How to ...paint period fireplaces


By The Newsroom
Saturday, 26th December 2015, 4:00 pm
A feature fireplace. Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.
A feature fireplace. Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.

Many period fireplaces, especially Victorian ones, have intricate metal surrounds and/or inserts, which are beautiful but tricky to paint.

I find that using a water-based metal paint makes things easier, as it’s less likely to run than most oil-based paints, and dries quickly. You still need to watch out for runs and drips - go over them with an almost-dry paintbrush - but you’ll get a good finish relatively easily. Perhaps a better option is using a good spray paint, such as Ronseal Quick Drying All Surface Paint (£9.48 for 400ml, B&Q) - apply it in thin coats or it will run.


Great looking and great value spotlights are hard to find, but the Bullet range from Wickes ticks both boxes. These spotlights are mainly brushed chrome and come in different shapes and sizes - a single spotlight, a two-spotlight bar (curved), a three-spotlight round plate, a four-spotlight bar (curved) and a six-spotlight bar (can be straight or angled). All the spots are adjustable, so you can angle them to where you need light, and prices start at £7.99 for the single spotlight (reduced from £9.99, Wickes).

The six-spotlight bar (£23.99, Wickes), which is also reduced, is particularly good value, even at its normal price of £29.99. This would make a fantastic alternative in kitchens and bathrooms (in outside zones only) to downlight spotlights, which are very expensive to have fitted. The six-spot Bullet is massive, at 180cm long, so it’s especially suited to long rooms that would benefit from being flooded with light - if your room’s smaller, there’s a Wickes Bullet to suit.