Can You Paint a Log Burner?
Is your log burner looking a little tired and rough around the edges? Or perhaps you want to give your old log burner a new leash of life and change its colour? Whatever the reason, you may be wondering if it’s possible to paint a log burner. Keep reading because the Trade Price Flues team is about to tell you!
Is it okay to paint a log burner?
Let’s start with the answer you’re looking for.
Yes. It’s definitely possible to paint a log burner.
But, with one important caveat; you need to use the right type of paint.
Log burning stoves can reach very high temperatures, with some capable of reaching as much as 480ºC (or higher). As such you should avoid using regular, run of the mill paints.
Under high temperatures, normal paints are likely to discolour, bubble and flake off.
Instead, you should always use a heat resistant paint on log burners.
Why do you need to paint a log burner?
Is it really necessary to paint a log burner? Not always.
Nearly all log burners are manufactured from either steel or cast iron, which is then painted with a coating of heat-resistant paint.
This coating of paint not only provides a nice, consistent look to a stove, but also covers up the bare metal beneath (as well as any welds or other manufacturing marks).
Provided you’ve bought a good quality stove, then this ‘factory paint job’ should last a very long time.
However, there can be a number of reasons why you may need to add a fresh coating of paint to your log burner.
This is the main reason why you may need to repaint your stove.
Overfiring refers to the situation where you burn fires that are too hot for your stove. This occurs either because you’ve added too much fuel to your stove or you’re allowing too much oxygen to reach the fire (or both).
Wood burning stoves are designed to operate within certain temperature bands. Go above those by overfiring your stove and you can cause permanent damage to it.
Repeated and prolonged overfiring of your stove can lead to damage to the stove’s paintwork (as well as other parts of the stove).
Tip - you’ll usually be able to find your stove’s optimal operating temperatures in the instruction manual included with the stove.
Even if you run your stove properly and don’t overfire it, after a long enough time it’s likely that it will benefit from a fresh coat of paint.
That’s entropy after all. Over a long enough timeline, you’ll need to refresh things.
Perhaps you want your log burner to look a little different from all of the others out there?
Whilst the majority of stoves are black, it’s possible to buy heat resistant paint in different colours including white, cream, red and silver.
So, you really can give your stove a personal, unique touch.
What types of heat resistant paint are there?
If you’re thinking of painting your log burner for whatever reason, what are your options when it comes to heat resistant paint?
Well, you have two options:
> Heat resistant liquid paint in a tin.
> Heat resistant spray paint.
Here at Trade Price Flues we would strongly recommend using heat resistant spray paint as it’s much easier to achieve a smooth, uniform finish.
It’s also generally less messy and more economical than using liquid paint from a tin.
Vitcas Heat Resistant Paint
Shop Now - Vitcas Heat Resistant Paint
For us, there’s only one brand to trust when it comes to heat resistant spray paint and that’s Vitcas.
Vitcas is a global manufacturer of the finest quality refractory products and high-temperature insulation material. They’ve been making heat-resistant products since 1882 and this experience and pedigree really shows through in their modern products such as their spray paint.
Based on a silicone resin, their heat resistant spray paint is heat resistant up to 800ºC (far higher than the operating temperature of most stoves), and a 400ml can like the ones we sell will cover an area of 1.5 square metres.
Because of the way Vitcas’ heat resistant spray paint is formulated, it will provide a smooth decorative finish to your stove whilst also providing protection against corrosion.
Vitcas’ heat resistant spray paint is available in black, white, cream, red and silver colours.
How do you paint a log burner?
Painting a log burner is a straightforward task that requires preparation, patience and a few basic items.
What you will need
In order to give your log burner a quality paint job, you will require:
> A place to carry out the paint job.
> Methylated spirits.
> A clean, dry, lint-free, cloth.
> Stove spray paint (how many cans you require depends on the size of your stove).
> Safety glasses.
> Face mask.
With all of these things in place, you can begin the job.
Step 1: position your stove
We wouldn’t recommend trying to paint your stove whilst it’s installed.
Make sure you have fully disconnected it from the flue liner and moved it to a well ventilated space where you’ll be able to reach every angle of the stove with your spray paint.
Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that there’s nothing in the immediate vicinity which could get accidentally sprayed too.
Step 2: clean the stove
Before you reach for that spray can or sandpaper, you first want to give the stove a thorough clean all over. Make sure that you remove any oil, graphite, ash, soot or other burned-on substances from the surface of the stove.
Do this by applying some methylated spirits to your lint-free cloth and thoroughly rubbing it all over the surface of your log burner.
Once this has dried and you are confident that you’ve eliminated all of the dirt and detritus from your stove’s surface, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Step 3: remove the existing paint
By rubbing methylated spirits all over your stove, you’ll have started the paint removal process.
You should now use your sandpaper to sand the stove and attack any old paint that may be bubbling or flaking.
Whilst you may not be able to remove every single last bit of paint, the important thing is that you end up with a smooth, flat, uniform surface for your new paint to adhere to.
Step 4: painting the stove
With your stove fully ‘prepped’ you’ll be ready to start painting.
Make sure that your heat resistant spray paint has been sat at room temperature for a while before you start to use it (if it’s too cold, it won’t spray properly).
You’ll also want to shake each can vigorously for at least 2 minutes before use. This ensures that the paint is ‘stirred’ properly and ready for use.
Put your eye protection and mask on and you’re ready to start painting.
Hold the spray can around 12 inches from the surface of the stove and paint in a sweeping motion, covering an area of the stove in one ‘streak’.
Keep on using this one streak method to cover the entirety of the stove.
Don’t be tempted to just keep the nozzle of the spray held down continuously. This will result in an uneven finish.
Step 5: allow the paint to dry
The amount of time it will take for your stove to dry depends on both the type of stove and the type of paint used.
It will usually be dry to the touch after two hours, but if you’re in doubt, refer to the instructions on the heat resistant spray paint.
Ideally, you should wait at least 48 hours before you move on to the next step.
Step 6: cure the paint
After at least 48 hours you can then cure the paint.
This involves lighting a series of fires in your log burner. The heat from the fire will seal the silicone resin that’s present in the heat resistant paint.
Heat your stove up to at least 120ºC for around 20 minutes, extinguish the flame and allow everything to cool down.
You’ll then want to repeat the curing by lighting a fire of at least 120ºC for another 20 minutes.
Finally, you need to light a third fire. Let this fire reach 230ºC for 45 minutes and then extinguish it.
And, that’s it. You’ll now have a freshly-painted log burner that looks as good as new!
Your one-stop-shop for stove accessories
Whether you want some stove paint or a whole host of other stove accessories like stove thermometers, stove rope, fire cement, stove fans or air vents, you’ll find everything you need here at Trade Price Flues.
Shop stove accessories at Trade Price Flues now
For more stove, chimney and flue advice, read the Trade Price Flues blog…
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