The fireplace wasn't made of real wood so I started to get a little scared about painting it. It has a super glossy finish to the "wood" so I used Sherwin Williams pro-block oil-based primer. Then I painted about 4 coats of creamy white latex paint, and about 3 coasts of black on the base section. I still need to give it a good poly coat to keep it durable, but the paint is sticking and not scratching up like I thought it might.
Its great to "click on the fire" at night to give our movie watching a little ambiance.