Spray paint your brass fireplace trim with this simple tutorial. Your painted fireplace insert will look completely updated in 30 minutes or less!
Lets talk about my fireplace.
Dated, right? But when I first looked at it, I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t like it. It’s a large, gorgeous fireplace. What’s not to like? Did I secretly want whitewashed brick? It’s all the rage on Pinterest these days.
But here’s the thing: my fireplace is 100 years old. Throwing a DIY whitewash onto an original feature of a 100 year old house just didn’t seem right, plus I wasn’t totally sure I’d love the result. So whitewashing was out.
But I eventually figured it out. The brass. The brass was what was dating my fireplace. And while replacing the brass insert would be a hassle, spray painting the brass trim would be easy.
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Obviously, fireplaces get hot. Despite the fact I never use my fireplace, there’s always the possibility the next owner will, so I wanted to make sure I used paint that could handle it.
There are a couple of different high heat paints you can buy at the local home improvement store. Because I was painting metal (aka, something that normal paint struggles to stick to,) I opted for spray paint instead of brush-on paint. This high heat spray paint by Rustoleum was the perfect thing.
I later painted the tile too, but for that I opted to use brush-on paint, largely because I didn’t want a high gloss finish. This is what I used for the tile.
- High Heat Spray Paint
- Plastic Drop Cloth
- Painter’s Tape
- Old Plastic Folder
How to Paint a Fireplace Insert
Step 1: Prep the Room
This is, by far, the most time consuming part. I had just refinished the floors, plus I was planning to paint the walls later, so I covered my entire living room floor with plastic dropcloths. Then, I covered the fireplace surround with them as well. The end result looked like this:
I highly recommend covering your entire floor with dropcloth, even if you’re not planning any other projects in the near future. Spray paint travels. Here’s what the drop cloth looked like after I spray painted:
Do you see all the random black particles? This was in the opposite direction of the fireplace. Also, I’d recommend keeping any pets out of the area if you can. My cat proceeded to walk right through all of this shortly after I’d painted, then go take a nap on the white rug in the next room… Thanks, cat.
Ideally, the drop cloths would be secured with painters tape, but I ran out of that halfway through, and started using packing tape instead. It worked just fine.
Additionally, since my glass doors were easily removable (they just screwed off,) I took them off, and covered the inside of the fireplace with plastic as well.
Step 2: Spray Paint
Using the high-heat spray paint, paint the insert. To be extra sure I didn’t get any paint on the brick, I inserted an old plastic folder between the brick and the brass.
As I worked my way around the brass insert, the folder moved with me. It was quite covered in spray paint by the time I was done.
The spray paint I used said to re-coat in a few minutes, so by the time I had finished the first coat, it was time to do the second. I only did two coats, since that seemed to be enough, and I was a little worried about running out of spray paint. The can was emptying quickly.
Step 3: Remove Plastic and Admire
Doesn’t it look so much better? Who knew such a simple project could change the whole look of the fireplace?
Do I have to use high heat paint?
Yes. Even if you never plan to use the fireplace, the next person might, and that’s not a risk worth taking. The good news is, high heat spray paint doesn’t cost that much more than normal spray paint, so it won’t break the bank!
How much time did you wait between coats?
Barely any. The instructions indicated to only wait a few minutes between coats, so by the time I finished spraying the fireplace, it was pretty much time to begin the second coat.
I love how this room is starting to look! Do you have the finished before and after?
Yes! Go check out my living room reveal over here!
I absolutely love how the fireplace turned out! It’s a classic look that I think is fantastic!