This is one of those projects that when you’re done you smack yourself in the forehead and ask, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” Yes, the fireplace tile is now painted in a leaps and bounds improvement over where it’s been the last 3 years or so. Why the wait? I think the main reason is that my confidence as a painter and DIYer is increasing. Thoughts or project ideas that used to be scary (“Can you even paint tile?”) now seem like no big deal. I’m not an expert by any means, I don’t even own any power tools, but I’m getting there. I have so much to still learn, which is very exciting.
When I posted about the fireplace two weeks ago, I included this picture. The official “before” picture.
Warning: Long, wordy tutorial section coming up…. (skip for more fun pictures)
To paint the tile (and to ensure it wouldn’t chip due to foot traffic), here’s what I did:
- Removed the summer door (a.k.a. the cast iron plate covered in roses, pictured above, that covers the actual firebox)
- Removed the wood trim around the floor mantle (I pried them off with flat head screwdriver)
- Cleaned tile with damp towel and wiped clean
- Used tack cloth to remove any remaining dirt or dust I might have missed
- Lined the cast iron surround with Frog Tape (I’m not normally a taper but because I would be smashing my brush into the grooves and grout around the surround, I added the tape for extra protection)
- Used a 4″ foam roller (meant for cabinets but best for getting super-smooth surfaces) to add an oil-based primer to the surface
- Let primer dry for 1 hour (or until dry to the touch)
- Once the primer was dry, I used my tack cloth again to grab any dust or dirt
- It’s painting time!
- Using a new 4″ foam roller, added two coats of Behr’s Ultra Pure White in semi-gloss (which I also used on my laundry room cabinets) with 30 minutes of dry time in between
- Once I was happy with the coverage, I let everything dry for 24 hours
- Using a cheap-y $2 bristle paint brush (I was throwing it away when I was done), added a coat of polyurethane. (I used Minwax Fast Drying Protective Finish in Clear Gloss) EDIT: Please be sure to use WATER-BASED polyurethane to avoid a nasty yellow finish on your pretty white painted tile.)
- Let everything dry for another 24 hours (ugh)
- Added back my wood trim around the floor mantle
- DONE! THE END! EL FIN!