How to Paint a Brass Fireplace Insert
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 that brass, I could fix.
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How to Update a Brass Fireplace Insert
- High Heat Spray Paint
- Plastic Drop Cloth
- Painter's Tape
- Old Plastic Folder
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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?
I love it, and I can't wait for the entire living room to be done so I can see how it works with the space. I think it'll really complement the whole neutral look I'm going for. Next up: painting the tile in front of the fireplace. Stay tuned!