How To Paint Fireplace Mantel and Tile Surround

After Painting Mantel & Tile Surround
Before Painting

After we completed our wood pallet accent wall, we realized the fireplace did not match. We knew we wanted to paint the mantel white (chalk paint – my favorite!) but we were not sure what type of paint to use on the tile surround to withstand the heat and stick to the tile. After much research, we decided to use a Latex Interior/Exterior Bonding Primer/Sealer and Sherwin Williams Weathershield tinted with Valspar Hazy Stratus (Satin).

Materials Used:

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  1. Clean mantel with Krud Kutter and tile surround with damp rag.
  2. Fireplace Tile Surround – Brush on Valspar Professional Stain Block/Bonding Primer until all tile is fully covered. Let dry for 4 hours. Apply Sherwin Williams Weathershield paint (can be tinted in any color – we tinted ours with Valspar Hazy Stratus – a few shades darker than our walls which are Sherwin Williams Light French Gray). We applied two coats of the weathershield paint but it looked completely covered with just one.
  3. Fireplace Mantel: As with most of my wood painting projects, I used chalk paint to avoid sanding. Chalk paint is designed to cover most surfaces, eliminating the need to sand and prime. However, when painting my kitchen cabinets, I discovered the wood stain was still showing through even after 3 coats of chalk paint! Therefore, I always apply 1-2 coats of Kilz prior to the chalk paint when working with stained wood. Brush on 2 coats of Kilz (allow approximately 20-30 minutes of drying time between each coat). Apply 1-2 coats of chalk paint. After chalk paint has fully dried, paint on Rust-Oleum Varathane. (The can labels it as poleurethane. It is important to use this specific crystal clear finish so that you do not receive a yellow tint!) Do not skip the Varathane – it prevents the chalk paint from chipping.

This was quite a simple project and made a great difference in the overall appearance of our accent wall. It took us one day to complete.

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