Wipe down with vinegar to rid the area of grease.Clean off any soot or smoke stains.
Buy a gallon of Zinzer B-I-N and start painting with a thick 4 inch brush.
Apply abour three coats paying particular attention to filling in the mortar areas.
Get another gallon of good quality latex paint. Use semi gloss. Brush on and apply another three coats.
You can do this in less coats, you will find out the more coats you apply the more filled in it looks and you have a more smoother fireplace that becomes very easy to clean up.
If you have a small waggner power sprayer, that will work good also. I prefer the brush it gets more on the fire place.
You will love the results.
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