How to Use Rust-Oleum High Heat Paint on a Fire Pit?

Rust-Oleum High Heat Paint for Fire Pit

A fire pit is a place where friends and family gather to cook food, share stories, sing songs, and more.

With so many memories made around the fire pit, it makes sense to put one in if you have the space for it.

However, you may notice after a few fires that the pit starts to look old and somewhat haggard. That’s when you need to apply paint to spruce it up.

But ordinary paint will not do. You will need to apply high-heat paint to the fire pit.

To do that, you will need the right type of high-heat paint, and Rust-Oleum is the one for the job.

Yes, you can apply Rust-Oleum to the outside of your fire pit, as it is perfectly safe to use.

Rust-Oleum High Heat Paint is designed to be applied to the outside of grills or fire pits that can withstand up to 1200 degrees F.

And this particular quality of the paint makes them perfect for applying to the outside of the pit area.

How to Spray Fire Pit with Rust-Oleum High Heat Paint?

Once you have purchased the paint, the next step is to prep the fire pit, so the paint will last a long time.

This will reduce the number of times it needs to be repainted and save you money.

Prepping begins by removing any rust from the fire pit before you spray on the product.

To remove the rust, you will need the following products.

  • 3M Sandpaper, coarse grit, Stripping Pad, and Drop Cloth
  • Denatured Alcohol, Dish Soap, Gloves, Washcloth, and Water

You will also need a couple of Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra Enamel Spray cans.

You can choose from Aged, Black, Copper, or Silver for the best results.

Be sure you are outside, so there is plenty of air movement.

Now you can start the process of removing the rust…

Step 1- Rinse & Wash:

Use soapy water and a stripping pad to remove all loose particles from the fire pit.

Be sure to wash, scrub, and rinse the entire surface. Let it fully dry before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2- Sand:

Use the sandpaper to remove any buildup of rust, along with any paint that is chipped.

It will not only remove the rust but prep the surface to apply the new paint.

Step 3- Denatured Alcohol:

Put on your gloves and apply the denatured alcohol to the entire surface.

This will remove any dust particles that are remaining. Be sure not to let the denatured alcohol touch your skin.

Once finished, let it dry, which should only take a half-hour.

Step 4- Spray the Paint:

Put the fire pit onto the drop cloth.

Now, shake each can of spray paint to get it ready and apply.

Use side to side or back and forth motions to apply the paint in even layers. Hold the can about 12” from the surface.

Apply a light coat to avoid dripping, wait a few minutes, and apply a second light coat.

Depending on the humidity, it is going to take a couple of hours or perhaps more for the paint to fully dry.

You should apply the paint no later than the early afternoon and let it sit for two, three, or more hours before using the fire pit that evening.

Why Choose Rust-Oleum for Your Fire Pit?

The outside of a fire pit can heat up to 800 degrees F.

And there are Rust-Oleum brands of paint that can withstand more than that.

Specifically, Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra Enamel Paint is designed to withstand temperatures up to 1200 degrees F, which makes it perfect for your fire pit.

It also works on the outside of wood stoves and BBQ grills as well.

You will not want to use standard Rust-Oleum paint as that will only withstand 200 degrees F. 

Keep in mind that the paint should only be applied to the outside of the pit. It should not be exposed to flames.

You may also wonder why you should use a rust-preventative for your high-heat paint.

The answer is that Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra Enamel Spray provides a deep color along with a sheen that prevents the metal from the elements.

This will help it look in like-new condition for quite some time.

If you are not going to use Rust-Oleum, you will need to choose a high-heat paint that is right for the surface on which it will be applied.

Not all brands offer the same rating for heat resistance, so you should shop around, looking for paint that is designed for use on engine parts. Such parts will generate heat similar to a fire pit.

  • Rutland Black, Krylon Max, and POR-15 44000 Series
  • Thermo-Tee Cool It, Stove Bright, Helix Racing 165-1020, and KBS Xtreme

Or, if you want to stick to the Rust-Oleum brand, you can choose from their 251519 product or Automotive.

In any case, the type of high-heat paint to get is one with enamel since it can withstand the high temperatures generated by a fire pit.

Paint that is not rated to at least 1200 degrees F can melt quickly and become useless.

High heat paint for fire pit

How Do High Heat Paints Fight Against the Fire?

Heat-resistant paint is quite common, inexpensive, and effective in slowing down the flames.

For both residential and commercial properties, the proper use of heat-resistant paint can help to protect the structure until the fire can be put out.

Most fire-resistant paints are made from silicone, epoxy phenolic, epoxy novolac, or a more sophisticated multi-polymeric composition.

Their fire-retardant nature makes them the perfect addition to surfaces that protect them from the heat of a fire.

Paints that are designed to withstand heat are designed to remove the heating effect from the surface.

In other words, the paint will stay intact and protect the underlying surface from the ravage of heat which includes charring, burning, and scorching.

With heat resistance up to 700 degrees Celsius, such paints can withstand much of what a fire can deliver in terms of damage.

Some heat-resistant paints will release gasses that minimize the spread of the fire over the surface.

While other paints will create a coating that protects the underlying surface for longer periods.

However, even the best fire-resistant paints will not last forever and eventually, they will fall apart, allowing for the surface to become heated and burned.

But the good part is the paint will buy important time for you to put out the flames using other methods.

What Causes a Fire Pit to Rust – Tips to Care for Your Freshly Painted Fire Pit

Rusting is a process known as oxidation.

This is when metal is exposed to oxygen while still wet.

Over time, the metal will start to rust away.

When caught early, removing the rust is a simple procedure as described above.

However, if not caught in time, the rust will eat away at the metal to the point where it cannot be saved.

It is true that different metals will oxidize at different rates.

For example, stainless steel will take far longer to show signs of rust compared to cast iron or copper.

But in most cases, your fire pit will contain metal that is subject to rusting.

To maintain your fire pit, you should follow these steps to minimize the chances of rust forming on the metal.

1- Apply the Proper Paint:

You should use Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra Enamel Spray or the equivalent to the fire pit.

Once you have protected the surface, keeping it rust-free means doing the following.

2- Clean After Every Use:

Remove the coals and vacuum away the ash

If you have a garden, spread the ashes atop the soil. This will provide food for your plants to grow.

3- Cover & Oil the Metal:

When not in use, cover the fire pit after it has been cleaned.

This will prevent the rust from forming.

Before you cover it, apply cooking oil to any exposed metal, as this will limit the contact with the oxygen.

You’ll want to repair any minor damage, remove any small rust spots once you see them, and use the same process to cover and protect your fire pit after every use.

Final Thoughts

When the oxidation process begins, the rust is lightly on the surface.

This means with the proper tools; you can scrape it off relatively quickly as the small amounts of rust are harmless.

But, if the oxidation has been so bad and rusted through it compromises the metal, then the best thing to do is to recycle the old fire pit and purchase a new one.

It may seem daunting at first, but once you have cleaned and painted the fire pit using Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra Enamel Paint, maintaining it will be relatively easy if you do so after every use.

This will provide many years of enjoyment around your fire pit.

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