Can You Paint The Inside Of A Fireplace? (Read These Cautions and Warnings First!)

Can you paint the interior of a fireplace? It depends...

Before you jump straight in you need to factor in the safety aspect as obviously anything that deals with fire needs to be done safely and correctly or you risk damaging yourself and your home.

Let's cover the different types of fireplaces and whether you can paint the inside of them or not...

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What Type Of Fireplace Do You Plan To Paint?

There are two main types of fireplaces that you can get installed in your home. You can get a gas fireplace, which is more modern and is seen as ‘not genuine’ although it does the same thing you avoid all the soot and dirt of the alternative.

The other option is a wood burner, the ‘real’ version, which is very aesthetic and provides you with that wonderful crackling sound, but it does come accompanied by soot and dirt, which will affect your preparation for giving your fireplace a makeover. 

Gas 

A gas fireplace gives you the efficiency and pleasure of watching the flames that come with a wood fireplace.

But you avoid the cleanup. You cannot roast marshmallows in them but they are clean and a convenient source of heat.

They don’t emit smoke and it vents its waste through a tube rather than a chimney.

These are not that different from wood burning, the main difference is how the heat is produced (gas not wood), the lack of cleanup, and the vent through which it releases its waste through. 

Paints for a Gas fireplace

Using a gas fireplace, or indeed any fireplace, anywhere that comes in contact with a lot of heat, requires heat resistant paint.

You can occasionally get gas fire paints from a hardware store, it is always worth asking about these.

Heat resistant paint products are by far the safest option, they are also the most durable when it comes to appliances like wood burners and metal fire surrounds.

These paints can withstand extreme temperatures and restore the fireplace as well as protecting any metals from corroding.

Do not use any other paint as it will be a waste, some paints may even be flammable, so be sure to use heat resistant paint preferably high heat 1200 degree Fahrenheit paint. 

Can You Paint The Inside Of A Fireplace

Wood Burning

The more traditional method of burning wood is also paintable. This does come with the preparation of cleaning up, as this type of fireplace leaves behind soot and dirt that needs to be removed before any kind of makeover.

This requires wood to burn and smoke is emitted through your chimney. It gives off a cozy smell and is open, so you can roast marshmallows on it.

If you have this type of fireplace, you will need to do some prep before you paint. It will need a thorough cleanout so that it is spotless before painting. 

Paints for a wood-burning fireplace

Just like with gas burner fireplaces, wood burners fireplaces should also use heat resistant paint, you may be able to get specialized paints for this.

But just the same it is recommended to use heat resistant paint for the best results durability, and safety.

We highly recommend a special 1200 degree Fahrenheit high-temperature paint for the inside. 

How to Paint the Interior 

Cleaning

Whether your fireplace is gas or wood, you will need to give it a clean, removing any dirt from the area.

You should always wear protective eyewear to avoid getting any dust, ash, or soot in your eyes, as well as a pair of gloves.

You can use a stiff wire brush and clean off any loose materials from the brick and mortar, of course, you will also need to sweep up or vacuum any large pieces of soot or dirt, and ash and cobwebs.

Use a rugged scrub brush in some hot and soapy water to aggressively scrub at the bricks and surrounding area.

You want to remove all dirt and this will be a dirty task, so don’t wear your finery while doing this.

Once this is cleaned you want to leave it to dry for around 24 hours. When cleaning this area you may have to do it a few times over, and you may also use TSP (½ cup of trisodium phosphate + 1 gallon of water, soak for 30-60 minutes). 

Painting

Use a roller or paintbrush to apply your paint to the brick, we recommend using black paint, to avoid any unsightliness.

It may not be worth painting the area where the flames will come into contact with the firebox, this is because using black, will likely already be black from the heat but it will also release fumes into the air if the fire touches the paint, even if it is high heat resistant. 

These paints are usually oil, and due to their high heat resistant properties, they will smell but are also thick and will provide great coverage. It is worth wearing a mask while you do this. 

Dry

Let the area dry before you set your fireplace back up, this paint shouldn’t take too long to dry and you will have it all back to normal in no time.

Make sure that you use the correct paint for this job, using anything other than high heat resistant paint will result in it not staying, releasing odors and it will not last as long. 

It is up to you whether or not you paint the area that the flames will come into contact with as well but we recommend against it. 

Once it is dry, set it up again. Get your house warm and cozy again with your new fireplace aesthetic and show your friends!