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How to Paint Brass Fireplace Trim

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How to paint brass fireplace easily to turn a dated fireplace into a modern focal point.

For most of us, a fireplace is a bonus when you buy a home. Sometimes though, it can be dated or need a lot of work in order to make it into a modern centerpiece of a room.

When we moved into our new house in the country I was so happy that there was a working fireplace in the living room.

Our last house had a fireplace that needed a lot of updates, like a DIY fireplace mantel and a fireplace screen, so I definitely had experience fixing up an old, outdated fireplace.

black fireplace surround

It had propane logs installed years ago but was in perfect working order.

Even though it worked well and kept us toasty, I couldn’t get past the faux brass fireplace trim against the black matte of the fireplace surround.

black fireplace with brass accents

I considered replacing the surround but wanted to try to remove the brass accents to see what I would find underneath.

How do I update my brass fireplace surround?

This actually turned out to be a really easy project that can be tackled in about an hour with a screwdriver, sand paper and spray paint.

Removing fireplace trim

To update the fireplace I started by removing the brass trim. I needed to see if it could all be removed and what was hiding under it.

First I removed the brass trim that framed the whole surround.

It was actually attached with a magnetized strip so all I had to do was to gently pull off the accent pieces.

black fireplace with brass accents

Next, I removed the trim that covered the vent. They were a bit tougher to remove but I was able used to gently pry the strips off the vent with a flathead screwdriver

The brass strips were hiding some rust so I would have to deal with that before I tried to paint it.

removing brass accents on fireplace with a screwdriver

The last two pieces of trim were screwed into place. I used a Philips head screwdriver to remove them.

After all of the fireplace trim was removed, I unclipped the vent cover so I could sand off the rust and paint it with a matte black paint to match the rest of the surround.

removing vent cover on fireplace

I decided that I would only use the two larger brass pieces that were screwed in and the vent cover. The rest of the strips were put in the garage until I was sure I would no longer need them.

So, I took the vent cover and the two pieces of trim outside and gave them a good sanding.

It took a bit of work to remove the rust off of the vent cover but it did come off, along with some paint. The brass accents were just roughed up a bit to remove the shine so that the paint would adhere.

using sandpaper to sand fireplace brass accents

Next I wiped down all of the sanded pieces really well.

wiping down fireplace vent cover

Best spray paint for a fireplace surround

Because these pieces are on a working fireplace, that gets very hot, I used a high heat spray paint in a matte black.

can of black spray paint and fireplace vent cover

I sprayed a couple coats of paint to completely cover the vent cover and brass accents, allowing them to dry between coats.

fireplace brass accents painted black with spray paint

Once the trim and vent cover were dry, I reinstalled them on the fireplace surround.

installing painted fireplace vent cover

They were the perfect match to the rest of the surround.

So much better without the brass fireplace trim. All it cost was $7 for the spray paint and about an hour’s worth of work.

fireplace with brass accents painted black

Yield: 1 modern looking fireplace surround

How to Paint Brass Fireplace Trim

removing vent cover on fireplace

How to paint brass fireplace trim the easy way in under an hour for just $7. A great way to modernize a fireplace.

Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Difficulty Easy/beginner
Estimated Cost $7


  • High Heat Spray Paint
  • Sand Paper - medium or fine grit
  • Clean Cloth


  • Screwdriver


  1. Remove brass trim pieces
  2. Remove vent cover
  3. Sand vent cover and brass trim pieces with a fine or medium grit sandpaper, remove rust and flaking paint
  4. With clean, dry cloth, wipe down vent cover and trim pieces
  5. Using *High Heat spray paint, paint all sides of trim and vent cover
  6. Let dry
  7. Install painted trim pieces and vent cover


* Use a High Heat Spray Paint if painting pieces that could get hot

Did you make this project?

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