Back Button

How to Paint a Firebox

Meg Warren

A firebox is the structure within a fireplace that holds the fire. In most cases it is brick, although some fireplaces have metal fireboxes. Over time the interior of a firebox can become a bit of an eyesore because of soot and ash buildup on the walls. The soot and ash can be difficult to clean.

A firebox is the area inside a fireplace made to withstand large amounts of heat.

Painting the firebox with heat-resistant paint can give the firebox a new look and make cleaning easier.

  1. Wait for the firebox to cool.

  2. Remove any debris, ashes or logs from the firebox. Wipe the walls with soap and water to remove any remaining debris. Scrub away any tough soot stains with a strong scrub brush and cleaning solution.

  3. Apply a paint stripper to the existing paint on the firebox. Allow the stripper to rest on the firebox for approximately 20 minutes. The paint will bubble up and peel away from the surface. Skip this step if the brick has not been previously painted. The paint stripper will remove paint from metal or brick fireboxes.

  4. Scrape away the loose paint with a metal putty knife.

  5. Wipe the walls of the firebox with soap and water. Check that the walls are completely clean and that no paint, soot or ashes remain inside. Allow a brick firebox to dry overnight. The bricks need to be completely dry before you apply the paint. Place a space heater inside the firebox to speed up the drying time. A metal firebox will require only one hour of drying time.

  6. Cover with painters tape and newspaper all surfaces you don't intend to paint. Lay a cloth canvas on the floor in the area by the firebox. This will prevent paint from dripping onto areas that are not meant to be painted.

  7. Apply a galvanized metal etching primer to a metal firebox. The primer will allow the paint to adhere to the smooth surface and prevent peeling. Apply a high temperature primer to a brick firebox. Allow the primer to dry for four hours.

  8. Apply the high temperature paint over the primer using a paint brush or roller. The roller will produce a finer finish. Use the paint brush to fill in corners and other small areas where a roller won’t fit.