Some Like It Hot

October 3, 2009

I’ve received several emails lately inquiring about painting the brass exterior surround of a fireplace.  My response has always been to try a brand of high temperature specialty paint.   I’ve passed this product several times in the paint aisle at Home Depot and Lowes.  Over the summer, I even considered repainting the outside of our old BBQ.  But I have never actually gotten around to trying it out until today.  This morning, I bought a quart of Rustoleum’s High Heat black paint at Lowes for $13 dollars.  This afternoon, I was able to give my two fireplaces a fresher look for very little cost, and without replacing any parts. 

First, I tackled the living room fireplace.  I’ve always loved the existing cream marble tile surround and the white mantle, but the brass trim and wood handles?   No thanks.  It looked very dated in my opinion. I really wanted it to be less brassy.  But replacing the doors was cost prohibitive.  So I tried this specialty paint today, and in about twenty minutes, the fireplace was transformed into something I believe looks much more fresh and modern. 

So long brass trim. 

before and after living room

Here’s another glance from afar.

b and a fireplace

Here’s what I did.

I prepped the surfaces by cleaning the exterior brass trim around the fireplace and taping off the marble tile.  Note that this specialty high temperature paint is oil-based, so clean up requires mineral spirits.  For these kinds of smaller projects, I like to use a disposable brush.  

rustoleum high heat paint

This paint is also available in a spray paint form for those who prefer the quicker application that comes from spray paint, and can access a well ventilated area.  The brush application just happened to work better for my situation. 

The paint is a more watery than regular latex paint, but goes on pretty smooth.

paint brass 

The final product:

lr fireplace after

Next, I gave the master bedroom gas fireplace a fresh coat of black paint.  Over the years, it has suffered some scratches, wear and tear.  A quick coat of this specialty paint, and it was good as new ! 


master fp before


master fp after 

master fp full pic

Rustoleum’s High Heat paint is available at Lowes and Home Depot, and comes in several colors, like white, silver, and almond.  The High Heat Ultra also comes black, brown, and aged copper.  Krylon also has a line of high temperature paints as well.  These paints withstand temperatures up to 1200º F, but they are not designed to be used anywhere that comes in direct contact with flames, so they would not be appropriate for the inside of a fireplace or a BBQ grill.  For $13 dollars, this was an inexpensive fix for me, and I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. 

Now just for fun, take a look at the real ‘Some Like It Hot’ featuring the hysterical duo of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon dolled up as gals, and mixing it up with Marilyn Monroe.  Here’s just one great clip among many.  

And there’s still time to enter the Stella & Dot giveaway until Sunday October 4th at 8 p.m. PST.  Don’t miss out !

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