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How to Change the Color of a Shiny Gold Fireplace Surround

April Sanders

At one time, shiny gold fireplace surrounds (which are actually brass) were the very height of fashion. Today, they are considered by some homeowners to be ostentatious or just plain tacky. There's no reason to invest in an expensive, new fireplace surround in order to change its color.

Instead, if you like the design, invest in an inexpensive can of metal primer, a can of metal spray paint, and some painter's tools. With a little effort, in an hour or two you will have a brand-new and stylish fireplace surround that is not the least bit shiny or golden.

  1. Unscrew the fireplace surround and take it outside to be painted. Lay it on newspaper and proceed to Step 3. If you cannot remove the surround, move to Step 2.

  2. Protect the fireplace, hearth and mantel. Use painter's tape and newspapers to tape off areas you want to protect from paint. For example, you should cover the fireplace around the surround, as well as the glass areas in the middle of the surround. Leave only the shiny gold metal parts showing.

  3. Spray the metal primer on the gold surround, trying not to get it on the hearth or any nearby areas. Let it dry completely. If the gold is very bright and shiny, you might have to apply a second coat of primer.

  4. Cover the primer-coated surround with a layer of metal spray paint. Use straight, even spraying motions. If you are using black paint, you will probably only need one coat. White or silver paint will take two coats. Make sure the paint dries completely between coats.

  5. Carefully remove the tape and newspapers, taking care not to peel off any of the paint along with the tape. If you were able to remove the surround, take it back inside and re-attach it.


Another way to change the color is to tile over it with ceramic tiles, if it is flat. This look is popular because it makes a fireplace look custom-designed and expensive. Some paint brands actually make fireplace surround paint, so look for that first. If you can't find it, choose a high-heat paint, such as a barbecue paint.