Tuesday, March 27, 2012

living room transformation: part II

As you saw here, we started the living room transformation by creating some chevron art above the fireplace.  And next on the "to do" list was updating the fireplace insert.  As much as I love brass, it had to go.  It looked like this before:

Cozy didn't mind the brass.
So, on a day off, I decided on spur of the moment that I was going to spruce up our fireplace.  I went to Ace Hardware and found some primer spray paint specifically for metal.  It's best to prime before you paint - especially when the object you're painting is a slick surface.  I also found some "high heat" spray paint in a silver color - kind of like this.  

The nerve-wracking fun part was taking the insert out to prepare for painting.  I had never done this so I just started unscrewing things.  Dirt, soot, and cement were flying!  I was starting to worry that I wouldn't be able to get the insert back in. After I got it out, I was able to clean things up.  I used a wire brush to loosen dirt and soot off the brick.  We have a gas log fireplace so it wasn't as dirty as a wood-burning fireplace would be.  After I got it out, the fireplace looked like this:

Then, I taped the glass off with painter's tape and started spray painting.  The nice thing about spray paint is how quickly you can re-coat.  

After it was nice and dry, I was able to put it back together without difficulty.  Here is before:

And after:


At Christmas:

Doesn't it look bright and happy?  What a quick and cheap way to update a fireplace!  Total cost was around $10.  I had looked online for custom inserts to replace this one, and the one I found and loved was a whopping $3000.  Hmm, no thanks.  I'd rather buy a couple cans of spray paint and do it myself. 

I got it done before Ehren got home from work.  When he got home, I said, "notice anything different?"  Poor guy frantically looked around the house trying to figure out what I had done for fear of disappointing me.  But never fear, my colorblind, not-so-typical husband noticed!  And he approved.  


  1. How pretty!! And you write thrillers well, too. I was nervous when you wondered if you could get the insert back in. Brava!

  2. I wandered over from YoungHouseLove and am so excited to see a successful insert spray painting project!! I am mustering up the nerve to paint over the brass on mine and I'm a little scared. :-)

    Looks great!

  3. Found you from YHL and am SO happy someone has taken on the brass insert. I keep eyeing my 90's gun metal frame and desperately want to paint it. I think you may have just given me the confidence to do it!

  4. Hi! Nice showcase on YHL - I JUST painted my fireplace white too, although it was already painted a yucky green color. I ran into a problem with silicone caulk which was applied around my insert, and was smeared around haphazardly and won't let my paint stick to it. Did yours have caulk? Doesn't seem like it. Do you know if caulk is supposed to be there if you want to actually burn wood? I am disappointed my paint is peeling but eager to fix it!!

  5. Dropping in from YHL. I actually started taking down our insert a few weeks ago and panicked after I started so I chickened out. I think I'm ready to try again! :)


  6. I also found you via YHL and I second The Mrs' comments: you've given me the confidence to take on my brass insert! Did you use a high-temp paint?

  7. Another YHL reader inspired by your confidence. I don't know when, but I will be tackling my fireplace inset as well! :)

  8. Oooh love this! I need to do the exact same thing for our brass insert, but I've been too scared. You've given me confidence!

    What type of spray paint did you use?

  9. Hi, Looks great. What is the brand and color of paint??? Could you post picture of can?? Thanks, Teresa


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