Painting Fireplace – Steps for Doing It Right
When I think of the words painting fireplace it's usually painting the wood trim and the mantle. In this case I use an enamel under coater to prime it with and I top coat it using a satin enamel finish in either latex oil base.
Now if you are thinking about painting the brick on your fireplace my rule of thumb is this; if the break is ugly go ahead and paint it, but if it is beautiful looking brick, leave it alone. Obvious right? But you wouldn't believe what some people will do. (O.K., maybe you would.)
If you are going to paint the brick, the best thing to use on raw brick would be an oil base primer. That way the oil base can permeate deeper into the brick than a latex primer can and you can topcoat the primed brick with either latex or oil base paint.
You could use an exterior latex paint and primer for more durability. That's up to you. You can even use a concrete paint like the kind that seals basement walls and waterproofs them if you want to get technical I guess.
Special Note: If there is black soot around the edges of the fireplace you will want to clean it off as much as possible. And that is where I would definitely use an oil base primer to block out the soot. Then you can topcoat with latex if you want.
You might want to look in stores or shop online for a brick fireplace cleaner before you get started with your priming.
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