Fireplace Ceramic Tile Surround 

  • Sarah Engler and Alexis Givens

What You'll Need

  • One gallon Ace Stain Halt Latex Blocking Primer & Sealer (about $22, acehardware.com for store locations).
  • One gallon Benjamin Moore Regal AquaGlo Semi-Gloss latex (shown in Decorator’s White; $37, benjaminmoore.com for store locations).
  • One quart Pratt & Lambert RedSeal Semi-Gloss latex (shown in Ventana; $14 to $16, prattandlambert.com for store locations).
  • Two packs 80-grit sandpaper (about $4 each at hardware stores).
  • China- or natural-bristle paintbrush (from $6 at hardware stores).

How to Do It

Step 1: Sand the tile to roughen the glazed surface; otherwise the paint will adhere in patches or not at all. Sand in small X patterns by going diagonally in one direction, then over the tile again along the opposite diagonal until you can feel that it is no longer slick.

 Step 2: With a brush, apply a “blocking” primer, which will keep any old soot and smoke stains on the tiles from bleeding through your topcoat. Let dry for 24 hours. Painter beware: High heat and flammable paint are a disastrous combination, so the firebox (interior) is strictly off-limits, as are fire screens.

 Step 3: Apply two coats of semigloss latex paint to the tile, waiting at least two hours between coats. Semigloss will give the tile a nice shine and make it easy to clean.