Moderator Post (s) for this thread: >TSPbydoug seibert on 08/13/2004
I'm sorry none of us could convince you that painting the fireplace is not the 'best' thing for a home's value and look. (Again, you'll have to CLEAN the soot off of the paint too once it gets gummed-up.) And brick is meant to breathe, and so on.
As far as how to use TSP, keep the dog outside or locked up in another room. The directions are on the canister. I'll spare you the simple instructions because they're simple. My best to ya and hope this helps.
PS: (Yes, sometimes we can be a pain in the butt, BUT, for what we consider the right reason(s) from our perspective.)