Tips for painting behind wood burners and fireplace surrounds

We’re often asked whether our paints are suitable for painting behind wood burners, around fireplaces and on fireplace surrounds. It’s a good question, as many paints aren’t up to the job – they can easily discolour and flake as they aren’t able to withstand such high temperatures.

Painting behind wood burners

If you have brick or plaster behind your wood burning stove, you may be wondering which type of paint to use. Earthborn Claypaint has a high clay content and is free from acrylics and oils. It can be used to paint bare brick and new plaster, including lime plaster, along with previously painted areas. Plus, it’s certified with a Class ‘0’ reaction to fire rating – which you can read more about here. This means it can withstand very high temperatures (up to 80°C) without affecting the paint. Its ultra flat matt finish also complements the soft glow of a fire, adding to the cosy feel of the space.

If you’re thinking of painting around your fireplace, Spring, Summer or Autumn are the best times of year to do this job.

Tips for painting behind wood burners and fireplace surrounds.

First of all, the area needs a thorough clean – this is the messy bit! Be sure that all soot and dust are swept and vacuumed and use a stiff wire brush to remove build up from any crevices in brickwork. If the area you’re planning to paint is bare or new plastered, smooth out any lumps with a fine sandpaper.

Any dry stains can be treated first with Earthborn Isolating Primer – a couple of coats may be required if the staining is heavy. This will block the stain from bleeding through to the paintwork – although it’s not advised for use on lime plaster/render as it can inhibit the breathable properties of the lime. Then make sure the surfaces are clean, sound, dry and stable.

Protect the stove or fireplace itself using plastic sheets – the last thing you want is splashes of paint on a black wood burning stove!

When the area is ready for painting, dilute the first coat of Claypaint with around 20% water. This is especially important on porous surfaces like brick or plaster. Claypaint can be applied by brush or short pile roller. Follow with a full coat of Claypaint and you’re ready to go!

Oh and don’t forget to allow the paint to thoroughly dry over night before lighting your fire…

Georgian fireplace.

Painting fireplaces

If you’re looking to paint your fireplace surround*, our Eggshell No.17 paint is a durable option. It’s especially suited to interior woodwork like fireplace surrounds, which don’t get particularly hot but usually need to be wiped clean from time to time.

Prime the wood first with our Multi Purpose Primer, followed by a couple of coats of Eggshell No.17. If you don’t have such a steady hand, you could mask the wall first to ensure your painted fireplace looks smart.

*Eggshell No. 17 is only suitable for the surround, not behind the fireplace or log burner. As highlighted above, Claypaint is suitable for inside and behind the fireplace. 

Alnwick Farm House

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