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How to paint a brass fireplace

Updated July 20, 2017

A brass fireplace can be an eyesore in an updated home, but the expense of replacing it can be too pricey. If you are wanting to do away with the outdated brass without actually replacing the fireplace surround, then painting it is an easy and inexpensive solution. With just a few simple materials and a little patience your old, brass fireplace surround can go from tacky to terrific in just a few days.

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  1. Place dust sheet in front of fireplace area. Make sure your fireplace is clean and free from ashes before starting the project. If your surround is attached with screws, then remove all screws using screwdriver. Gently pull off brass surround and take to garage or work area for painting. If you are unable to remove the surround, then completely mask the area around your surround with tape and old newspapers.

  2. Lightly sand the entire surround with the lightweight sandpaper. Vacuum up any debris and dust. Wipe surround with paper towels lightly sprayed with the TSP cleaning solvent. Let dry completely.

  3. Prime the entire surface of the brass surround using slow, sweeping motions. Continue moving slowly over the entire surface making sure not to hesitate or stop as this will cause dripping and build-up of primer. Let dry overnight.

  4. Paint the primed surround with your desired high-heat metal spray paint using the same slow, sweeping, continuous motions. Let dry completely. Repeat this step until desired coverage is achieved. Avoid excessive build-up of paint. Let dry overnight.

  5. Carefully remove all masking or painter's tape. If some of the tape is stuck to the surround, remove it with a razor blade to to avoid peeling off paint from the surround.

  6. Tip

    Practice spray painting on cardboard with cheap spray paint to get a feel of the sweeping motion you will need to achieve desired results without build-up or drips.


    Use only high-heat metal primers and paint as others may lift and bubble when they get hot.

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Things You'll Need

  • Lightweight sandpaper
  • High-heat metal paint primer
  • Dust sheet
  • High-heat metal spray paint
  • Masking or painter's tape
  • Plastic gloves
  • Painter's mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Screwdriver
  • Vacuum, ShopVac or Dustbuster
  • Paper towels
  • TSP solvent

About the Author

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