How to Paint Your Fireplace Hearth

The fireplace hearth is the area on the ground in front of (and partially around) a fireplace. It is often made from tile or a type of stone. Occasionally, it may be necessary to update a fireplace hearth-either because of a hideous existing color or pattern, or even damage or simply because of old age and normal wear and tear. While replacing tile or stone can be extremely expensive, there are cheaper options out there. Painting a fireplace hearth is an easy way to update and clean up the appearance of your hearth without spending a lot of money.

Preparing a Fireplace Hearth for Paint

If you are painting stone, chances are the surface is already relatively rough and paint will adhere quite well. However, when painting stone, it is still a good idea to clean up the area using a mild cleanser. This helps to remove dust, which can discolor paint and in general, make the entire job more difficult.

For painting tile, it is best to sand down the tile slightly to roughen up the surface. This will help any paint that you are using to adhere to the surface properly without any issue.

Prior to painting, always put down a drop cloth on your surrounding floors as well as over the mantel and any nearby furniture. Otherwise, the paint could get onto these items and cause damage.

Lastly, when choosing a paint it is best to choose a heat-resistant paint. Otherwise your hard work will go to waste when you light your first post-paint fire. Heat-resistant paint will not bubble or become discolored whenever you use your fireplace, so this is extremely important.

Painting a Fireplace Hearth

Primer will help even out the tone of the hearth prior to your application of the final paint color.

As always, be sure to allow the paint to dry thoroughly as according to the manufacturer’s instructions prior to applying the chosen color or the top coat.

Once you have primed and the primer has been allowed to dry, you can move on and paint your hearth using the heat-resistant paint color of your choice. After it dries, be sure to follow up with a clear coat that is safe for the area (in other words, a heat-resistant glaze or enamel such as Rust-Oleum’s High Heat protective enamel) to protect your new finish and give it a longer lifespan. Without a clear top-coat, your paint job could become ruined in just a few days with normal use or wear and tear.


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