The fireplace serves not only as a source of heat in the room, but also a subject of the interior, sometimes becoming its central part. It warms and gives aesthetic pleasure. These devices can be gas, electric and wood-burning. The latter, built of brick, can give any room a special atmosphere of coziness and originality. Often, in order for the structure to fit harmoniously into the design of the room, it must be painted. I offer a few options, how and what is better to do it.
Brick fireplace: to paint or leave as is?
One of the modern trends in interior design is the decoration of living spaces that perform a purely decorative function or have a functional purpose with objects made of natural stone or brick. The natural look and original structure of these materials look unusual and distinctive. A similar technique is often used in the construction and cladding of fireplaces. The combination of rough brickwork and live flames looks especially beautiful.
Ordinary red brick is inexpensive, but not always of high quality. To hide flaws in the brickwork and to prevent its destruction, resort to painting. Painting makes the fireplace more well-groomed, and the flaws – invisible. If you choose an expensive and high-quality material for the construction of the fireplace, it still will not save from the need to paint it, because any material in the process of use in high temperatures over time loses its original appearance and deteriorates.
The reasons why experienced experts recommend painting brick fireplaces:
- protection against deterioration;
- additional reinforcement of the device;
- giving the structure a beautiful appearance, and the surface of the brick – a richer shade;
- masking of minor defects in masonry and material;
- improving the vapor permeability of bricks;
- increasing the service life of the furnace-heater;
- creating a moisture-repellent coating.
After installation, the fireplace can be left in its original form, enjoying the natural color and texture of the brick. However, over time, in any case, it will be necessary to cover it with a paint material.
What can I paint my fireplace with?
The choice of paint for painting this attribute is an important point. When buying paint, you need to carefully study its composition and properties, because the fireplace is operated in special conditions. If there is no desire or opportunity to spend on an expensive staining agent, you can simply whitewash the heat generator itself. Whitewashing is a way to decorate a brick fireplace in a budget-friendly and original way.
What properties should the paint have?
If the construction in question serves not just an interior object, but also used for its direct purpose, it can not be painted with the first paint that comes to hand. The fireplace is exposed to high temperatures, so the paint should be resistant to the effects of fire, otherwise the coating will quickly crack and begin to bubble.
The outer surface can be heated up to 90 ° C. Not every paint can withstand such high temperatures. If the construction is built according to all the rules, it must give the room at least half of its heat. In addition, the coefficient of performance of the heater depends largely on the type of paint composition with which the fireplace is covered. A smooth surface has worse heat transfer than a rough one, so it is better to refuse to use aluminum paint and its counterparts.
Another important point is the color of the paint. The darker it is, the more intense the heat transfer will be. Among other things, the paint composition should not emit harmful substances, because fireplaces are usually located in residential areas. All these nuances must be taken into account when buying paint, otherwise the result will not meet expectations.
Suitable varieties of paint materials, brands
Some people are convinced that it is impossible to paint fireplaces, because there are no suitable paints for this. However, manufacturers of paint and varnish products produce a quality product that can withstand high temperatures up to 1000 ° C.
Budget options (whitewashing, etc.)
It is possible to paint cheaply with your own hands the furnace-heater with the so-called grandfatherly methods: lime, chalk, clay, homemade paint products. These methods have long been used to decorate rustic stoves. A whitewashed or clayed fireplace in modern homes looks strange, to say the least, but in a house styled like the old one, or in a country house, such a design will fit perfectly into the overall interior.
How to prepare a fireplace for painting?
Before you start painting, the structure must be properly prepared. Ignoring this procedure will lead to the fact that the paint will lay unevenly, quickly cracked and come off. Stages of preparation of the fireplace for painting:
Removing dust, dirt and cobwebs.
Processing of metal parts with sandpaper (it is better to take a fine-grained paper).
Removal of grease stains. Use a soft cloth soaked in salt solution.
Remove soot with hydrochloric acid solution.
Getting rid of rust. Rusted areas are effectively cleaned with a rag moistened with a 10% solution of copper sulfate.
If the fireplace is made of brick of poor quality, or it has significant defects, it should be plastered in 2 layers with lime-gypsum or lime-clay composition, go over the plastered surface with coarse and then fine-grained emery paper. After that, you need to heat the fireplace a little. The paint adheres better to a slightly warm surface. However, you need to make sure by studying the manufacturer’s recommendations on the use of a particular paint.
How to paint properly?
You can paint with any tool. One is comfortable to do it with a brush, perhaps with a roller. When using a roller, you should take into account that a characteristic pattern will remain on the painted surface. Move in the process of work should be only in one direction – from top to bottom. If the construction consists of brick and metal parts, first painted its body, i.e. the chimney. To the areas near the door accidentally do not get paint, they must be sealed with tape.
Paint needs to be applied in several layers, at least two. Each subsequent coat is applied only after the previous one is completely dry. Do not use the fireplace immediately after painting. To fully cure the coating, its operation should be postponed for 3-4 days.
Joints between bricks: to disguise or highlight?
To disguise or highlight the joints between the bricks when painting the fireplace is a matter of personal preference. However, the highlighted joints between bricks give the structure a decorative look and emphasize the origin of the material, and the façade painted solid looks flat and uninteresting. To highlight the joints are well suited paints transparent, sandy, with a yellowish tone and even white LCM.
Hopefully, the above recommendations are enough to do the job with your own hands. The following video will undoubtedly help the perception of the above.