How to Paint the Inside of a Fireplace – A Simple Upgrade

I can’t wait to share with you my most recent upgrade – how to paint the inside of a fireplace. Painting the inside of a fireplace really makes a dramatic impact. Not to mention how it can be done in under an hour. 

Who doesn’t love a dramatic effect without a lot of effort?

black paint inside of a fireplace

When I bought the farm, one of the things I loved about this house was the 3 large fireplaces. Not to mention the one in the master bedroom. 

However, just like the rest of the house, it needed to be updated. Little more modern farmhouse chic.

I have to confess, this was the easiest DIY project. It took a single afternoon and little to no supplies.

Let me walk you through the do’s and dont’s of painting the inside of a fireplace.

PRICE

$8-35

TIME

1 hour

DIFFICULTY

Super Easy

 First, let’s take a peak at the before images… I’m not sure WHY the insides were this ivory/cream color. Personally, I feel it would always look dirty. Maybe that’s why the previous owner never actually used these fireplaces.

Side Note: We did have them inspected and we have been given the go ahead to use them. All is well. I’m not sure I ever will, but maybe…

Let's Talk Paint:

Before you go choosing paint, know that not ALL paint is created equal. 

high heat spray paint in front of a fireplace that had just been painted black

To paint inside your fireplace, you need high heat paint. Keep in mind, most paintable high heat paint comes in a gloss or satin finish. 

I really didn’t want a “shine” glowing from inside the fireplace. Thankfully, I was able to snag this High Heat Spray Paint in flat black. Major find! Who says I can’t spray paint the inside of my fireplace?

Let's Talk Paint Safety:

Hold up, before you take on this project, let’s talk safety. 

Spray paint contains VOCs that are known to irritate the respiratory system. This means before you spray anything, make sure you have adequate ventilation and respiratory protection.

an open farmhouse window

With that in mind, you’ll need to get yourself a respirator. 

The good news, most face mask respirators are inexpensive these days. 

Personally, I use this 3M respirator for all my cutting, spraying and sanding activities. I especially use this mask for indoors and areas with poor ventilation.

3M respirator used for indoor spray paint use

Let's Talk Surface Prep:

The better you prep your surface, the better you paint will stick to your fireplace. This means, you better go get your rubber gloves and a scrub brush!

In order to prep your fireplace, start by vacuuming the inside thoroughly. Next, use a scrub brush and some warm soapy water – scrub, scrub, and scrub some more! The cleaner and smoother the paint application.

Thankfully, my fireplace hasn’t been used anytime soon, so I didn’t need to use any aggressive solvents.

If you have some soot residue, I recommend using this cleaner. It is known for deep cleaning porous surfaces surprisingly well.

a lady scrubbing fireplace with a purple rubber glove on and scrub brush

Let's Talk Application:

Once everything is clean and you have your respirator on… it’s time to spray some paint!

spraying high heat spray paint used to paint the inside of a fireplace

Using short sweeping motion, approximately 12″ from the surface you’re painting, spray a light first coat. 

Rustoleum high heat spray paint dries to touch in 30 minutes, and is ready for another application in an hour. Remember to use light layers of paint to help with even coverage and dry times.

With all that in mind, it took 2 coats of paint to fully cover the inside of the fireplace. 

I used two cans of spray paint to complete the entire project. A total cost of $14!

Let's Talk Curing Paint:

Now keep in mind, high heat spray paint doesn’t cure like normal paint. It needs to 1-2 hours to dry, but it needs heat to cure.

This means it needs a fire or some sort of heat application to fully cure. So, if you use your fireplace, go fire it up and let the paint cure. Each product has a specific heat application times, so make sure you refer to your products recommendations for cure times. 

Since I’m not using this fireplace just yet, I’m going to hold on curing the paint at this time.

Frequently Asked Questions:

High Heat Ultra has a semi-gloss finish and is considered to hold color pigmentation better than standard High Heat paint.

Keep a rag handy and wipe off the spray tip. If that does not work, use a diluting solvent like mineral spirits.

If you have drips on the surface of your project, gently dab with a paper towel and let dry. Re-coat till surface is even.

If paint drips on your hands or another surface, use warm soap and water to wipe up and wash off.

I used two cans of Rustoleum High Heat Spray Paint for my fireplace. 

A can a coat of paint. 

My fireplace is approximately 3′ x 3′ x 4′ –  for reference.

Let's Reflect:

black paint inside of a fireplace

As you can see, this quick upgrade has really modernized this space (…ugh I know I need to finish painting the trim!) 

I have to say, this new high heat spray paint has become my new best friend. In case you haven’t been following along on Instagram, I first used this spray paint on the baseboard heaters in the barn. Let me tell you, what a major improvement! I wonder what else I could use it for? 

Till next time.

XOXO,

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