Question: I have a woodburning fireplace that has been converted to unvented gas logs. the hearth walls inside are metal and are black with some rusted areas. Would it be practical and efficient to install bright shiny metal panels on the hearth wall in back of and to each side of the logs. Answer: It would probably not make a big difference in heating capacity. The black does soak up some heat, but re-radiates much of this. You can spray the panels with high-temperature paint. Make certain it is 1200 degree paint like Thurmalox or Forest Paint (Stove bright). You may get an odor when you fire the logs the first few times after applying the paint. This should stop as soon as the paint cures.