updating 1950s fireplace- to seal or not to seal

3 years ago

We just bought a home built in 1958. We have two fireplaces both with a faux marble hearth. From what I can tell, it looks like the hearths are made out of cement with a plaster, faux marble finish.

Ive started with the basement fireplace, white washing the brick (same bright red textured brick as the outside of the house) and then sanded, primered and painted the hearth/mantle. My question is about sealing that paint. I don't anticipate using the fireplace often but am not ruling it out. I used regular eggshell latex paint. I've considered sealing the paint with Polycrilic but I dont think that will give any protection against the heat. Other sealants (ones that need heat to get out bubbles or are strong smelling) wont work for our family. So I am wonder if there are any other options or if I can just leave it as a painted surface.

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