Is Chalk Paint Heat Resistant

Chalk paint has become a popular medium for DIYers who want to upgrade or flip their furniture. It is easy to use and works on multiple surfaces like wood, bricks, and glass without priming in many cases.

But when painting our homes and furniture with chalk paint, we also need to consider durability and safety. Is it safe to apply chalk paint on any part of our home? In particular, what about high-temperature places such as a fireplace?

Is chalk paint heat-resistant? Read on to find out.

Is chalk paint heat-resistant?

Note that heat resistant and flame resistant are not interchangeable terms.

Heat-resistant paints are typically specialty paints that can withstand high temperatures of up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit (649 degrees Celcius). These paints are typically used for stoves, cast iron, and grills.

Chalk paint can’t withstand the same temperatures as specialty heat-resistant paints and will shrivel and crack when exposed to high temperatures such as the lid of a grill.

However, many chalk paint brands can withstand temperatures of up to 220 degrees Fahrenheit (104 degrees Celsius). In turn, chalk paint can be used on radiators, and on fire surrounds (the exterior perimeter of a fireplace opening). 

Nevertheless, you should always check the label of any given chalk paint brand to see the maximum temperature the particular paint brand can be exposed to. 

Related: Can You Use Chalk Paint on Outdoor Furniture?

Is chalk paint flammable?

No. Chalk paint is not flammable. It is a water-based paint medium with low to no VOCs (volatile organic compounds, which are often flammable). Your chalk paint cans will not burst into flames when exposed to extreme heat or fire. And although wood can obviously catch fire, dried chalk paint on the wood surface won’t catch fire in and of itself.

However, although chalk paint isn’t flammable, chalk paint is not flame-retardant. This means that if a chalk-painted surface catches fire, the paint won’t slow down the spread of the fire.

For example, if you used chalk paint on untreated wood and it caught fire, the flame could still spread throughout the entire piece of wood and potentially other surfaces. 

Using chalk paint on a brick fireplace

Chalk paint adheres well on numerous surfaces, even brick! Naturally, chalk paint is a fantastic way to give your fireplace some charm and character. Not only that but there are many popular chalk painting styles you can employ when chalk painting fireplaces. 

For example, whitewashing, a painting technique that results in a washed-out effect on surfaces, may need only one coat of chalk paint. While a complete color change will require two coats of paint on your fireplace.

Related: How to Paint Over Chalk Paint (The Right Way)

Is chalk paint safe for a brick fireplace?

Chalk paint can withstand heat coming from a fireplace. It’s perfectly safe to use around the perimeter of the opening of a brick fireplace.

However, since chalk paint is not a fire-resistant paint it should only be applied on the outside of your brick fireplace. For inside the fireplace or the firebox, always use heat-resistant, fire-resistant paint for longevity and safety.

How to apply chalk paint to a brick fireplace

Painting with chalk paint is easy, even on brick fireplaces. You only need the chalk paint in your color choice and a brush.

But before you put your first stroke of paint on the brick, you need to thoroughly clean your fireplace. First, sweep all ash, dust, and melted wax, even in the firebox. Then, create a mixture of a few cups of warm water and a squirt of dish soap. Soak a clean rag in the solution and wipe down the brick around your fireplace. Regularly rinse your rag and resoak it since it will likely build up with soot, and ash relatively quickly 

After cleaning your fireplace, tape off all areas you don’t want to be painted (such as the wall around the fireplace). Then, start with a small brush, like a craft brush, to paint over grout lines. After this, grab a bigger brush or a roller to paint over the brick surface around the fireplace.

The paint will dry and cure in about 24 hours. After the paint cures, apply a layer of wax or polyacrylic to your chalk paint to protect it. After all, chalk paint is notoriously prone to scuffing without a protective coat.

Consider specialty high-heat paint

It’s perfectly fine to use chalk paint on high-temperature areas like a backsplash in the kitchen and around the fireplace. However, there are certain scenarios where specialty high-heat paint may be the better choice.

High-heat paint is designed to withstand temperatures upwards of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit (649 degrees Celcius). It is typically composed of inorganic pigments and polysilicon alkoxide as a binder solution. While it’s commonly used in industrial settings, high-heat paints can also be applied in high-heat areas at home. These areas of the home include: 

  • BBQ grills and pizza ovens: Grills and pizza ovens absolutely require paint that can resist high levels of heat. These devices may reach 500°F (260°C), making heavy-duty heat-resistant enamel paints the ideal choice for repainting.
  • Chimneys: You can use chalk paint around the opening of fireplaces but high-heat paint is a must for inside fireplaces. Only heat-resistant paints can withstand the intense heat emitted by fire inches away from the walls of the fireplace. 
  • Fire pits: Although it might not make sense to paint the inside of a fire pit, heat-resistant paint is the best choice for the outer body of metal fire pits. 
  • Arts and crafts: Under some circumstances, you may need high-heat paint for making arts and crafts. For example, light bulbs can get as hot as 300°F (~149°C). If you’re painting lightbulbs, specialty heat-resistant glass paint is ideal. 

Much more preparation is needed when working with high-heat paints compared to chalk paint. Additionally, these paints typically come in jet black and tend to be much more expensive than water-based paint. This is all to say that high-heat paints are a purely practical solution and should only be used when completely necessary. For fire surrounds or other areas that don’t need specialty high-heat paint, feel free to stick with chalk paint. 



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