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Q.I need to paint an interior brick wall in a bedroom, and I’m not sure what type of paint to use. Because the brick wall includes the back of a fireplace, I’m worried that the heat from the fireplace might affect the selection or durability of the paint.

A.Painter Dan Greenough, a member of PaintCraft Associates, a San Francisco Bay-area guild of professional finishers, responds: If the bedroom can be occupied comfortably while the fireplace is in use, the bricks are probably not hot enough to cause durability or color problems with any high-quality paint.

Before painting the brick, inspect the surface for staining that may be the result of water penetration from the outside. If there is a sign of a white crystalline powder (efflorescence) on the surface of the brick, the underlying moisture will cause the paint to fail unless you repair the exterior first. Be sure to clean the surface to provide a sound substrate for good paint adhesion.

The brick should be primed with a good-quality latex stain-killing primer, such as BIN 1-2-3. If the surface is porous and pitted, one or more coats of latex block filler can be applied as the prime coat.

Once the primer is dry, you can paint with two coats of any type of interior paint finish. Good-quality latex paints are easy to use and to clean up. They also dry quickly, so you can put the room back in service without delay.