Join the DIY family!

Painted Fireplace Insert ~ Step-by-Step Tutorial

We may have a sloth’s pace when working on our home, but not by any decision of our own. The key is we get it done. Folks, we are so close to wrapping up our family room remodel that I’m brimming with excitement. For one, it will feel good to be done. Two, I need my house back! haha. Stuffing the contents of the biggest room into the other rooms of your home is not so fun. However, we are appreciating the home we do have. With that, I’m sharing how to update your fireplace insert with a painted fireplace tutorial. Here is said fireplace in question…(see family room remodel reveal in update below)

Farmhouse Style Sandstone Fireplace Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

That beauty and this room has come a long way from where it started 15 years ago. To catch those of you either just joining our fun or maybe missed our past details on our family room remodel, here are some links to check out:


After ripping up the archaic carpeting, we had to build a floating subfloor that needed to come up about 6 inches in order to achieve level status in this room. Yeah…it was that bad. More to come on how we did that. We are about ready to install our hardwoods, build our built-ins, and call this puppy done.

Since we are up to our eyeballs in finishing this off, I couldn’t let the fireplace insert go without a much-needed update. I typically repaint it every couple of years as it’s our main source of heat and works like a beast for us. I’ve created a video tutorial for those of you that prefer to see it in action. You can view that down below.

Left Side of Fireplace with Insert |

Fireplace Insert Door with Chipped Paint and Rust |


While we clean the chimney and insert every year before burning season, it’s been more than a few years since I’ve painted the insert. However, this time around I’d doing it proper-like and changing it up. Big surprise, eh?

Right Side of Fireplace Insert Before Makeover |

Right Side Fireplace Insert Door Wear |

*post sponsored by HomeRight (see full disclosure)

As you can see, the paint has faded and flaked. Also, there’s a bit of rust showing up too. By giving this painted fireplace a refresh, it will not only update its visual appeal, but also keep it running top notch.


First, I can’t say enough how cleaning your surfaces is key to a good finish. Any job is all about the prep work. Having the right tools to make it easier is a bonus. After I use my shop vacuum to suck up the debris, it’s time to really clean.

For a job like this, I pull out my handy SteamMachine Elite. It has all the tools on board for easy access, comes with a tool caddy, and gives me a chemical-free clean like none other. You can see how I’ve used it to clean my kitchen appliances HERE, my car cleaning in these posts, and also my bathroom and floors in this post.

HomeRight SteamMachine Elite with Attachments |

Simply fill it with distilled water using the funnel and cup provided. Then, plug it in and wait for it to build up steam. At first, both lights will be lit, but when it’s ready the orange light will turn off.


Attach the appropriate brush or tip to the nozzle. For my project, I used the large black nylon brush. It will help me removed caked-on soot and not scratch my surfaces. Time to blast away the bluck!

Dirty Fireplace Door Ready for Cleaning |

Steam Cleaning Fireplace Insert with HomeRight SteamMachine Elite |

Cleaning with the SteamMachine is as easy as squeezing the trigger and scrubbing with the brush. You can see it in action in the video below. That soot was no match for my SteamMachine! {{laughs wickedly}}

Steam Cleaning Fireplace Insert Door |

After steaming and scrubbing, use the cloth provided to wipe away the soot. I finish the exterior using the same method

Steam Cleaning Tile on Fireplace Insert |
See the difference? Love it!

Dirty and Clean Tile Comparison Using the HomeRight SteamMachine Elite |

Best part is that it’s all done in a matter of minutes. Easy!

To clean up, let your SteamMachine cool before emptying. Also, wash up accessories with mild soap and water and return to storage compartment.


Next, it’s time to paint. Normally, I would have used my paint sprayer to knock out the painting in a jiffy. You can see how I’ve used it for my past projects here. However, the color I wanted for my painted fireplace insert in a special stove paint was only available in a spray can. I chose to use Bark Brown. I’ve had black for over 15 years and wanted to change. I almost went with a pretty blue. tee hee.

To prep the area, I used a piece of cardboard underneath, hung a tarp to block off the rest of the fireplace, and use painter’s tape to cover the places I didn’t want painted (glass and tile). Also, since the paint is nasty stuff, I opened all the doors and windows, and hung plastic to keep this space separate from the rest of the house. I don’t want the fumes getting pulled into my furnace return ducts and possible causing a BAD hazard. Taking the insert outside would be optimal, but not happening for me at this point.

In addition, you must wear a respirator to protect yourself. I use this one for my DIY projects.

How to Prep and Clean a Fireplace Insert for Painting |

Once you’re ready, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and have at it. I mention how the brand I chose said to apply the layers in the video. In all I did 3 coats to my painted fireplace. The paint only needed to cure for 2 hours before I could get a fire lit again. Yay!

Larissa of Prodigal Pieces shows you how to clean and paint your fireplace surround and insert |


Fireplace is done and I’m one happy mama. Not only did I get my fireplace clean without chemicals, but now it is refreshed and ready to go. SCORE!!

Farmhouse Style Painted Fireplace Insert with full step-by-step video tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #video #home #homedecor #homedecorideas

Stone Farmhouse Fireplace with Insert | DIY tutorial by Prodigal Pieces |

How to Clean & Paint Your Fireplace Insert by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

I’m diggin’ that brown as a great way to keep my neutral, cozy vibe I’m after. However, I haven’t decided yet whether or not to do a hand-painted design to the tile. Also, what to do with that concrete hearth. Hmmm… I think I’m going to wait until we finish a few things to decide what to do next. Thoughts??

Update your fireplace insert with a clean and fresh paint | DIY tutorial by Prodigal Pieces |

Rustic Farmhouse Stone Fireplace with Painted Insert by Prodigal Pieces |

I will be sharing all details as we go and hope to show a final reveal soon. I’m so ready to get cozy in this space. Do you blame me?

Likewise, pin and share this painted fireplace insert tutorial. It is sure to inspire others to give DIY a try.

Ready to update your interior decor? Check out this easy step-by-step video tutorial to rock your painted fireplace makeover. Perfect for inserts, surrounds, and screens | DIY at Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor #homedecorideas #giveaway

Up next, this motley crew is going to get some farmhouse fun. See their new looks HERE in this post.Wooden Thrift Store Items Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |


You can see my final family room remodel reveal in all its glory with our floating floor OVER HERE.

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

blog signature

In addition, more remodeling projects like this painted fireplace tutorial:

Make your house your home by giving it a personal touch. A DIY coffered ceiling is affordable and can be customized to your style. Detail at Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #homedecor #interiordesignFrom dated to old world farmhouse, this kitchen remodel is a must see. Head to Prodigal Pieces for the DIY details on flooring, reclaimed counters, open shelving all on a budget. | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #handmade #remodel #remodeling #kitchen


  1. ColleenB.~Texas says

    what a lovely make-over on your fireplace. It made a world of difference giving it a whole new paint job and steam cleaning it.
    Even tho I try to keep my oven clean, it’s still hard to get every nook and cranny clean so I would first probable tackle my oven and then move onto the bathroom.
    Thank you for this wonderful giveaway opportunity

  2. Dana Miller says

    I love watching all the renovations you are doing. You make it all look so easy. The way you explain your process, the tools and the how shows what a great teacher you are.

    • Larissa says

      Fantastic! We are happy to be able to share as we know we’re not alone in this DIY world. Thank you for the encouragement.

  3. Frances Batson says

    Looks new! As my Mama used to say ” a little work helps the look of things”. I love the steam cleaner.

  4. Gail B says

    I had a steam cleaner at one time. It was wonderful, but somewhere along the way it disappeared in the move from FL to NC. (this is where I make an ugly face!) Looks like the HomeRight might be my next acquisition!
    Love the new look of the insert. Black is the standard and it does get boring. The brown is much more friendly and softer. I can’t wait to see what else you do!

    • Larissa says

      I know how that happens. ugh! Yes, I like that I can change it up and who knows…maybe a new color next time? tee hee!

    • Terri Hughes says

      Great job, the fire place insert looks brand new. Love the color!

  5. Julia Harting says

    Love the brown! Thanks for taking us through all the right steps to do a proper job.

  6. Erin Ellis says

    Your fireplace looks amazing! If I was the lucky winner I would tackle the mud room followed by every other room in the house. Thank you!

    • Larissa says

      Thank you! Lots of love poured into it. We are excited by the potential to be done soon.

  7. Alison S says

    I would clean my shower with it!

  8. Michelle P. says

    What a great idea! It really changes the whole look of the fireplace. As for the Homeright steam cleaner I would definitely use it to clean my bathrooms. I hate cleaning the bathrooms but I think the steam cleaners would make the job so much easier without the nasty chemical smell.

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! It went from stark to cozy and feels much better to see it clean too. You will love this tool!

  9. kelly kayfes says

    I love your work! Your home looks so cozy.

    • Larissa says

      aww…thank you! That is wonderful news as I hope to make it inviting.

  10. Marla says

    It turned out great! Great job as usual! ☺

  11. Cathy says

    I like the brown! Nice choice.

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! It will suit our needs and style. Best part is I can change it in the future if I like. Yay!

  12. Maureen says

    Great job. Love the color. I have a wishing well that is 4 years old outside and it needs a good cleaning and repainting. I’d love this machine for that.

  13. Alicia H says

    Love how your fireplace came out! If I won the steamer I would use it to steam off all the old, ugly, wallpaper and give my walls a coat of paint in fun color.

  14. Kelly D says

    I would clean my foyer tile.

  15. Renee P says

    I love the color that your painted the fireplace surround. It is such a big improvement to the look! If I would win the steamer, I would first go after the back seat of my car. My lovely grandson spilled some slime back there and neglected to tell me. Well, the darn stuff dried and I haven’t found anything to clean that stuff off yet. Maybe a steamer would work! Stinkpot!!!!

    • Larissa says

      We are so pleased with it and are excited to finish. Oh no!! That would be awful!!

  16. Barbara Brannon says

    Wow – what a difference the cleaning and new paint color makes! Great job. I had a thought as to your concrete hearth – my sister had a concrete patio and her son “stained” patterns onto the concrete that made it look like tiles. Looked beautiful – maybe check into that? Would be lots cheaper than adding tiles which can be expensive. Anyway – thanks for the tutorial – would LOVE to have a steamer as my back has gone out and the thoughts of tackling my bathroom makes me cringe! Thanks for all you do –

  17. Lynne Bohman says

    I was blown away by how clean your fireplace windows became by using the steamer. Wow! I have a few places that could use that kind of cleaning power – patio furniture, bathrooms (of course), kitchen, oven. I’d love to see if it would clean our gas grill.

    • Larissa says

      Right?! I am so stoked! (get it…fire…stoked. haha! ):D You will love this thing.

  18. Patricia C says

    The first thing I would tackle are my carpets. I have never really been a fan of using chemicals to clean and sanitize my carpets. I really need to sanitize more often with a cat in our home.

    • Larissa says

      We got rid of our carpets, but use this on our upholstery and works wonders. Also on our rugs. You will love it.

  19. Abby says

    The fireplace turned out lovely,and you’ve got me trying to imagine it blue now too πŸ™‚ The steamer looks totally handy, and I’d probably attack my bathroom with it first!

    • Larissa says

      hee hee. I almost did! I like change too much tho. Maybe one day.

  20. Kimberly says

    The cleaner worked great, but I am blown away by how much better the brown looks with your insert. I can’t wait to see the family room reveal.

    • Larissa says

      Isn’t it amazing the difference it made? I am so excited to get this done. Yay!

  21. Michelle Cotter says

    I would like to use it on the ceramic tile in my sunroom. Curious to see its real color! Ha!

  22. Paula says

    I love the brown; it looks like copper. I didn’t know that a stove could be made to look even warmer! Nice job! I’ve been wanting one of those HomeRight steamers ever since you introduced me to them. I was at a friend’s house a few days ago and she was using one on her laminate floors. I knew then that I need to move that up on my wish list because I don’t know how clean a laminate floor can get with just a damp mop (even with rinsing with clean water in the sink every few swipes). Thanks for the giveaway and tutorial!

    • Larissa says

      That was the draw for me. They have a metallic version too, but I liked this better. Thanks so much! Oh yes…love it on my laminate too. Works like a dream!

  23. Becky says

    Supurb!!! Now I’m wondering if I should go with something other than black next time I repaint MY fireplace?! I was JUST THIS MORNING talking to my husband about you and your steam cleaner!!! I put one on my wish list last time a kid threw up on the couch. There are just too many ways to use on of those puppies! I bet it could do something fabulous on my fridge and oven!

  24. Patty Soriano says

    Wow! what a change! I wish we had some sort of cozy fireplace. But I think I would use my steamer to clean a greenhouse window that I’ve been saving. Thank you for your generosity, Larissa!

    • Larissa says

      So crazy cool! I’m in love with the new look. My pleasure to share. I wish I had enough for everyone.

  25. Melanie Brooks says

    My goodness… I didn’t even realize those were windows until you started cleaning them! ? That steamer is amazing!
    I love that you painted the insert brown. For some reason I never considered changing the color on mine, even though I kinda hate it in black! Thanks for the idea!

    • Larissa says

      ahahaha!! You made me LOL! That soot builds up quick, especially if the wood isn’t seasoned as well. I hadn’t cleaned it yet this year, and do it a few times each season. You should change it up…go WHITE! tee hee.

  26. Dale Cundy says

    Fantastic! The insert looks so nice painted brown. ?

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! It kinda has a bronze feel that suits what I’m after.

  27. Rebecca Drake says

    I love the color! It almost looks bronze in the pics.

    • Larissa says

      It does. The offer a metallic version of this kind of brown, but I preferred this flat look better. I can always change it up later. woot!

  28. Elle says

    I would definitely use this to give my oven a good cleaning as well as my bathroom tile.

  29. Kristina Austin says

    I was not so sure of the brown color when you first mentioned it, but after the reveal I love it! It blends so much nicer with the room! Cross your fingers for me winning this steam cleaner, I am buying a new home in the spring and I know it will get a lot of use!

    • Larissa says

      The black just stuck out like a black thumb. haha! I hope you do and wish you the best on your move.

  30. Nancy Carroll says

    Love the brown color! I think i’d be cleaning floors first if i had the steam machine.

    • Larissa says

      Me too! Thank you. It does an amazing job on all floors.

  31. Linda C Johnston says

    Love the color you chose! I sure wish I win the steamer! It would literally be a God send because my hands no longer work like they used to,

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! I wish I had one for everyone. It’s such a chore helper.

  32. Lorinda Detlor says

    I love the way you refinished your fireplace insert. It really makes the wooden beam mantle pop-!
    If I had a steam machine, I would clean my shower and bathtubs as they are made out of fiberglass material.
    They are old and I cannot after total remodels so I think this steam machine would spruce them up.

    • Larissa says

      You got what I was after. Yay! I’m happy with it and so is my family. win-win. The SteamMachine works wonders in those baths.

  33. Michelle H says

    I bought a steam machine for myself after watching you clean your oven, and I love it!!! I just gave one to my daughter and her fiance for Christmas! If I could win this one, it would go to my oldest son!

  34. Kathy says

    I thought fireplace paint came only in black! Game changer! If I had the steamer I would love to try on our stove insert doors as well. And then I would use on my carpet. How about a skylight? Oh, the possibilities!

    • Larissa says

      Totally!! I think it’s fun to change and makes this mama happy. I have a skylight too!

  35. Audra Taliaferro says

    I have some wallpaper in my study that needs the steam to get off the glue layer. I’ve already peeled off the outer layer but the glue layer isn’t going so well!!! I could definitely use the steam machine for that!

  36. Fran says

    I LUV reading your blog posts! Once again you’ve taught this ‘old dog’ a new trick!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Larissa says

      Aww…you just made my day, Fran. Thank you for that. I work hard to share my ideas and projects.

  37. Leslie says

    Fascinating tutorial and what a cool steam machine. Impressive results! Thanks for sharing and offering the give-away with HomeRight.

    • Larissa says

      I’m delighted to hear it, Leslie. Thank you. I know someone’s gonna love this machine! πŸ˜€

  38. Diana says

    Another awesome refresh project! I can’t get over what a great job that little steamer did on your fireplace insert. I would love to have one to tackle little home projects like the shower and oven!

    • Larissa says

      So fun! Thank you. It is fantastic to use and so handy too.

  39. Patty Lucas says

    I have a pellet stove that is filthy. This would clean it beautifully. Thanks for doing this!

  40. Nita Chojnicki says

    This was a big undertaking on your part. It is a job well done and I absolutely the color brown that you chose. It goes great for the fireplace wall.

    • Larissa says

      It was so nice to have it done in a day and so easily too. Thank you.

  41. Beverly Ebersole says

    Love you makeover on the fireplace insert. I would do some house cleaning, oven, shower etc.

    • Larissa says

      Thank you. You will love the SteamMachine for those jobs.

  42. Lisa Wilson says

    Love the brown! What a difference some paint makes

    • Larissa says

      You can say that again. Paint is wonderful when used right. Thanks! πŸ˜‰

  43. Penny says

    I’d use it to clean the bathroom shower door, well actually the whole bathroom, sinks, shower, tub. Then everything would look just great

  44. Marilyn Nawara says

    I would use it to clean the tile floor and floorboards in my sunroom. This would make the job much easier.

  45. Lindsay A. says

    I love reading about your projects & seeing all the ways you channel your creativity! πŸ˜€ I would tackle the kitchen floor first with the HomeRight SteamMachine Elite, then all the window seals!

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! Those windows seals can drive me crazy, but NO MORE. πŸ˜‰

  46. Tori says

    Wow Larissa! That is absolutely stunning! Have you thought of doing a painted faux brick pattern on the concrete hearth? Just need paint and a sponge!
    If I had the Home Right steamer I think my first project would be all the linoleum in this mobile home! Or maybe the toilet in the boys bathroom. Yeah. Boys toilet! That would be first for sure Ha!

    • Larissa says

      Thanks, Tori! πŸ˜€ I have considered that and many things. Time will tell what will be the most effective and easy way to go. I can’t wait to be done with our room. Too funny!

  47. Mya Murphy says

    What a lovely makeover for your fireplace.. I need this for our entire condo!!!

  48. Cindy B says

    I’d go after our teenage boy’s bathroom, ewww!

  49. Cindy Brannon says

    You have inspired once again……. I would try it on our fireplace insert also!

  50. dianne anderson says

    I have learned so many new things in just one post – that paint is a game changer!

  51. Tim says

    I would try the steam cleaner in my bathroom, specifically on the grout lines.

    When I first saw the headline I thought you were prepping the brick to be painted. That is a job you can’t undo!!!

    • Larissa says

      Oh yes…it’s like therapy to see that grime go buh-bye. haha. So I freaked you out, eh? No way, I’d paint sandstone. πŸ˜€

  52. Angie C. says

    Love the fireplace. That mantel?.
    I would definitely steam my stove. Then bathroom shower door and tile.
    Thank you for the giveaway.

  53. Cindy Downing says

    I’m loving the brown. Just seems more cozy, comfy

    • Larissa says

      It think so too. I can’t wait to see it all come together.

  54. Jeremy McLaughlin says

    Would first clean the bathroom with it.

  55. Danelle says

    I love the brown! It made a huge difference! The steam machine is wonderful. Thanks for doing awesome giveaway.

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! I think so too. It just seems more cozy now. My pleasure!

  56. Pamela Bolton says

    What a difference a little steam made. I am impressed. I would love to try one on my hubby’s shower, my tile floors and the concrete on my front porch. I love a machine that seems to work like magic and makes my life easier.

  57. Joann Arredondo says

    Beautiful job! Love the softer color!

  58. Cassandra D says

    First, I would tackle the bathroom with my HomeRight SteamMachine Elite.

  59. ae minx says

    I love DIY like this, Make me feel like maybe I can do it too.. I’d love to tackle some ares of the bathroom with that steam cleaner

  60. Erin says

    I’d wait for the next snow day and do a top to bottom cleaning starting with the baseboards.

  61. Nick F. says

    I’m all about DIY, this is a great tutorial. I would tackle our bathroom and some outdoor patio furniture & fixtures with the steam cleaner.

    • Larissa says

      Glad to hear it, Nick. I’m eager to do our outdoor area too. Now for the snow to melt… πŸ™‚

  62. Eileen Boyce says

    I would love to use it on the ceramic tile in our bathroom and sitting room. Your insert looks great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Client Love

I love it! Larissa is amazing. She listened to what I wanted and then she took care of the rest! This is my second piece I've bought from her and I'm in love! I highly recommend her.

~ Laurel

Prodigal Pieces

~ Laurel

I love it! Larissa is amazing. She listened to what I wanted and then she took care of the rest! This is my second piece I've bought from her and I'm in love! I highly recommend her.

I love this cart, it's exquisite. The item was received in extremely secure packaging, no damage to the item. The delivery person was very professional and courteous. Larissa of Prodigal Pieces is so very amazing. A rating of 10 is deserved. Thank you, Larissa.

~ Stephanie

Prodigal Pieces

~ Stephanie

I love this cart, it's exquisite. The item was received in extremely secure packaging, no damage to the item. The delivery person was very professional and courteous. Larissa of Prodigal Pieces is so very amazing. A rating of 10 is deserved. Thank you, Larissa.

I should have left this review MONTHS ago! I absolute love this lunch bag. I honestly carry this 5 days a week. It is the perfect size! Not only can you put your lunch in it, it can also hold your book. I enjoy reading at lunch, so I have all I need in one cute bag. Thank you so much Larissa!

~ Mikki

Prodigal Pieces

~ Mikki

I should have left this review MONTHS ago! I absolute love this lunch bag. I honestly carry this 5 days a week. It is the perfect size! Not only can you put your lunch in it, it can also hold your book. I enjoy reading at lunch, so I have all I need in one cute bag. Thank you so much Larissa!

Awww…I love this sweet Cat with an attitude!! SO SO adorable! Well worth the money, and he will become a priceless treasure in my home! Thanks Larissa for always making your ideas turn into true treasures!

~ Sharon

Prodigal Pieces

~ Sharon

Awww…I love this sweet Cat with an attitude!! SO SO adorable! Well worth the money, and he will become a priceless treasure in my home! Thanks Larissa for always making your ideas turn into true treasures!

Perfect purchase from start to finish! Absolutely adorable piece so creatively thought out. Packed with the greatest of care with lightening fast delivery. Very customer-oriented and friendly crafter. Could not ask for more! Thank you!

~ Deanna

Prodigal Pieces

~ Deanna

Perfect purchase from start to finish! Absolutely adorable piece so creatively thought out. Packed with the greatest of care with lightening fast delivery. Very customer-oriented and friendly crafter. Could not ask for more! Thank you!
Prodigal Pieces