Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

October 18, 2013

Painted Fireplace Doors and Vents

Yup, I painted the fireplace.  I'm so excited to show you because it completely transformed the living room!  But first: here's how I updated the gold fireplace doors, and the vents that are part of the system to circulate heat that would otherwise be lost up the chimney.   The vents, in particular, were awfully ugly.  And cemented in place.  

 
Painting the Fireplace Doors and Vents

Painting the fireplace doors was easy-peasy.  I removed the screws holding them in place and lugged them out to the garage where I first gave them a thorough clean (the glass was so dirty, you couldn't see through it).  Once they were dry, I taped off the glass and gave the metal frames and wood handles a light sand.  I wiped everything down with a damp cloth (just to get the sanding dust off) and let the doors dry a few moments.  Then I sprayed on a few thin coats of Rustoleum high heat enamel spray paint.  Following the manufacturer's instructions, I applied a few thin coats within the span of a few minutes.  The surface was dry to the touch in 1/2 an hour and was ready to be handled within 2 hours.


What it doesn't say on the can is that this paint is magic.  At one point the newspapers I had laid down to protect the garage floor blew up with a gust of wind and smudged the paint.  Panicked, I applied more paint but that only made it looked worse.  Discouraged, I decided to let it dry and figured I'd sand it down the next day and start fresh.  Overnight though, the paint leveled itself into a super smooth finish.  It didn't do this when I sprayed on a vertical surface but on any horizontal surface, no matter how much I bunged it up, it came out super smooth and even.  I've since gone spray paint crazy and painted a ton of other things around the townhouse with this paint (details soon).

Before

And now:


Painting the fireplace vents was another story.  They had been cemented in place by the former owner and refused to budge, no matter how much we chipped at them.


I could have brushed on paint, but I didn't want the look of brush marks or drips on the louvers.  Undeterred (and buoyed by the magic paint), my Mom and I rigged up a spray painting booth with a cardboard box and some plastic drop cloths that she held in place while I shimmied under and spray painted the vents in place.  I didn't cover the faux stone to protect it from overspray because the next step was painting it a dark grey anyway (yay).


I didn't take any photos of the process because I just can't, in good conscience, show anyone how to do it at home.  Even using a mask and eye protection, it was not a good idea for me to spray paint in an unventilated area (I was cleaning paint out of my ears for days).  I hope that anyone else who is making over their fireplace and has these same vents can just remove the screws, as I should have been able to, and avoid the problem altogether.  Despite my trials, the vents look smashing.  Good-bye gold.


Check back Monday to see the full reveal of the fireplace.  I'm just finishing up a couple of details.  In the meantime, take a peek here to see if you're the winner of my First Alert giveaway. 

I partnered with Rustoleum to update the fireplace vents and doors but was not prompted or encouraged to provide a positive review of Rustoleum high heat enamel spray paint.  It will be a surprise for them, too, to see what else I spray painted in my spray paint frenzy, but we have partnered for a couple of other projects (you saw a sneak peek here), so stay tuned.
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19 comments

  1. What a difference a spray makes.....can't wait to see the fireplace! I love what I can see of the gray brick! Wow!

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    1. The brick turned out so, so pretty. I just have to touch up some spots where I blobbed paint on the freshly painted ceiling (oops) but then I'm ready to show it off :) But the grey brick still would have looked blah without the matte black vents and doors. Now it looks like a totally different fireplace.

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  2. looks SO much cleaner. great job. And I can only imagine the work you had to do to shimmy around under tarps and cardboard. your hard work was worth it!

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    1. Oh man, did I ever get sweaty, too! My Mom was so worried about me, but I just could not live with the gold. Worth it!

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  3. That's a pretty awesome transformation - I can't wait to see the whole thing!

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  4. Looking great! Can't wait for the full reveal--it looks like you maintained depth and texture while adding a ton of class. I'm impressed and inspired.

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    1. Awww, thanks!! Wait until you see the whole thing - it has so much more life to it now.

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  5. The brick looks great! Painting it and the door and vents makes all the difference in the world.

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  6. The doors and vents looks so good- impressed with how well it covered. I can't wait to see the whole thing. And the details of the paint you used. The sneak peeks that can be seen look great.

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  7. Fabulous Job, love it! Thanks for sharing been torturing myself over acid or paint on some outdoor brick now I'm convinced to paint :-)

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  8. Every little update is one more off the list (and saving $ is a bonus!) That is a great tip on the spraying directions too. We replaced our main floor vents with wrought iron covers but did some spraying on a bunch of mismatched vents when the basement suite was renovated.

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  9. I've started researching how to spray paint our gold fireplace doors, and it looks like I came to the right place! Yours looks great and I can't wait to get started on mine.

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    1. I'm happy to help! I hope your painting goes smoothly :) Good luck!

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  10. Hi there...looks great! What color spray paint did you use? How about for the brick? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Sharon. The spray paint I used is pictured in the post - it's the high heat spray by Rustoleum. Just basic, matte black. The brick is painted Evening Hush by Behr. This post chronicles how I did it, with a link to the colour too:
      http://dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.ca/2013/10/fireplace-before-after.html

      Happy painting!

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  11. Hi there, you said you painted the vents with basic matte black, but it almost matches the grey. I used the same brand in matte black, and it looks black! Just wondering if you could enlighten me...thanks!

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    1. Hi Sharon! Yes, I did use the matte black and in my home it reads like black, but sometimes it does look like a dark charcoal grey with the light. The fireplace is painted a very dark grey, almost black, making the difference between the two slight. Sometimes my camera - or perhaps even your monitor, although most likely my camera - makes these colors look different; a bit lighter. As well, to the left of my fireplace is a 13 foot tall wall of windows, which makes everything seem more washed out. Long story short, yes it's black.

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