Clearly, brass fireplace screens used to be all the rage. These garish brass screens seem to be in almost every home that was built in the 80’s. Unfortunately, now they’re just dated, and most homeowners who are updating their homes want to replace the brass with something a little less…well…less brassy. But if replacing brass fireplace screen isn’t in the budget, or you can’t find a replacement screen for your non-standard size fireplace, painting the brass screen is really quite simple and will go a long way towards updating your fireplace.
Materials & Supplies:
1. 150-grit sandpaper,
2. Painters tape,
3. High heat paint,
4. Paint brush,
The fireplace screen on this fireplace was a typical 1980’s style brass fireplace screen. It was in great condition, worked properly, and fit the opening perfectly, so painting seemed like the perfect way to save money on this update.
I started by sanding all of the brass areas, both outside AND inside, with 150-grit sandpaper. When it comes to painting metal, you really can’t sand too much. It’s best to overdo on the sanding than not do enough. Paint is less likely to last on slick surfaces. (Keep in mind that when the doors are open, any brass on the back sides of the doors will be noticeable. These areas need to be sanded as well!)d to be sanded as well!)
Next I taped off all of the glass and bricks next to the brass. Again, I opened the doors and taped off the inside of the doors as well.
With everything taped off, I was ready to apply the paint. The good thing about high heat paint is that no primer is needed. Simply apply the paint directly to the sanded metal.
Now this is a “do as I say and not what I do” moment. See the brush I have in the picture above? DO NOT use that kind of brush for this project. I thought that since this was a simple and quick project, I could get away with using a cheap brush. I regretted that decision almost immediately. These cheap brushes have very stiff bristles, and since high heat paint is quite a bit runnier and thinner than regular paint, it’s best to use a quality brush that has softer, more pliable bristles.
The directions on the high heat paint say it’s best to use one coat of paint. Because I used a low quality brush with stiff bristles, I actually ended up using three coats to get complete coverage.
But that’s it! Painting your brass fireplace screen is fairly fast and simple, and will go a long way towards updating your fireplace.
Be sure to use a quality brush.
If paint seeps under your painters tape onto the glass, just wait until the paint is completely dry, and scrape it off gently with a razor blade.