Yup, I painted the fireplace (yay!) – but today I’m only going to show you how to paint fireplace doors and vents. I wanted to break this fireplace tutorial into two parts because I’m so excited about how I updated the gold fireplace doors and the vents, which 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. This accomplishment needs to be celebrated!
How to Paint Fireplace Doors and Vents
How to Paint Fireplace Doors
Painting the fireplace doors was easy. I removed the screws holding them in place and lugged them out to the garage where I first gave them a thorough clean. Once they were dry, I 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 before taping off the glass and covering parts I wanted to protect from overspray with newspapers. I laid the doors flat on a covered surface. Then I just sprayed on a few thin coats of Rust-oleum high heat enamel spray paint. It comes in a can or spray can – and also comes in copper (which we used on our DIY welded fire pit). 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.
And that’s how to paint fireplace doors! Goodbye brass…
How to Paint Fireplace Vents
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 (oooo, ahhhhh).
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. So that’s how to paint fireplace doors and vents! You just need a little prep work and the right product but otherwise it’s easy. If you want to see the rest of the fireplace makeover, click here to see my painted fireplace stone and check out this post for a round up of dark grey and black fireplaces – and read all about why dark grey is a great choice!
UPDATE 2019: This project has continued to hold up and looks amazing! See really recent photos (before my fireplace hack to hang a TV where those pesky vents are) right here!
I partnered with Rustoleum to paint the fireplace vents and doors but I was not prompted or encouraged to provide a positive review of Rustoleum high heat enamel spray paint.