Has your bbq, wood stove, radiator or fireplace seen better days? Today I’m testing out using high heat paint to restore a fire pit.

Have you tried high heat paint?

It’s generally used to repaint an aging barbecue, clean up fire pits, wood burning stoves, radiators, or paint the inside of a wood burning fireplace.  The product specs on the High Heat Enamel from Rust-Oleum also indicates that you can use it on engines – but that’s going to depend on how hot your engine runs.  There are other products out there specifically meant for engines that might be better suited?

I decided my little smokeless fire pit could use a clean-up and refresh, so I thought I’d test it out.

Innostage fire pit

This little Innostage fire pit is amazing!  It burns its own smoke, so there is almost no pollution and next to no char – but does it ever generate heat!

I love it – but at 1 year old – the finish has not held up well at all.

innostage fire pit

I store it in a shed all winter, so I don’t even know how it could be this rusted this quickly?!?

Regardless, it functions well and makeovers are my forte, so I decided it was time to test out some high heat paint to restore a fire pit.

If you are using high heat paint, then you are more than likely working with metal surfaces.  As such, the most important step is to remove as much rust as possible.

high heat paint to restore a fire pit

I scrubbed down the fire pit with a stiff bristle brush to remove the largest flakes and loose rust.

Then I brought out my random orbit sander and 150 grit sandpaper to remove anything that was left behind.  I thought I did a pretty thorough job?

high heat paint to restore a fire pit

high heat paint to restore a fire pit

Once I had the rust cleaned off, I gave the entire fire pit a light sanding to rough up the surface for better paint adhesion.

I also used SamaN eco friendly TSP cleaner (which I prefer over regular TSP).


Now it was time to test the high heat paint to restore a fire pit…

I went with Rust-Oleum’s specialty high head enamel in matte.  I use a lot of Rust-Oleum products, so choosing this brand was a no-brainer for me. (but that’s not to say other brands aren’t equally as good – I just haven’t tried them)

The can indicates that you don’t need to use a primer before applying, so I decided to skip that step, and take them at their word.

In hindsight, I wish I’d spent the extra $10 for the high heat primer.

Two coats of the enamel and it’s looking pretty good!

high heat paint to restore a fire pit

high heat paint to restore a fire pit

I could have used the high heat paint to restore the inside of the fire pit as well, but 1 can was just enough to do 2 coats on the outside only.

Not to worry, you never see the inside when it’s lit anyways.

One thing to note when using high heat paint to restore a fire pit; you need to actually heat up the item you have painted in order for the paint to properly cure.  Only do this refinish job if you are planning to light up the barbecue or stove within a day or two of application.

high heat paint to restore a fire pit

I think a high heat primer would have levelled the surface better in a few places, and it certainly would make future rusting slower – but hindsight is 20-20 right?

high heat paint to restore a fire pit

My thoughts on the whole process?

→ Very, VERY easy to do.

→ Gorgeous results

→ BUT – I am noticing a tiny amount of bubbling/lift where the paint is right next to the flame.  I’m not sure if my fire went over 650°C/ 1200°F, which are the limits in the high heat paint specs, or if I wasn’t as thorough as I thought I was in removing the old rust and it’s starting up again.

Either way – lesson learned; spend the extra $10 on high heat primer and pay close attention to any leftover bits of rust that need to be cleaned off.

Overall, I’d call this a win?

high heat paint to restore a fire pit


What I used (Amazon associate links)


Have a great one!

One Response

  1. Great post, as usual. However ….. I used to get a post from you every week, but now they are fewer and further between. Also when I do get a post, it is repeated later in the week. ???