Brick fireplace inserts are popular for their natural, earthy appearance. However, when the tone and style of the brick just doesn't seem to match the rest of the room, the insert can appear awkward and out of place. A fresh coat of paint can solve this problem by transforming the brick fireplace insert into something that better matches its surroundings. But if you don't know what you're doing, you can run into big problems that may even cause you to actually ruin the insert. If you need to paint a brick fireplace insert, you need to know the proper techniques and the correct order in which to employ them or you may end up with disappointing results.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Coarse brush
- Blue painter's tape
- Heavy-duty fabric drop cloth
- Razor blade
- Tube of caulk
- Caulking gun
- 3- to 4-inch latex paintbrush
- Latex primer
- Latex paint
Use a coarse brush to scour the surface of the brick fireplace insert. Remove as much dust as possible to promote adhesion.
Use blue painter's tape to cover any areas you do not want painted. Cover any larger areas surrounding the brick fireplace insert with a heavy-duty fabric drop cloth.
Use the 3- to 4-inch paintbrush to apply a coat of latex primer to the brick fireplace insert. Work from left to right, starting at the top of the brick fireplace insert and moving toward the bottom.
Apply a thick coat of primer but be especially careful of runs and drips. Dab the brush against any cracks and porous areas to fill them with primer. Continue applying primer until the entire brick fireplace insert is covered. Allow two hours for the primer to dry.
Use warm water to rinse paint from the paintbrush. Use your fingers to massage the water deep into the bristles. Shake the paintbrush vigorously to remove excess water.
Use the razor blade to cut the tip off of the tube of caulk. Load the tube of caulk into the caulking gun. Use the caulking gun to seal any holes or cracks with caulk. Allow one or two hours for the caulk to dry.
Repeat Steps 3 and 4 but use latex paint instead of primer.
Tips and warnings
- Although you can apply caulk to the brick fireplace insert before you apply primer, it is ill advised. A coat of primer helps to reveal holes and cracks that might otherwise appear invisible in an unpainted brick fireplace insert. Priming first can save you from having to apply more caulking to previously unseen holes and cracks later.
- Never attempt to paint a brick fireplace insert without priming it first--this will result in chipping and peeling.
- Do not use spackle paste in place of caulk as this will generally lead to cracking.
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