Fireplace Makeover Part 2: Painting Brass Fireplace Doors and Tools

how to paint a brass fireplace

It’s finally starting to get a little nippy out which means we’ve been itching to start a fire now that we finally have a house with a fireplace.  We’re getting the chimney professionally cleaned this week which mean we’ll be good to go functionally, but we’re still working on making the fireplace ascetically pleasing as well. In Part 1 of the fireplace makeover we painted all the bookshelves and the fireplace surround a nice bright white.

Painting a fireplace

But we still had to deal with all that dated brass. Honestly, I am not a fan of the doors at all. I really loved how it looked once we took them off; however, with little Lizzie getting into everything these days we decided that the doors were a safety precaution that we’d have to live with for now.

fireplace with no doors

Since we’ve never had a fireplace before we also had no fireplace tools. I don’t know if you’ve purchased these recently but the cheap ones at Target are about $100! For those of you who follow me on Facebook you may remember that a couple of weeks ago I just happened to score this great brass set at a local thrift store for $6! But of course brass is what I was trying to get away from, so these needed a makeover too.

high heat spray paint for brass

First, I removed the fireplace doors from the brick. It was rather easier than we had anticipated it just required laying in the fireplace to find the screws behind the doors. Next, I took everything that was being painted outside and cleaned them down with a paint prep* to remove any oil and residue that may have built up. The last step in prepping the doors was papering over the glass to prevent over spray from the paint.

* Links marked by an asterisk are affiliate links

brass fireplace doors

It is finally time to start painting! Since the brass is so shiny I hit all the tools and doors with a coat of spray primer* first.

painting brass fireplace tools

Once the primer was dry (about an hour) I applied a coat of Flat Black High Heat Spray Paint*. The key here is HIGH HEAT! You do not want your paint to melt off when you stick the poker in the fire. I did two light coats on everything. It only took 1 can to finish this project.

painting brass black

I choose a flat finish to imitate a wrought iron feel instead of a high gloss look. I was afraid of the paint chipping, so I let it cure for a couple of days before moving it back indoors and installing it. Here’s the finished look:

painting brass black


And a close-up of the new tools:

painting brass fireplace tools

And here’s a reminder of where we started 3 months ago:

Fireplace before

Update: The fireplace makeover is now complete!

how to makeover a fireplace

Opt In Image
Like what you see? Want to get updates without having to check back?
Get free updates straight to your inbox

Get all my newest and latest updates, tutorials, and projects for free as an e-mail.  I promise to never spam you and you can unsubscribe at anytime (although I hope you won't!)

xoxo Stephanie

12 thoughts on “Fireplace Makeover Part 2: Painting Brass Fireplace Doors and Tools”

  1. Hi, So we actually just did basically the same project. Are you having any problems with the flat black spray paint scratching easily? I love the look but we can’t latch our fireplace due to this issue.

    1. Hey Cecily! The only place the paint has scratch is on the fireplace tools themselves; which given the nature of how we use them is to be expected. Our doors haven’t scratch yet. Did you prime them before painting? The only other thing I can think is that perhaps the paint hadn’t fully cured before you put them back up. Humidity can make drying times double the norm.

  2. Hi. I’m considering painting our two fireplace inserts and just wondered what you meant when talking about removing the inserts – you said… “it just required laying the fireplace to find the screws behind the doors”. What does that mean?
    Thanks in advance!
    BTW…LOVE the whole makeover!!!! It looks fantastic!!

    1. Hey Priscilla! That was actually a typo. It was suppose to say “it just required laying in the fireplace”. Your insert is probably held in either with screws or clips. Either way they’re pretty easy to get off as long as you can maneuver yourself behind the insert. Good luck with your project! We did ours almost 2 years ago and they are still holding up great!

  3. Hi. I hope you are still answering questions on this because I am in a debate with my husband regarding the built-ins. I am using your pictures on how I want my built ins constructed. We are in debate on how tall your book shelves are, the depth to the wall, the distance between the top of the mantle to the top book shelf. Do you have any measurements you can provide?

    1. They are 47.5″ high, 9.5″ deep, and 16″ from the top to the mantle. My only suggestion would be to go deeper that 9.5″ if you plan on putting books on them. I have many books that are wider than that and don’t fit on these shelves. Good luck with your project!

  4. Looks great! I just completed this project myself. Unfortunately, there are now fingerprints all over it from re-installing it. I tried to gently rub with a dry cloth and they just smeared. Any ideas? Thanks!

  5. I wanted to know how your fireplace tool set was holding up after a couple seasons of use? I have the brass set also and I want to paint it. did it work .. would you do it again?

  6. Did you have to sand the brass first before applying the primer. How is it holding up now? Does it scratch easy? I have just completed sanding and spraying with high heat paint. My concern is i had to touch up a few spots and once it was wet again all layers came off when I accidentally rubbed it. Can i re-sand, then add primer or self-etching primer and paint all again? Thanks!

    1. I did not sand before applying the paint. Our doors held up great. No scratches any where. The tools did scratch up but obviously we’re poking and prodding with those. I wouldn’t think you’d need to re-sand unless there is any unevenness in the paint. I would make sure you give it plenty of time to cure though before touching it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *