How to Spray Paint a Brass Fireplace Insert

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.

Want an easy fireplace update? Learn how to spray paint that brass insert with this full DIY tutorial! #FireplaceUpdate #HomeImprovement

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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Planning

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.

Materials

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:

Want an easy fireplace update? Learn how to spray paint that brass insert with this full DIY tutorial! #FireplaceUpdate #HomeImprovement

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:

Want an easy fireplace update? Learn how to spray paint that brass insert with this full DIY tutorial! #FireplaceUpdate #HomeImprovement

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.

Want an easy fireplace update? Learn how to spray paint that brass insert with this full DIY tutorial! #FireplaceUpdate #HomeImprovement

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.

Want an easy fireplace update? Learn how to spray paint that brass insert with this full DIY tutorial! #FireplaceUpdate #HomeImprovement
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?

Want an easy fireplace update? Learn how to spray paint that brass insert with this full DIY tutorial! #FireplaceUpdate #HomeImprovement

FAQs

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!

Final Thoughts

I absolutely love how the fireplace turned out! It’s a classic look that I think is fantastic!

Want an easy fireplace update? Learn how to spray paint that brass insert with this full DIY tutorial! #FireplaceUpdate #HomeImprovement

If you like it too, be sure to save this post to Pinterest so you can find it again later! And if you love the shiplap and wainscoting around it, go check out how I did those over here!

Want an easy fireplace update? Learn how to spray paint that brass insert with this full DIY tutorial! #FireplaceUpdate #HomeImprovement