House to Home

How to Paint A Fireplace and Gas Fire

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When we moved into our house five years ago, it was very dated, yellow and dark. Every room needed major work, including replacing the flooring, skimming the artex ceilings, stripping layers of wallpaper and painting everything to get rid of the yellow and brown. The living room was probably the most depressing room, with black (non-structural) beams across the ceiling and an oppressive red brick fireplace. You can read more about how we transformed our lounge in this post. Making over the dated, oppressive fireplace was our first DIY in this house, and also my favourite. Read on to see how to paint a fireplace and gas fire yourself.

Our lounge before we moved in
The estate agent’s picture of our lounge, before we moved in. Note the black beams and dated brick fireplace. It was awful.

Our fireplace was made of orange bricks, with a brown tiled hearth, old gilt gas fire, and shiny mahogany mantlepiece. It desperately needed some TLC!

Our old ugly fireplace before we painted it

Why We Painted Our Old Fireplace and Gas Fire

We wanted to rip the whole fireplace out, and install a woodburner. But when the quotes came in at over £3k, thanks to our lack of chimney, I decided to do what I could to makeover the fireplace. We didn’t have anything to lose! I decided to paint the whole fireplace and the gas fire. It was also important to us to do something about the shiny orangey-brown wood.

Sometimes, when you have something that just doesn’t look good, you have to either try and salvage it by using your ingenuity and creativity, or call the professionals. We didn’t have the money to get a professional in, so we took the gamble to do it ourselves. In this case, the gamble definitely paid off and I think this is the most successful DIY we have done.

How to Paint A Fireplace

If you want to paint a fireplace, be very sure that you want to do it. As once that paint is on, there is no going back! Whilst I do love some brick features, like exposed brick walls, this only works if you have lovely bricks. Our fireplace was made with cheap orange bricks, which in our opinion, looked terrible.

We decided to paint the brick first. I had read you’d need masonry paint, but we used normal matte emulsion and it worked perfectly. We painted our bricks in the same off-white colour as we’d chosen for the lounge walls. We chose “Sail White” by Crown in Matte for all of our downstairs rooms, and up the stairs and landings. It only took three coats, applied using a brush, to instantly make the fireplace look a hundred times better.

I also painted the hearth, but it didn’t look right, so I tried again with dark grey tile paint. This did look better, but I wasn’t really happy with it. I left it for a few years though, before I found a solution… more of that later!

How to Paint A Fire

I did a bit of research into how to paint the old gas fire. There are several tutorials that advised using spray paint, and making a sort of plastic cocoon to make sure it didn’t go everywhere. I soon decided that wasn’t for me! Instead, I bought this matte black stove paint, the kind you’d paint a chimnea with, which can withstand the heat of a fire.

It was was much easier to work with than spray paint would have been, as I simply painted it on. Our old fire comes apart easily, in order for the gas engineer to service it.

So I just put down newspaper and took the front off to paint with a few coats of stove paint.

How to paint a fireplace and fire with stove paint

I took off the fake coals and put them to one side until I’d finished, and then painted the two panels on either side of the fire, and the gilt edging in the stove paint, until it was all a lovely dark black colour. It took a few coats to completely cover the gilt, and it smelled horrible, but it was worth it. When it was dry, I put the fire back together. There is a diagram beneath the fire, which shows you where to put the “coals” back correctly.

Just look how much better it looked, even with no flooring or mantlepiece!

How to paint a fireplace and fire - Before and after painting the fireplace

Finishing Our Painted Fireplace

We found an old oak beam at a salvage yard, which we swapped for the horrid old orange shiny mantlepiece, and it finished off our painted fireplace beautifully. And more recently, I have discovered Frenchic eco-friendly paint, which I used to finally finish the hearth. I used a sample tub, which was about £7, to paint three coats over the failed tile paint. The first coat looked streaky and I wondered if I’d made a mistake, but luckily it looks great now I have done three coats.

It has a very low-sheen finish and a great depth of colour. Best of all, it dries quickly, meaning I did three coats in a matter of hours, and doesn’t smell, thanks to its more eco-friendly formula.

“As with our indoor paint, the Al Fresco Collection is EN:71-3 certified meaning safe to paint children’s toys, it has no odour, no stirring or shaking required with very low VOC content. It is hard wearing, weatherproof with a robust and chalk finish and of course, it paints like a dream!”


Our Finished Painted Fireplace and Fire

So here is the finished fire, painted in monochrome. I think it looks so fresh and contemporary – what do you think?

White and black painted fireplace and gas fire with a pink stag's head above

I bought this black and white rug from La Redoute, and it’s made of recycled straws, yet feels like wool! I’m hoping we can keep it looking this nice…

And I painted my stag’s head with Rustoleum Neon Pink Spray.

It gives a fab finish, so I painted a few IKEA picture frames too!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide to painting a brick fireplace, why not Pin it for later?

Before and after painting our brick fireplace and brass fire


  1. Claire

    5th December 2019 at 6:06 pm

    Hi becky it looks amazing! Are you using the fire regularly and has the paint lasted well? I’m looking to paint ours but nervous it will ruin it!

    1. Becky Pink

      5th December 2019 at 6:24 pm

      Thanks Claire, yes it has held up really well, we use the fire probably once a week over winter and it’s been 5 years since I painted it. And I kept the paint so I can touch it up if I ever need to xx

  2. theinterioreditor

    8th June 2019 at 7:48 am

    Wow! Fantastic transformation and great inspiration for those who are looking to update their fireplaces without having to rip them out. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Becky Pink

      8th June 2019 at 9:04 am

      Thank you! I like to try and save money and salvage what I can where possible xx

  3. Stacey Sheppard

    4th June 2019 at 10:04 pm

    Blimey, I would never have thought it could look so different. It’s really been transformed. I want to rip my fireplace out too. Luckily we do have a chimney for a log burner, but our tiny flat is so warm we don’t need one. So I’m thinking of getting a cheap decorative one instead lol. This post has definitely inspired me now I know how different a room can look. Also love the book shelves. Did you make them?

    1. Becky Pink

      4th June 2019 at 10:06 pm

      Ah thanks so much Stacey, have you looked at bio ethanol fires? If/when the gas fire breaks I think we will get one of them, they appear to be more eco friendly and less maintainence than burners. My brother made our bookshelves out of old boards, they hold so much, we love them! Xx

  4. Nordic Notes

    4th June 2019 at 9:51 am

    What an amazing transformation! I’ve a mahogany mantelpiece that needs some love, so thank you for the tips!

    1. Becky Pink

      4th June 2019 at 11:49 am

      Thank you, I hope it helps xx

  5. Donna Ford

    4th June 2019 at 9:43 am

    Oh my gosh what an amazing transformation. I love that there’s paint for everything nowadays…

    1. Becky Pink

      4th June 2019 at 11:50 am

      I am slightly obsessed with Frenchic now, I have lots of things planned in x

  6. Mary Middleton | hello peagreen

    3rd June 2019 at 9:47 pm

    You’ve totally and utterly transformed it! PLUS You’ve also reminded me that I need to get the chimney swept before autumn comes around!!!

    1. Becky Pink

      3rd June 2019 at 10:22 pm

      Thanks Mary, I don’t think the lady who used to live here would recognise the house! x

  7. Sam | Dove Cottage Blog

    3rd June 2019 at 6:39 pm

    Oh what a transformation! Looks so much better!

    1. Becky Pink

      3rd June 2019 at 10:20 pm

      Thanks so much Sam, it was so worth the effort! x

  8. Lin warwick

    3rd June 2019 at 11:07 am

    Wow – it looks totally transformed. What a big improvement – well done!

    1. Becky Pink

      3rd June 2019 at 10:20 pm

      Thanks so much Lin, it was definitely worth a gamble! x

  9. lucy

    3rd June 2019 at 9:15 am

    It looks fantastic! Great job. We painted ours recently and it’s amazing what a difference it can make to the room x

    1. Becky Pink

      3rd June 2019 at 10:18 pm

      Thank you so much Lucy, it’s the way forward, isn’t it! x

  10. acornishmum

    2nd June 2019 at 1:17 pm

    You wouldn’t even think it’s the same fireplace, it looks amazing! I’m always falling in love with your house all over again ha!

    Stevie x

    1. Becky Pink

      2nd June 2019 at 2:03 pm

      Ah thanks Stevie, even 5 years on I still love it! Xx

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