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How To Paint A Brass Fireplace Screen

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.

How to paint a brass fireplace screen

Project Cost:

Approximately $15.

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.

How to paint a brass fireplace screen


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!)

How to paint a brass fireplace screen


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.

How to paint a brass fireplace screen


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.

How to paint a brass fireplace screen


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.

How to paint a brass fireplace screen

But that’s it! Painting your brass fireplace screen is fairly fast and simple, and will go a long way towards updating your fireplace.

click here to see the rest of this room transformation!


Helpful Hints:

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.



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  1. Thank you! I have hated that brass screen since we moved in – 19 years ago, isn’t that just pathetic?!

  2. I am going to do this in a couple weeks! I am so excited to get rid of this ugly brass and I am also going to re paint my brick!

  3. We have picked up some brass fireplace tools and want them to be black….I am assuming this process will work for these too. Any comments?

  4. Thank you for sharing this, it looks amazing and it is so affordable! I really loved the entire room makeover, a dream to have such a beautiful living room, just found your website and you are truly amazing! I also love the colour of the fireplace, I don’t really like the white painted brick, wanted to ask what colour you used to paint the brick, if that is something you would share.

  5. Yay! Thanks for the tutorial~ I went to Home Depot today and bought the paint. Will start the project tomorrow! Can NOT wait! I thought I would have to take the screen completely off in order to paint it – like outside with spray paint – but this is way better! Thanks again!

  6. Thanks for posting this! I had a hideous brass trim on my fireplace and had debated about painting and/or changing the green marble surround for about a year. I decided to start small, and when I saw your post today, I went and got the paint. I think it will take another coat like yours did, but it already looks 100 times better! I think I can live with the green marble now! 🙂

  7. Just did this today. Easy project BUT 5 hours after using the Rustoleum “high heat” paint, it’s still tacky. I hope it dries!!

  8. I have almost the same fireplace and am looking to spruce it up a bit. I love the way yours turned out. I have ask where you found your mantel??

  9. I did this, BUT did not have very good results. This paint scratches SO EASILY! Even a light fingernail across it scratches the black paint off. Yes, I sanded it, and had to use 3-4 light coats of spray paint because it left spots – some darker than others. And yes, I shook the can for a full minute before each application…..
    I’m wondering if coating with a flat clearcoat afterward would help? Kind of defeats the purpose of using a high heat resistant paint, though.

    1. I’m so sorry you didn’t have good results! That’s very strange that it scratches off so easily. My mom’s has been painted for eight years now, and it still looks great. I have no idea why yours didn’t work. I don’t know of any clear coat that would be heat resistant. You might try contacting the manufacturer and telling them what happened. They might have a suggestion for you.

  10. I’m trying to find out what color the fireplace brick and shelving were painted on the learn to paint over the brass

  11. Everything in this picture is beautiful… What color did you paint your shelves next to the fireplace?

  12. Just found your blog last night. We have lived in a 80 year old house for 45 of it’s 80 years. There is no damper on the fireplace so we put brass doors on it many years ago. I am so sick of them but never thought of painting.
    Thank you for creating this blog!! Your directions are great and I love the results. Will be trying this soon!!