Updating a Fireplace with High Heat Paint

September 23, 2014

How to update a fireplace with high heat paint.

Did you know you can paint high heat surfaces with this cool protective paint? 

I’m back with a few more quick tips on sprucing up fireplaces – I shared how to open one up and clean the fireplace glass last week and wanted to share this info with you as well. 

Are you tired of seeing our fireplace yet? :) I swear this is the last you’ll see it till I get it finished – I’m getting there! Follow along on Instagram for some more updates during the process.

Because our fireplace was in the corner before (shakes fists in air!!) the surround was very small just because we had limited wall space to work with:
corner fireplace
It was smaller than a standard sized one but way bigger than we had before so I was thrilled. So when I tiled the surround, I kind of overlapped the firebox a bit. 

If I hadn’t then those skinny parts on the sides would have been super thin.

The metal sides of the fireplace were a mess from that thinset and the construction -- I could not get it off no matter what I tried:
using high heat paint on fireplace
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It was around the whole thing – it’s harder to see here but you can see the white around all the edges:

how to cover brass on fireplace
I tried scrubbing and scraping and nothing worked. I had a solution in mind but didn’t want do it until I was completely done with all the tiling and grouting.

This high heat paint comes in a can and in a spray paint version: high heat black paint
I went with a can because there was no way I was chancing getting any spray on the new tiles. If I had planned better I could have sprayed it outside before we even put it back in place. 

That would have been smart. :) But I would have had to be be really careful with it during the rest of the process so this was fine.

This paint is oil-based so it is stinky and it is not easy to remove if you get it where you don’t want it. I taped off around the metal, careful to cover every bit of the grout. 

If it got on the grout it would have soaked right in. That part made me sweat a bit. A lot.

I used a cheap throw away brush to quickly paint over just the metal where all the residue was:
painting a gas fireplace with high heat paint
How to install that beautiful herringbone tile

I didn’t take pics of that part because I was sweating. But you get the idea.

Thankfully the painter’s tape did an excellent job and there was no bleed through at all. 

Can you believe how much better it looks? You can only tell there was anything there if you sit right in front of it and take a photo. ;) 

A few tips about high heat paint: 
  • This tough protective enamel provides rust protection on metal surfaces.
  • The paint (both the can and spray version) can be applied to anything that gets super hot, so grills, the outside of fire pits, automotive parts, radiators and fireplace screens and surrounds. 
  • It cannot be used on anything that will be in direct contact with flames -- so this should not be used inside grills or fireplaces. 
  • This durable paint can be used both inside and out.
Here’s another tip – you know the long panels along the top and bottom of the glass? If yours gets scratched up you can just pull them right off:
high heat paint on fireplace
They’re usually held on by magnets:
painting brass fixtures on fireplace
Years ago I spray painted mine with Rust-oleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint – it wasn’t high heat and it’s held up just fine. 

Mine did have some scratches so I took them off to spray them again but then decided just to leave them off. I’m not sure why they are there anyway – you really can’t tell the difference if they’re there or not, at least with our fireplace.

Oh, and one more quick little nugget. If you have a gas fireplace and have the key insert like we do, you can paint it to match your wall if you’d like. 

It’s metal and a few coats of paint will cover it:
marble herringbone tile
Or if you’d like to spray paint it’s easily removed – you just unscrew it. That was helpful when I was tiling too! I didn’t realize that you could take it off till someone showed me.

This baby has gone through quite the transformation over the past few weeks! Here it is a couple months ago: touch up fireplace with high heat paint
And here it is now:
The big wall above the fireplace is what I’m working on now. In my head it’s going to look fantastic – here’s hoping. I can’t wait to get this all done! 

After that I just have some smaller projects to finish up and I’m DONE with this renovation. (Update:  See how I finished off the top of the fireplace for $15!)

Be sure to check out the whole family room reveal here!

Have you used the high heat paint on anything? I’ve got a whole can of it if anyone needs some. ;)

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  1. I've used the high heat spray paint on an old BBQ grill we were given years ago. It was an old junker that someone was ditching for a fancy new one. We were just excited to have our first grill. :) We refurbished it for a fraction of the cost of buying one and I painted it a nice fresh coat of black. Can't wait to see the the full fireplace!

  2. Yay, time to use some of that high heat paint on the odd brass and wood bits on our fireplace front, just so it's all calmed down to quiet black. Thanks so much for the hint!

  3. It's really coming along! I'm always jealous of people who have fireplaces. Maybe someday we'll add one to our house, although it would have to be gas like yours because of the restrictions here against wood-burning ones.

  4. I hate to be stupid but we do not have gas in our home. I thought the gas was inside the fireplace so I'm not sure what that switch is used for. Whenever I see a gas fireplace on TV, they always use a remote control. I am trying to convince my husband to have gas put into the house because I NEED a gas stove. I do not like electric stoves. Thanks for helping.

    1. I've seen remotes for electric fireplaces but never for gas -- that would be great!

  5. That kind of stuff is always so tedious but MAN does it make a difference! The fireplace is looking great...can't wait to see the wall and ceiling!

  6. I can not believe how far you have come with this reno. That fireplace is a statement piece! fabulous! the color selection is perfect!

    I must say - you are a brave woman. I fear using the high heat paint. I'm just so afraid that it will catch on fire (for some odd reason). You've put my fears to rest.

  7. I NEED THAT SPRAY PAINT (if the offer still stands), LOL!!! I've been wanting to paint the ugly brass strip on my fireplace. But it never dawned on me that the heat would be too high for regular spray paint. I'm glad I saw your post first. Great job on your fireplace by the way!

    1. If you are in Indy I have a full can but not the spray paint! :)


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