What Kind of Paint to Use Inside a Fireplace – And How to Paint?

what kind of paint to use inside a fireplace

A fireplace can be quite comforting on those cold, winter’s nights.

But for those who want to create an even warmer atmosphere, it is recommended that the firebox be painted to enhance the appearance of the flames.

While painting the firebox itself is fairly straightforward, you will need to find a paint that is both non-toxic and heat resistant.

Before you purchase the paint, you will need to identify the type of fireplace that you own.

This will determine the type of paint that you will need to purchase.

Paint for Wood Burning Fireplaces

Firebox inside a wood burning fireplace are either brick-lined or metal-lined.

And it really does matter to take a look at the type you have, when you want to pick the right kind of paint for painting inside it.

1- Brick

Most fireplaces in the US are made from brick because it is quite heat resistant and relatively easy to construct.

The type of paint that you purchase needs to be able to cover the stains created by soot and creosote while withstanding high temperatures.

This means a paint capable of withstanding 1,200F degrees and possible with a silicone resin as part of its base.

The best color for the paint may be a simple flat-black to help augment the appearance of the flames.

2- Metal

Many newer fireplaces are crafted from metal. Unlike brick, metal surfaces are more difficult for paint to properly stick.

You will need a heat-resistant paint that can attach itself to a metal surface.

One of the best is stove paint which is used inside of kitchen or wood-burning stoves.

Unlike other recommended paints for metal surfaces that will get extremely hot, stove paint does not require any special gear or equipment to apply.

Paint for Gas Burning Fireplaces

The advantages of a gas fireplace are that you do not have to worry about soot or creosote.

However, the heat generated by the fireplace often requires the firebox to be touched up with paint for the best appearance.

Many retailers will have paint that is formulated for gas fireplaces, allowing you to repaint the firebox and inserts easily.

So, do check them out and choose the right one as per your requirements.

How to Paint the Interior of a Fireplace?

As you choose the right type of paint, so too must you select the right safety equipment to keep you protected.

In addition to your basic paint supplies be sure you have the following equipment.

  • Face mask
  • Rubber gloves
  • Protective clothing

By wearing such items, you can now start to clean and paint the fireplace.

These will help protect you from the ash, soot, or creosote that may remain in the flue of the chimney.

If you want to keep your fireplaces looking new and clean you should also consider adding the following products.

  • Brick Patching Compound
  • Hearth Cleaner
  • Liquid & Paste Polishes

While using these products is not mandatory, when you are painting the fireplace, it will help keep your fireplace looking bright and new.

Obviously, you should never paint the fireplace until it has entirely cooled down from use.

Then, clean the ash out of the fireplace, and reading the label to the paint you are using will get you started.

Steps for Painting the Interior of a Fireplace

When you are ready with your paint and paint supplies, it’s time to start the paint job with the right steps.

Step 1. Clean

Arguably the most important step is to properly clean the fireplace.

This means removing the gate, sweeping out all the ash, scraping off any ash from the sides, vacuuming away any remaining ash, soot, or creosote.

And finally wiping down the interior with a wet rag.

Step 2. Mix the Paint

Be sure you have the right type of paint to use in your fireplace. Keep in mind that it needs to withstand temperatures of 1,200F degrees.

When you have your paint ready with you, mix the paint (use a paint mixer tool) properly before you apply it.

Step 3. Paint with a Brush

When painting inside the fireplace you do not need a fancy brush.

In fact, an inexpensive nylon brush will work fine, and you can throw it away after you have completed the project.

A Few Additional Tips for Cleaning and Painting Inside Fireplace

The first tip is that you should not paint areas where the flame comes in direct contact with the surface.

Even the best, most heat-resistant paints will not last long when it comes in direct contact with the flame.

This usually means not painting the grate or backplate.

Use Standard Paint:

The areas of the fireplace that do not come into contact with heat you can use regular paint.

While you should use non-toxic paint to reduce any chance of indoor air pollution, you should also get a type of paint that is easy to clean.

However, if what you paint is outside the firebox and the flue is in good condition, you may rarely have to clean the surface.

Clean Out the Ash Regularly:

If you use your stove regularly, then you will have to deal with the soot.

But you can clean the ash out after every two or three burnings. This will help keep the fireplace looking neat.

Clean out the soot when spring arrives, and you are no longer using the fireplace.

To Conclude

Remember, proper cleaning and painting the firebox interiors at regular intervals will maintain the appearance of your fireplace.

However, painting your fireplace requires the right paint and brushes to get the job done.

Just remember to clean the fireplace thoroughly first, then you can start to paint.

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