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