3 Reasons Why You Should Think Twice Before Painting Your Fireplace & 3 Alternatives

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Painted fireplaces seem to be more of a trend now than a few decades ago. Although painted fireplaces can look very sharp, the decision to paint a fireplace isn't something that should be taken lightly. Homeowners who hope to change the look of their fireplace must first consider the consequences of painting their fireplace, and then may want to decide whether or not they can change the look of their fireplace through some other means.

The Potential Problems of Painting a Fireplace

There are three major reasons why painting a fireplace can be problematic for some homeowners. Namely:

  • Paint is permanent. Once brick has been painted, the paint can never be completely removed. Although powerful paint removers can be used to strip the bricks, this will not remove all paint from every pore of each brick. Evidence that the brick was once painted will remain on the fireplace forever. 
  • Paint can damage the fireplace. Paint can actually lock moisture into the fireplace, which can result in damage to the brick, a condition known as spalling. 
  • Paint can necessitate regular maintenance. Bricks that have been painted a light paint color will easily show soot and ash, and will need to be cleaned regularly in order to look its best. 

Alternatives to Painting the Fireplace

With all this in mind, homeowners who are considering painting their fireplace because they're unhappy with the look of the brick may first want to consider the alternatives. In some cases, changing the surroundings or altering the fireplace in some other way can change the brick to be more attractive. Here are a few options:

  • Have the fireplace brick professionally cleaned. Sometimes it's enough just to clean the years of soot and ash off of the brick. This can significantly lighten the brick and change the look of the entire fireplace.
  • Change the paint color in the room. Changing the paint in the room can make the fireplace look lighter or darker, more red or more gray, just by comparison. To find out what paint works well to achieve your goals, apply different paint samples to the walls.
  • Distract attention from the fireplace with large mantle decorations. Mirrors, large paintings, hurricane candleholders and other dramatic  mantlepiece decorations can all add a touch of class to your fireplace without ever applying a drop of paint to the brick. 

If you've thought about it and you're certain that you do want to paint your fireplace, it's a good idea to speak with a masonry contractor such as B C Fireplace Service Inc. Seeking advice from a professional will help to ensure that the paint is applied properly and the brick will not be damaged.