The first thing we did was remove the gold insert and clean out years worth of ash and dirt.
|After the clean out|
|All of the ash that I shoveled out. I'm pretty sure it had never been cleaned before.|
The first step in painting a fireplace is priming the brick. You can get masonry primer for this, but the nice people at home depot said that regular primer would work fine if we already had it (which of course we did), we just may have to do a couple coats to hide the stains. This was after the first coat, but it only ended up taking two.
What do you think of the transformation? Are you of the mindset that brick should never be painted, or is it ok if there's no other way to save the integrity of the fireplace?