How To Refinish Fireplace Doors and Light Fixtures
When people move into a new home they will usually do a few things in order to make their new home more to their taste. I tend to do this at every new home we buy. When we moved into our home 10 years ago, there were lots of things that I wanted to change but I have learned to do a bit at a time and that way I don't have to come up with tons of money or energy to do large projects. The very first project that I did was to refinish the shiny brass Fireplace Doors and two shiny brass light fixtures in my living room. They just shouted 1980's to me. When I studied them, I decided that it wasn't the shape of them that I objected to, it was the finish.
I decided that paint could fix the fireplace doors and the lights. I went to town and purchased some High Heat Spray Paint in matte black for the fireplace doors and matte cream for the lights. I had seen this paint and being a painter by trade, I had been wanting to try it and this was the perfect project for that. Please excuse the quality of photo in the above picture and the one below...it was taken with one of those box cameras before I discovered digital photography. I took these when we were still looking at buying the house so the previous owners had not moved out yet.
I used an SOS pad to scrub and clean every part of shiny brass that I intended to paint. This cleans off any oil and it scratches up the brass just a bit in order to give my new paint some tooth. I then wiped all the metal down with some vinegar. After making sure the entire surface was very dry, I then taped off the glass parts of the doors and around the projects with newspaper in order to protect the brick behind the doors and the wall behind the lights.
It was finally time for the fun part. I began to spray the doors. I finished painting them and when I had finished, I decided that they just weren't the way I wanted them too look. The black just made it look like a huge black hole. Off to town I went for some more cream colored high heat spray paint. A lesson here is that just because it doesn't turn out exactly like you want it to the first time don't let this be an excuse to give up. Keep trying till it looks beautiful to your eyes.
I painted the doors again with the cream paint and they looked beautiful. Next I spray painted the light fixtures and they turned out beautiful too. When using spray paint, it is important to use strokes going the same direction. It will not have an even look if you just spray in every direction. I did this project 10 years ago and those doors still look beautiful. As you can see in the photo I took today, there are no scratches. There are no problems with the paint at all. We use that fireplace every winter and so it gets a workout. I have been very pleased with how the paint has held up.
If you have something like this in your house that just isn't in a pleasing finish and you like the shape then you might consider saving some money and just refinishing them. There is truth to the statement that they just don't make things to last like they used to. Because of that I always try to consider that before changing things out. I have repainted heater covers, heater/ac vents, ceiling fans, and lots of other items over the years and used this same high heat paint. I really like it better than other spray paints because it is so durable.
I hope that maybe my projects will inspire you to try some rather than just replacing items. The possibilities are endless and paint can do so much to make something beautiful.