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Old 02-20-2012, 05:26 PM   #1
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Painting fireplace mantel and surround


Need some thoughts on what to with our fireplace brick, mantel and surround. The surround is a finished wood and all the trim in the house is white. It just does not look right. We are not in love with the mantel and have thought about just getting a new one, but they can be expensive and figured we could make it fit in and look a lot better by painting it white. Questions are:

1. Sand the finish, prime, then paint. Anything else needed for this kind of finish?
2. Would spray paint be the way to go here? Lots of detail and corners. Would spray give it the most even finish?

As for the brick - the previous owner must have screwed an insert into the brick because there are several holes, anchors and caulk on the brick. Question:

1. What would be the best way to remove the caulk from the brick and clean the brick?

Thanks in advance
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:44 PM   #2
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Painting fireplace mantel and surround


Asbury, sand the wood, prime with a quality bonding primer, like Zinsser 123 or such. Light sand after dry, then do any caulking you need to do, maybe some putty holes as well. Then apply two coats of the same enamel that's on the rest of the trim, by brush. Unless you're going to hook up a sprayer, you're brushing, as rattle cans won't cut it. As for the brick, paint it. You're not going to get rid of what the previous ho did without making more of a mess, you'll be exchanging one blemish for another. If it was a whole wall, or outside, it might be worth a try. But a fireplace is a focal point and there isn't enough square area there to absorb even the slighest blemish. IMO, the brick is an eyesore. Paint it flat black to make it go away, or tile it.
As to painting, that requires some thought as to how to proceed. Take it in pieces and tie them together as you go. You have compartmentalize a project like that as opposed to painting it as one whole. When you paint the scroll in the center, stipple it. Good Luck.
I'm in Cape May, how long would it take me to get to Asbury Park up the parkway?

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Old 02-20-2012, 06:46 PM   #3
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Painting fireplace mantel and surround


Thanks js. Good idea on painting the fireplace. If i active burn wood in it is there any special type of paint i will need to paint it? If not flat black, any other colors you would recommend? Also, never had to stipple paint before.....is it difficult?

Don't live in Asbury Park, just a Springsteen fan. But, should be an easy 2 hour cruise up the parkway.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:44 PM   #4
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Painting fireplace mantel and surround


Quote:
Originally Posted by asbury park View Post
Thanks js. Good idea on painting the fireplace. If i active burn wood in it is there any special type of paint i will need to paint it? If not flat black, any other colors you would recommend? Also, never had to stipple paint before.....is it difficult?

Don't live in Asbury Park, just a Springsteen fan. But, should be an easy 2 hour cruise up the parkway.
Thumbs up for The Boss! Big fan myself, moreso of the early Bruce.
I would have an objection to any color other than black for the brick, but that's my opinion. Three different things going on in that small space is too much for my taste. Try it with the black first, you can always change the color. I think you'll like it. If you choose to paint, any standard flat latex will do.
Stipple is just dabbing it with the end of the bristles, holding the brush on a 90 from the surface. It's pretty standard for that type of application.
Where do you live, if not Asbury Park? And, you're correct on the travel time, did you look at a map?
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:03 PM   #5
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Painting fireplace mantel and surround


I'm a NC resident now. I'm a PA native though. About 5 minutes from the NJ border. I didn't look at a map at first.......and my guess at that time was about 1:30. Then, took a look at a map and saw i was 30min off. The way i drive i might be able to make it in 1:30 though.

So, you don't think the brick can be cleaned up? Is it that much of a pain?
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:21 PM   #6
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Painting fireplace mantel and surround


You would probably need some sort of solvent to soften that caulk, which may stain. Then you have to wire/nylon brush which might leave burnish marks, at least the wire will, but the nylon may not be sturdy enough. If your heart's set on the brick, give it a shot. Can't hurt. I'd have to do some research on caulk softeners, but I'm so fried that I might even know one but not know it. Maybe some fresh mind will come along.
I'm from Delaware County, around the Media/Springfield area, though born in Southwest Philly. Where were you from in PA?
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:41 AM   #7
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Painting fireplace mantel and surround


You might put the mantle you have and do not like on Craig's List to see if someone else might like it? Then apply the money to what you really want?
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:09 AM   #8
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Painting fireplace mantel and surround


js, I'm from the Lehigh Valley. Not to far from your stomping grounds.

When you said caulk after the prime, should I make sure the joints where the mantel meets the wall are caulked?
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:21 PM   #9
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Painting fireplace mantel and surround


Yes. Only reason it's not caulked now is that it's natural wood.

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