What is the Best Paint Finish for a Fireplace?

To get the best paint finish for a fireplace you must first understand something called a paint sheen. A paint sheen is how shiny paint is. There are five levels of glossiness on a paint sheen. It starts with glossy, semi-gloss, satin, eggshell, and flat paint. All these levels of sheen are perfect on different types of fireplaces.

The material used to build the fireplace is the main factor that will affect the paint sheen you will use. For example, a brick fireplace will match a semi-gloss paint finish well. Get more details below on the paint sheens and type of fireplace.

Paint Sheen Finish and Fireplace Material

1. High gloss paint finish

This is the ultra-shiny paint finish. It reflects light and is durable. The thumb rule states that the glossy the paint, the more durable it is. It is easy to clean and is best in areas that attract sticky fingers, like the cabinet. This paint finish is not the best for a fireplace wall because it reflects too much light. However, you can apply it to the mantel edges to create a perfect finish.

2. Semi-gloss paint finish

This is the paint finish for high traffic areas. It can handle most stains and is easy to clean. This means it is the best finish for a brick or stone fireplace. It is not too shiny like the high gloss hence it will go well with the fireplace flames. In the case of a wood-burning fireplace, this finish will hide the soot and smoke stains.

3. Satin

This is also the best paint finish for high traffic areas. It is easy to clean and very neutral with the way it shines. It can be the best finish on a limestone fireplace. It will stick to the limestone and handle the heat. This stain requires an expert to apply it because it quickly shows the flaw. It can reveal the brush strokes, so use a roller with this finish.

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4. Eggshell

As the name suggests, this paint finish is closely related to the chicken’s eggshell. It is not shiny but also not flat. It is an excellent paint finish for any type of fireplace. The eggshell finish will match the fireplace flames and minimum reflection in the house. It will not show soot but it will be tricky to clean it. You can use a roller or a brush to apply this finish.

5. Flat

This is the last finish available on the paint sheen. It is the best finish if you want to hide something on the wall. It is not the best finish for a fireplace because it will make it look old. But you can apply it with other finishes to create a better touch. It is also hard to clean, so wood-burning fireplaces are a bad idea. It is not durable enough to last long on a fireplace.

How to Paint a Stucco Fireplace (Mantel)

What you need

  • Soft brush
  • 2 gallons of clean water
  • Painters tape
  • Painting brush/roller
  • Drop cloth

Step 1

Clean the stucco mantel using soap and water. First, remove the dust and dirt then wash it with water. Gently scrub the stucco with a soft brush to avoid dislodging the plaster. After cleaning, allow the mantel to dry.

Step 2

Attach the painter’s tape on the edges of the mantel; doing so will help you align the paint on the stucco. Also, spread a drop cloth on the floor near the fireplace. The drop cloth will ensure the floor remains clean after the job.

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Step 3

Take up your painting brush and apply two coats of the latex primer. This helps to block future stains and it is the best foundation for the next coat of finishes. A roller will do the faster but a brush is easy to control.

Step 4.

Now pick up your finished paint and apply two heavy coats. Concentrate on one place before you move to the next section. Use the back and forth motion to apply the finished paint. The stucco is already dark, so the flat or eggshell paint sheen will go well.

Step 5

Step back and assess your work to see if it requires another coat. For better appearance apply the third coat as a finishing touch.


The best paint finish for a fireplace is the semi-gloss, satin, and eggshell. The high gloss finish is too shiny, and it will reflect the flames in your home. The flat finish is too dark and hard to clean. However, a flat finish can go on a stucco fireplace. Wooden fireplaces match perfectly with a semi-gloss paint finish. Always clean your fireplace to extend the life of your paint finish.

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