Tiling around painted brick fireplace.

Hello,
My fireplace is surrounded by painted brick. It doesn't look great. Over the years I've tried changing the colour but have been dissappointed with the result. Despite washing the surface down with sugar soap I always seem to get paint bubbles when the job dries. I decided it would be nice to tile the fireplace surround but again I am concerned about adhesion. How should I prepare the surface for tiling? My local hardware store recommended installing a sheet of villaboard first and tiling over that. Is villaboard difficult to work with? Do I need special tools? Should I hire a pro instead?
ThankYou.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You need to do some research to see if you are capable. Installing backerboard or Wonderboard is not difficult - use Tapcons or similar. Figure out the sizes so that whole tiles and trim come out well. Plan on a thinset install rather than mastic if it will be exposed to heat.
--
______________________________
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.