. Look for the appropriate products for the type of fireplace you have. For all types of fireplaces you will need a primer that comes in a high-heat formula, such as oil- or silicone-based primers. Latex paints or primers are not suitable for metal fireplaces in particular because they resist heat poorly. You can find spray and brush-on formulas for all types of fireplaces, but it’s important to allow proper drying time to get the best results of paint on primer adhesion, otherwise you might get chipping of paint, lack of shine or uneven finish. Bonus: If you’re painting a metal fireplace, you can use the same materials on your fireplace screen and andiron.
When it comes to colour, the choice is yours. But look to the other colours used in your home — drapery, upholstery, cushions, a favourite piece of artwork — and go with complementary colours for a seamless approach. No-gloss or flat versions are popular, but whatever your preference, be sure to pick up a heat-resistant oil- or silicone- based paint that can stand up to 650 degrees Celsius. With the job complete, your fireplace will be the deserving centrepiece of your home.