Fire pits are a great addition to the garden, but they are prone to rust. If yours has seen better days, you may be wondering whether you can paint it or not.
You absolutely can paint your fire pit and get more use out of it. You need a specific heat-resistant paint that can stand up to temperatures of at least 800 Celsius for it to be safe.
If you have never used heat-resistant paint before, or you are unsure how to paint your fire pit, read on to find out everything you need to know.
Can You Paint the Inside of a Fire Pit?
The short answer is no – you can’t paint the inside of a fire pit. The reason for this is that, well, it’s a fire pit! The heat and flames would eventually cause any paint to peel and flake off and if you use the wrong kind of paint, it could be a fire hazard. Burning paint will release a lot of toxic fumes, which is the last thing you want when you’re trying to relax around your fire pit in the evening.
Can You Refinish an Old Rusty Fire Pit?
Yes, you can refinish an old rusty fire pit by painting it with rust-resistant paint. When your fire pit is looking worn and tired and it’s covered in rust, you can bring it back to life. Using a rust remover before sanding and cleaning it will strip away all of the surface rust. You can then paint it to get it looking good as new.
However, bear in mind that this is only an option if the metal is in good condition still. If the rust is a surface layer and the metal underneath is still solid, you’re fine. But if the rust has eaten all the way through and there are holes, it is too late to bring your fire pit back. Using it with holes in is a fire hazard as the embers will spill out.
Can You Spray Paint a Fire Pit?
Yes, you can spray paint a fire pit but it’s important to use the right kind of paint. You need to use outdoor enamel paint that is specifically designed for metal. If you don’t, the paint will not last long and will start to peel and flake off. It’s also important to make sure that the paint is heat resistant, so it can withstand the flames.
Spray painting is one of the easiest options for your fire pit because you’ll get great coverage and it’s quick and easy to apply.
What’s the Best Paint for a Fire Pit?
You need a high-quality exterior paint that is designed to withstand heat to paint your fire pit.
Rust-Oleum High Heat Enamel Spray Paint is one of the best options on the market. It can withstand heat up to 1000 Celsius, so it’s more than capable of dealing with the heat from your fire pit. It has an excellent deep black color and is available in other shades too. The satin finish is nice and it’s also rust-resistant, so you can protect your fire pit for longer.
Rutland Hi-Temp Paint is a great option too. It protects against heat up to 1200 Celsius, and you don’t need a primer, so it’s easy to apply. It bonds well to a variety of materials like aluminum, cast iron, and most other metals. It also works on brick too, so it’s a good choice for BBQs as well as fire pits.
POR-15 High Temperature Paint is a brush on paint, so it’s not quite as easy to apply, but it gives great protection. It is designed to stand up against the elements, which is ideal for a fire pit that is outside a lot. It is safe in temperatures up to 1200 Celsius.
4. AW Perkins Stove Paint
If you are particularly concerned about the heat that your fire pit puts out, you can play it safe with AW Perkins Stove Paint. This paint can withstand temperatures up to 1400 Celsius, so there’s no need to worry about it, even in a large fire pit.
What is High Heat Paint?
High heat paint is specifically designed to withstand high temperatures. It is usually an enamel or a lacquer and it is available in spray paint form or as a brush-on paint. It is important to use high heat paint on any object that will be exposed to high temperatures, like a fire pit.
How to Paint a Fire Pit (Step-by-step)
If your fire pit is rusted and you want to bring it back to life, you can clean the rust off and paint it. Follow these basic steps to paint your fire pit:
1. Remove rust
If there is a large buildup of rust, you need to remove the bulk of it before you get started with cleaning and sanding the fire pit. You can get a rust remover which you apply to the fire pit and leave for a while until it breaks down the rust. You can then use a wire brush to scrub away the majority of the rust.
Once you have removed the rust, you need to clean the fire pit. This will remove any dirt and ash that has built up on it over the years. You can use warm soapy water and a wire wool pad to scrub the fire pit. This will get rid of any dirt as well as any flaking paint and small patches of rust that remain. Thoroughly cleaning the fire creates a good surface for the paint to bond with, improving the finish and the longevity of the paint.
Before you start painting, you need to sand the fire pit. This will remove any bumps and give a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to. It will also get rid of any loose paint that you missed when cleaning. Use relatively rough sandpaper (100-150 grit) to create the perfect surface.
4. Wipe down
After you have sanded the fire pit, you need to wipe it down with a damp cloth. This will remove any dust from sanding as well as any rust particles that may have been created. It’s important to make sure that the fire pit is clean before you start painting because otherwise, the paint won’t adhere properly and will flake off easily. You can also get a very rough finish if there is a lot of dust on the surface when you apply the paint.
Use an old cloth and some denatured alcohol to properly clean off all of the dust and ensure that the surface is primed for painting.
Now you are ready to start painting. It’s best to use spray paint designed for high temperatures. This will give the best coverage and will be the most durable. You can also use brush-on paint, but it can be more difficult to apply evenly.
If you are using a brush-on paint, start by applying it in the middle of the fire pit and then use a brush to spread it outwards. Be sure to work in small sections and to avoid creating any drips or runs. If you are using spray paint, hold the can about 18 inches away from the surface and spray evenly. Apply 2-3 coats for best results.
Check the directions on the paint before starting to see whether you need a primer or not. Some paints do need primer first while others are self-priming.
Now all that’s left to do is enjoy your fire pit!
How to Prevent a Fire Pit from Rusting?
Taking steps to avoid rust is the easiest way to keep your fire pit in good condition. Firstly, think about how you store your fire pit. If you keep it covered when not in use, this will help to prevent any moisture from getting to the metal and causing rust.
If you have a steel fire pit, you should oil it regularly. This will help to create a barrier between the metal and the air, preventing moisture from getting to it. Using specially formulated oil on the fire pit after each use can help improve its longevity a lot.
You should also make sure that you clean your fire pit regularly. This will remove any dirt or ash that has built up on the surface and will help to keep rust at bay. Use a dry cloth to reduce the amount of moisture on the metal.
When you finish using your fire pit, don’t put water on it to douse the flames. The rapid drop in temperature can cause the finish to crack. The water then gets into these cracks and the metal underneath will start to rust. It’s much better for the fire pit if you let the flames die down on their own.
Keep these simple care tips in mind and you can prevent rust so you don’t need to refinish your fire pit as often.
How Long Will Paint Last on a Painted Fire Pit?
It really depends on the quality of the paint that you use as well as how well it is applied. If you use good-quality, heat-resistant paint and apply it properly, it should last for several years. However, if you don’t take care of it properly or if you use a lower-quality paint, it may start to peel or chip after just a few months.
It’s important to remember that the paint is only protecting the surface of the fire pit and that it will still eventually rust if the metal isn’t protected. Regular maintenance is key to keeping your painted fire pit looking good for as long as possible.
Can You Use Rust-Oleum on a Fire Pit?
Yes, Rust-Oleum is an excellent choice for your fire pit as long as you use their specific heat-resistant paint. Standard Rust-Oleum only withstands heat up to 200 Celsius, which is nowhere near enough for a fire pit that can reach a heat of up to 800 Celsius.
Can You Use Tremclad Rust Paint on a Fire Pit?
Tremclad Rust Paint is not suitable for fire pits as it does not withstand high enough heat. The gloss finish only withstands heat up to 350 Celsius while the aluminum finish withstands heat up to 550 Celsius. That falls very short of the average temperature on the outside of a fire pit, which is usually around 800 Celsius.
Will a Painted Fire Pit Emit Fumes?
Paint fumes can be dangerous if inhaled, so it’s important to make sure that the area is well-ventilated when you are painting your fire pit. Once the paint is dry, there should be no more fumes emitted. As long as you use the right type of paint, it will be more than capable of dealing with the heat and won’t release fumes.
Can I Roast Food Over a Painted Fire Pit?
Yes, you can roast food over a painted fire pit as long as you use heat-resistant paint. Just make sure that the paint is fully dry before you start using the fire pit. Painted fire pits work just like any other fire pit when it comes to cooking food.
Can a Painted Fire Pit Catch on Fire?
Again, this depends on whether you have used the right paint or not. The paint itself will not catch fire if it is designed to be heat resistant. However, there is always some level of risk when using a fire pit. It’s important that you use a heat mat if you put it on your decking, and you are careful with any sparks and embers, especially on grassy areas.
Painting your fire pit is a simple job and it can bring a rusty piece of junk back to life. The most important thing is that you find a heat-resistant paint that can withstand temperatures of at least 800 Celsius, if not more. Jump into your comfy fire pit chair and enjoy your new looking outdoor fire pit.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.