If you are painting a skimmed surface, you’ll need to make sure that fire and flame-retardant board and skim have been used. Materials such as brick and stone will withstand heat but will still require a heat resistant paint system.
Painting walls in and around a fireplace, wooden surrounds and mantles
A flame retardant paint is only effective if the surface beneath is properly prepared. To achieve best results, ensure the surfaces to be painted are sound, clean, dry and dust-free. Remember to work in a well-ventilated area.
Things you’ll need:
Sandpaper, scraper, dust sheets, dust masks, primer and paint brush (if required), cleaning product and surface filler.
Steps to take:
1. Clean surfaces thoroughly
Remove dirt, grease and any other surface contamination that could affect adhesion.
2. Sanding surfaces
It is good practice to key the surface while wet using waterproof abrasive paper or pads if:
• you are applying a flame retardant top coat in an eggshell finish.
• you are applying a water-based finish on top of solvent-based or glossy paint, or on a very hard and impermeable surface.
Sand surfaces to provide a good key.
3. Stabilise the surface
Previous coatings that are blistering or unstable should be removed and a suitable stabilising or primer-sealer product used if necessary.
Prime or a mist coat the surface in line with the paint manufacturer’s instructions.
A stain block should be applied to soot-stained surfaces. A primer-sealer stain block solution can be used as an all-in-one treatment to tackle stained surfaces that are also unstable.
5. Surface defects
Fill surface defects with an appropriate filler. Depending on the paint you’re using you may need to spot prime any filled areas. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.
1. Choice of paint
It is possible to paint fireplace walls, surrounds and mantles with heat resistant paint but they generally only come in silver and black colours. These aren’t terribly popular colours in a domestic living room! The most versatile solution for painting walls and woodwork in and near a fireplace is to use a flame retardant topcoat. These products are available in a much wider variety of colours and conventional paint finishes such as matt emulsion, gloss and eggshell.
2. Paint system
The paint system that you use will depend on the product that you choose. Most fire-retardant matt emulsion, gloss and eggshell finishes can be applied by brush, roller or sprayer. Some eggshell manufacturers recommend spraying to achieve the best possible finish.
3. Personal protective equipment
Some products may require the use of a respirator. Hand, eye, and skin protection are also advisable in addition to a respirator when spraying paint products. Refer to the manufacturer’s safety data sheet for details.