If you've got a free afternoon, you've got time to give your brick fireplace surround a dramatic new look. All it takes is a little elbow grease, a few tools, and some fireplace paint.
Before you take on this project, inspect your surround. While there are many things that can be included on an OK-to-paint list, most stone fireplaces—limestone, sandstone, river rock, for example—are less amenable and harder to change if you do paint them. A brick surround is the best bet. Then choose your color. A whitewash brick fireplace is a classic choice, but a black fireplace adds drama. Pick a color that matches the style of your home and the room's decor.
What you need
- Wire scrub brush
- Rubber gloves
- Safety goggles
- Drop cloths
- Paint roller for textured surfaces
- Small paintbrush
- Nonsudsy trisodium phosphate, also known as TSP
- Heavy-duty cleaner
- Painters tape
- Oil-based primer
- Indoor latex paint
How to do it
STEP 1 Clean the Surface
To make sure your paint adheres and dries properly, you'll need to thoroughly clean the brick. Use a wire scrub brush to remove any dirt or dust, then apply nonsudsy trisodium phosphate (also called TSP; wear gloves and safety goggles), and wash thoroughly with a heavy-duty cleaner. Rinse and let dry. Cover your floor with a drop cloth and tape off any areas you want to remain paint-free.
STEP 2 Prime the Brick
A stain-blocking, oil-based primer protects your paint against future soot stains from fireplace use. Apply primer to the entire surface, following the manufacturer's directions.
STEP 3 Paint the Brick
Once the primer is dry, it's time to paint. Choose indoor, latex, heat resistant paint—either flat, semigloss, or gloss—rated to withstand temperatures generated by the fireplace and a roller designed for textured surfaces. The latter helps cover the surface of the brick, which is likely not smooth. For any spots you can't reach using a roller, touch up with a small paintbrush. Apply a second and third coat as needed, allowing plenty of drying time between coats.
This article originally appeared on www.bhg.com