How to Paint Fireplace Tile

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If your fireplace is old and the tile has aged poorly, or if you just want to brighten up your room by renovating your fireplace surround, change the look of your fireplace. Since the fireplace is a focal point of the room, changing this aspect will have a major impact on the entire area.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand broom
  • Vinegar
  • Hot water
  • Scrub brush
  • Spray bottle
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Latex-blocking primer and sealer
  • Paintbrushes
  • Clean the entire fireplace. Sweep out any dust, soot and debris. Then, clean the tiles and the grout between the tiles with the scrub brush and a combination of two cups hot water and one cup vinegar. You can spray on the cleaning combination with the spray bottle. Let the area dry before you continue.

  • Sand the tile. Sand in an "X" pattern; first sand diagonally to the right across the entire area, then reverse and sand diagonally to the left. This will make your primer stick to the tile better.

  • Apply the latex-blocking primer. Make sure that you cover every square inch of the fireplace tile. Anyplace that is not primed will probably not hold the paint. The blocking agents will prevent any soot or other stains from bleeding through the paint later. Do not paint the interior of the fireplace with this primer, but only the fireplace tile itself. Allow the primer to dry for a full 24 hours before you continue.

  • Paint your tile with two coats of the latex paint. Apply the paint smoothly and evenly. Work the paint into the dips in between the tiles and across the tiles themselves. Allow two hours between coats.

  • Let the fireplace tile dry for 24 hours. If you notice any spots that look thin or that do not appear even with the rest of the tile, then you can apply one more coat of semi-gloss at this time. If not, replace your fireplace accessories.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to paint the interior of the fireplace (the firebox) then you must consult a professional to make sure that you use a firesafe paint that is not flammable.

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