Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint

Is your fireplace looking outdated because of its old, brass fireplace doors? If you’ve got about $10.00 to spare, you can update them with a can of heat-resistant spray paint.

Here’s a brass screen that’s about to get a makeover.

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

This homeowner, who was doing an overall fireplace makeover, had already picked out a new $300 screen when we decided to spray her old one instead. I’m sorry to say that I’ve sprayed enough mirrors, picture frames and furniture, that I alone could be responsible for that ginormous hole in the ozone layer. But I’ve also rescued many treasures from the landfill, so I’m calling it even.

Here’s the paint I used. This High Heat spray paint by Rustoleum has a gorgeous matte finish. Rustoleum also makes a product called High Heat Ultra, but some on-line research revealed that the sheen on the Ultra is a semi-gloss, and our preference was to have a matte finish.

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Before spraying, I taped off both sides of the glass, the magnets that hold the door shut and the black doors designed to stop those pesky embers from popping out. I decided to go the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it route with the inside black doors since they were already black and in good shape.

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

After taping everything off, I lightly sanded with a 220 grit sandpaper to roughen up the surface. Sanding allows the paint to adhere better. Then I wiped off any resulting sanding dust because paint won’t stick to dust. (My house is certainly safe then.) I wouldn’t recommend using sandpaper with a grit under 200, or it can leave scratches on the metal that will show through the finish paint.

 Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I set the screen on top of some old paint cans before spraying so the screen wouldn’t stick to my plastic that was protecting the floor.

I opened the fireplace doors, and checked for areas that needed to be sprayed behind them so I wouldn’t have any missed areas of unpainted brass showing when the doors were opened.

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

When spraying, I held the can at least 8 inches away from the screen, and never, ever started to spray while holding the can in one spot. Spraying paint with a can that’s not moving at a pretty good clip allows drips and sags to rear their ugly little heads.

I started to spray with the can held a few inches to the left of the screen, sprayed across the surface of the screen, and then continued to spray past the screen before stopping the spray. So before and after passing the screen with the paint, I was spraying into the air on both ends. If you stop the can at the end of the screen, and don’t go past it before stopping, that tiny nano-second where the can stops moving and the spray is still spraying will leave a what? A drip. That’s right.

After each coat, I held the can upside down, and sprayed it to clear the valve of paint, so the nozzle wouldn’t clog. If your paint dries inside the nozzle, you may be throwing half a can of paint away. It’s especially important do this when you finish a project completely, and will be storing your paint for another project.

If you can’t see through your paint on the first coat or two, you’re putting it on too heavy, and it’s not going to dry properly. Most spray paints will require re-coating within an hour or after 24 to 48 hours. (Never did understand why, but rules are rules.) So every hour, I applied another coat. It took me four or five thin coats to completely cover all the brass.

After the screen was completely dry, I carefully removed the tape. Sometimes it’s necessary to score with a knife where the painted tape meets a project so that dried paint doesn’t peel off with the tape. Another way to avoid pulling dried paint off of a project is to pull the tape off against itself instead of pulling the tape towards yourself (perpendicular to the sprayed item).

Here’s a close up of the matte finish. I read reviews that said this paint in the matte finish looks more gray than black, but I’m seeing nothing but a stunning, black, matte finish.

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here are the before and after photos. It looks great against the newly whitewashed brick. (Refer to post, “How to Whitewash a Fireplace” to see how.) And this homeowner just saved herself $300!

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Certified Home Stager, Certified Redesigner and Journeyman Painter servicing the Central Illinois area. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view her portfolio for more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.

How to Whitewash a Fireplace

If your brick fireplace is in need of a face lift, and removing the brick isn’t a viable option for you, whitewashing your existing brick is a great alternative. This homeowner’s fireplace was a perfect candidate for whitewashing because of the pitted, chippy look of the bricks, as well as the color variations within each individual brick.

This fireplace is in a family room that opens up into an adjoining kitchen. The homeowner just had her hickory cabinets painted white, purchased new stainless-steel appliances, had new white Carrara counter tops installed and changed the wall color from tan to a beautiful light gray (Anew Gray from Sherwin Williams). After all of the updates, her fireplace looked out-of-place. The snowball continued to roll…

(You can see we did a test sample on the hearth so we’d have an idea of what the brick was going to look like before fully committing.)

How to Whitewash a Fireplace / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Whitewashing is a pretty simple, but amazingly messy process since it requires using watered down paint that splatters and runs. We chose a flat paint since a sheen on this fireplace would’ve seemed out-of-place.

I normally take great pride in keeping the labels of my paint cans clean, but after re-opening the can a couple of times with messy gloved hands to mix more paint, my OCD had to take a back seat. Here’s the paint we used.

How to Whitewash a Fireplace / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I mixed equal amounts of paint and water for the whitewash. I only used about a third of a quart on this project, so be warned that you probably don’t need a gallon of paint unless you have a monstrous amount of brick.

I used an old, worn paint brush, because painting rough brick and mortar joints will make a new brush into an old brush in a hurry. Starting at the top, I coated a one to two foot area, then blotted parts of some of the bricks so they would have some variation.

I was careful to keep wiping and smearing any paint that dripped and ran onto the bricks below. And trust me, the paint will run and drip no matter how careful you are. If the runs dry on the bricks before you get to them, they’ll show through.

I quickly moved from one area to the next, trying not to overlap the previous section. After about half of the fireplace was done, I added more water to my paint because it started to thicken. If the paint doesn’t stay a consistent thickness (or in this case, thinness), your finish will be heavier where you applied the thicker paint, and will be more opaque. Then you’ve got yourself a lopsided fireplace, so keep an eye on your paint! Here’s a close-up of the bricks before and after.

Before
How to Whitewash a Fireplace / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL
After
How to Whitewash a Fireplace / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL
Before
How to Whitewash a Fireplace / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL
After
How to Whitewash a Fireplace / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

When the paint mix was first applied, it looked very white, but within a few minutes it soaked into the brick and became more see-through. This process is sort of a guessing game until you see how much paint is going to be absorbed by the brick.

The most important tips for this project are to have lots of blotting rags ready, to wear gloves and to cover everything within a mile radius with plastic.

This complete fireplace makeover was very cost-effective and required little in the way of demo. The homeowner beefed-up and modernized her fireplace mantle by removing some old decorative trim and adding a simple pine board that was painted white, she whitewashed her brick and sprayed her brass fireplace screen. (See my post “Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint“). All three of these improvements were very DIY-friendly, and what a transformation! The new fireplace now flows with the rest of the room.

Here are the before and afters.

How to Whitewash a Fireplace / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

How to Whitewash a Fireplace / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

How to Whitewash a Fireplace / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

How to Whitewash a Fireplace / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Certified Home Stager, Certified Redesigner and Journeyman Painter servicing the Central Illinois area. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view her portfolio for more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.

Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula

Greetings, fellow DIYer’s. I’ve got a bad case of the winter blah’s here in Central Illinois where today the forecast is for up to seven inches of snow. The best way I know to un-blah myself is to do a home improvement project. I’ve been wanting to spruce up both my kitchen peninsula, and my fireplace for a while now, and today’s the day.

This project is short and sweet, and is pretty DIY-friendly. It requires simple tools, and not much in the way of skill. Perfect for me! I’ve seen many pictures on the internet where beadboard is added to kitchen islands and peninsulas, and I love, love, love how that looks, but I already added beadboard to my cabinet fronts, and want something different. I also love the beautiful, chunky, ornate corbels and fluted trim that dress up many of them, but grand “ornateness” doesn’t fit my house. So I ultimately decide on a simple wallframe to take both my fireplace and my peninsula out of builder grade status.

I installed wallframe wainscoting in an adjoining dining space and foyer (See previous post, “Wall Frame Wainscoting and the Importance of Architectural Details“, and I thought it would tie the two areas together nicely. I’ll only be posting about the peninsula re-do, but I will post before and after pics of the fireplace at the end of this post.

So as you can see from my before photos, my peninsula is currently my wall color.

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I painted my kitchen cabinets white last winter (previous post), and ever since, I’ve wished my peninsula was white to match.

So step one of this project is to patch any imperfections in the wall first so we’re starting with a nice, smooth surface.

Here’s a picture of the spackle I’m using…or not.

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

It’s shrink-free spackle from Sherwin Williams, and unfortunately, mine is frozen after spending too much time in the trunk of my car. So important tip number one, don’t let your spackle freeze. Looks like I’ll be using drywall mud instead. At any rate, the best way to patch the area is to shine a light sideways onto the wall so that imperfections show up easily.

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Once the patches dry, I sand them smooth. I find I have to repatch some of them because my mud shrunk since some holes are too big to fill with one application. Although this next photo looks like an “innie” belly button, it’s actually a photo showing a patched hole where the spackle shrunk when it dried.

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

If you don’t take a few minutes to re-patch something like that, people will wonder why you have an innie on your wall, and tell you to patch that nasty thing. I usually make it a habit to overfill the hole just a bit, and then sand it down flat.

Here’s a helpful patching tip. If I have drywall protruding from where I removed a nail from the wall, I take the handle end of my putty knife and push the drywall back in where its pulled out so that I create a divot, and then spackle it. After all, we can’t patch a hole that’s not a hole, now can we? Anytime a nail is pulled out of drywall it’s going to pull some of the drywall out with it, and it’ll leave a bump that you can feel if you run your finger over it. I use the “divot technique” to fix these. Here’s a picture of what it looks like after I’ve pushed the drywall back in to patch the hole. Now when I fill my divot with mud, I’ll get a much better result after it’s sanded again.

Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonILg

Here we are all patched up!

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

After I sand all the patches smooth, I prime the whole area with white primer since my wall is going to end up with white finish paint on it. Sort of ugly with just primer but that’s ok. If you try to take the cheap and easy way out, and don’t prime over your spackled areas, you’ll be sorry because they’ll show through your finish paint. Trust me.

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

After the primer dries, I put on my first coat of finish paint. I put one coat of paint on before putting up the wallframe because painting around the trim isn’t all that fun. Why do it twice and be frustrated two times when I only have to be frustrated once? I’m using Sherwin Williams ProMar 200 in an egshell finish in the color Pure White. We’re looking better now!

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Now it’s time for the wallframe. I purchased my trim at Menard’s at a price of $3.99 each for two 8′ pieces. My fireplace that I’ll show later, also took two pieces of trim. So both projects together cost me $16.00. (I already had the paint, spackle, nails, etc…)

I have a power miter saw, but since I only have a few cuts to make, I decide to bring my miter box inside so I can cut the boards in my nice, warm house instead of my subzero garage. Incidentally, my miter box was purchased at a garage sale for a few dollars, and was still in the box. Score! They’re not that expensive to buy new if you want to invest in one, and they make nice, clean cuts. If you’re a DIYer, I’m guessing you already have one. If you’re a DIYer-wanna-be, go get yourself one! I promise you’ll use it again.

I put up a “pretend” frame made of tape first so I can decide exactly where I want my frame to go. I make sure my paint is nice and dry so my tape doesn’t pull the paint off the wall. Also, no need to press the tape down all the way. I just lightly tacked it up for a visual. When I remove my tape, I always pull it off by pulling it sideways against itself as opposed to pulling it directly towards me perpendicular to the wall. That also helps in not pulling my new paint off the wall.

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Now that I’ve got my measurements, I cut my trim to size at 45 degree angles, being sure to cut opposing pieces at exactly the same length so my frame will be perfectly square. I pre-drill holes into my trim where I want to put my nails, since I’m not all that great with a hammer. It also helps to have a hole at least partially drilled ahead of time so my nail will hold itself in the wood. This frees up my fingers to hold the trim, a level and a hammer.

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I make one tiny dot with a pencil, not a pen where I want to put the end of my trim piece. Since I’m using a level, there’s no need to draw any lines. I tack up my top piece. Yet another helpful tip–never use a pen on a wall that’s to be painted because it will manage to successfully bleed through a ridiculous number of coats of paint. Or you’ll have to buy a primer that’s specially formulated to stop ink bleed-through. If you have small children, you may already be knowledgeable in this area.

Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I don’t drive my finish nails in all the way until all four pieces of trim are in place, just in case something isn’t quite right. That way, if I need to remove my trim for some reason, I won’t damage it during removal.

I use nails that just barely go through my trim, and into the drywall because I know I have water pipes running through this wall. My plumber’s a great guy and all, but I’m not wanting to see him today. I use 3d Finish Bright 1 1/4 inch trim nails.

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

There is no need to nail the trim into a stud because after the trim pieces are nailed up, I will be caulking around them, and the caulk will help secure the pieces to the wall. There’s no need to glue the pieces before nailing for this reason also.

Next the two side pieces go up using only one nail in the center of each piece in the beginning so I can still move the pieces back and forth on the tops and bottoms. Even though the trim will be moveable, I make sure it’s plumb before tacking it up. I’ll secure the ends of the side pieces after the bottom piece has been tacked up.

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Now for the bottom piece. Again, tacking the side pieces up in the centers only allows me to make slight adjustments at the corners while adding the bottom piece. I can now tack in the four ends of the side pieces.

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I stand back, and take one final look to make sure everything is up to snuff before I drive my nails in all the way. I use a punch to sink the nail heads below the surface of the trim. Good heavens, my hands look like man hands! Goes with the DIY territory, I suppose.

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Next, I putty all my holes, being sure to overfill them a bit. It looks like I’m just being sloppy, but it really is a better result if I overfill, and then sand down the spackle rather than to try to get it too smooth initially.

Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I sand the puttied areas, and then prime over them with my primer–not finish paint–so they won’t show thru the paint. If you skip the step of priming over the spackled holes, you’ll regret it on a sunny day. You’ll see a different sheen where you spackled, and you’ll say to yourself, “Gee, I should have listened to that lady who wrote that post.”

Now it’s time to caulk around all sides of the trim. (For a more detailed explanation on how to caulk trim, please refer to my post on wallframe wainscoting–click here.)

Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I also caulk where my corners meet, even if they appear to be snug. Caulking the corners is messy, and if you’re a dude with big fingers, you can use a wet cotton swab or rag to remove excess caulk from the grooves on the trim.

Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Caulking everything takes your project from, “Did you do that yourself?” to “Wow, who did you hire to custom trim your gorgeous peninsula?” OK, maybe not, but it does make a huge difference. Check out my progression photos of the corner joints before, during and after caulking.

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL
Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL
 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Once the caulk has dried, it’s time to put on the final coat of paint. I start with the trim itself, then move quickly to the inside of the box. I use a brush on the trim, and then a small roller on the inside of the box. I work quickly so that I roll over my brush marks that lap onto the wall before they dry. Then I paint the wall surrounding the box. And there you have it!

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

It’s my life’s mission to rid my house of all things builder basic. Giving my peninsula and my fireplace a little boost adds a bit of personality, and it’s nice to know everything in my house isn’t just like my neighbor’s. Here are my before and afters of both my peninsula and my fireplace which were both done using the same technique.

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

And here’s my fireplace. The added wallframes on the sides just make it a little more prominent, and a little more interesting.

Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Budget-Friendly Spruce Ups for Your Fireplace and Kitchen Peninsula / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I’m trying to find the time to complete my foyer area by running wallframes up my stairs. The challenge on that project will be the funky angles I’ll have to cut. Stay tuned!

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Certified Home Stager, Certified Redesigner and Journeyman Painter servicing the Central Illinois area. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view her portfolio for more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.