Painting brass fireplace doors

This is not a how-to post. I had mixed results with this project, and I’m not sure what to recommend. However, I’m calling it good enough for now, and if I encounter a solution to improve it, I’ll think about trying it.

What happened?

I bought Rustoleum High Heat black spray paint for the brass fireplace doors. I wiped down the brass and let it dry. I was in a hurry because I wanted to paint outside, and my project had already been derailed by an inconvenient rainstorm the day before. It may have been a little breezy. Anyway, I covered the glass doors with newspaper and painter’s tape, shook the can well, and covered the brass with several light coats of paint.

Mostly due to the breeze, I think, the sheen on the finished piece was terribly uneven. Splotchy. BAD. We carried it into the garage to dry, and I left it there for several days. Finally, I bought a can of High Heat Ultra paint, which has a semi-gloss finish. I went over everything with steel wool, rubbing away all the rough spots. I wiped it down again and tried the new paint (this time in the garage on a very still day). It was definitely better, but it’s not perfect.

If you get up close, you can still see patches of uneven sheen. I don’t know exactly what to do to correct it–use some kind of clear coat? The good news is, most people aren’t examining the paint finish of our fireplace doors. From afar, they’re fine. I would like to park the cars in the garage again, so I went ahead and put the doors back on the fireplace (complete with a new strip of insulation).

I can’t wait to hang some bright artwork above the fireplace. I’m tempted to buy a large canvas and give it to Little Five, who has been painting his heart out lately.

I’m not sure what’s next. Refinish the coffee table? Paint the walls? I’m still pondering the best (and cheapest) option for better shelving on either side of the fireplace. I like the minimal look of the white and black, and I’m wondering now if wall-mounted shelves might be the way to go. Preferably nothing I have to spray paint.

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