Is Rust-Oleum Safe to Use on a Firepit?

All of us enjoy spending warm summer evenings around a fire pit with loved ones, toasting hot dogs, and reminiscing about bygone eras.

However, after a few seasons of use, your old fire pit is beginning to show signs of wear and tear and may require some attention. Is this possible and safe?

A high-heat paint is needed to paint a fire pit. To my surprise, I came across a number of spray paints that claim to be specifically designed for grills or firepits, but if you look at their tiny print, they warn against using them in areas where flames are present.

Outside of a grill or campfire, several high-heat spray paints have a temperature rating of up to 1200 degrees, which is acceptable.

To begin any DIY project, it’s better to get it correctly the first time around.

Everything you need to know about refinishing your old fire pit, from what paint to buy to how to properly maintain your gorgeous handiwork, can be found in this post.

Why is Rust-Oleum High Heat Spray Safe for a Fire Pit?

If you’re looking for a paint that can resist temperatures up to 1200°F, Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra Enamel Spray is the right choice.

Nothing comes into direct contact with the flames, though.

Regular Rust-Oleum paints can only withstand temperatures of 200°F, but a metal fire pit can reach up to 800°F.

In addition to being a rust preventative, Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra Enamel Spray is meant to give long-lasting protection from the weather.

Why Choose Rust-Oleum for Your Fire Pit?

A fire pit outside can reach 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

And there are Rust-Oleum paints that can endure much more.

It is specifically built to endure temperatures of up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for use in a fire pit.

Wood stoves and BBQ grills can also benefit from this technique when applied to the outside of the appliance.

Standard Rust-Oleum paint will only survive 200 degrees Fahrenheit, so don’t use that.

Remember to only paint the pit’s exterior using the paintbrush. Avoid exposing it to flames.

Using a rust-preventative in your high-heat paint may also be a mystery to you.

When it comes to protecting metal from the elements, Rust-High Oleum’s Heat Ultra Enamel Spray is the best option.

This will keep it looking brand-new for a long time, which is always a plus.

Rust-Oleum is not the best option if you want to apply high-heat paint on a surface where it will be exposed to heat.

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If you’re looking for paint that’s meant for engine parts, you’ll need to shop around for the best heat-resistant paint. A fire pit-like heat output can be expected from these pieces.

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

Choose from Rust-251519 Oleum’s product or Automotive if you want to stay within the brand’s guidelines.

High-heat paint that can resist fire pits’ high temperatures should be purchased in the form of enamel.

When exposed to temperatures above 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, paint that is not heat-resistant will quickly melt and lose all of its usefulness.

How to Paint a Fire Pit with Rust-Oleum 

The first step in any DIY refinishing project is deciding on the type of paint to use.

Preparing your fire pit for painting will assist ensure that your new paintwork will survive for many more summer evening wiener roasts and fire-lit discussions.

The methods outlined below will help you do that.

Before spraying, you must remove rust from your fire pit.

Obtain Fire Pit Painting Supplies.
For your DIY fire pit rejuvenation, here’s what you’ll need to get ready:

  • 2 cans of Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra Enamel Spray: Black, Aged Copper, or Silver
  • 3M sandpaper, coarse grit
  • Stripping pad with handle
  • Wire Brush
  • Drop cloth
  • Denatured alcohol
  • A rusty old fire pit
  • Dish soap
  • Gloves
  • Washcloth
  • Water

Clean, Scrub, Rinse, and Paint

The next several steps are really simple. It’s best to paint outside where there’s more room to avoid getting paint on other things or inhaling the fumes.

  • Use a stripping pad and soapy water to clean the fire pit. To get rid of any ash or other particles, do this. Rinse after you’ve covered the entire surface. Allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next step.
  • Use sandpaper to get rid of any rust and chipped paint that has built up over time. The paint will adhere better to a rough surface if you do this. Do not be afraid of exerting yourself.
  • To remove extremely stubborn rust. To remove all of the rust from your fire pit, use a wire brush.
  • Apply denatured alcohol on a cotton swab while wearing gloves. Apply it to the fire pit with a washcloth. Wash the entire fire pit with alcohol, taking care not to get any on your skin. Removes any sanding dust and other impediments to adhesion that could be left behind. For at least 30 minutes, allow drying.
  • Once the drop cloth is dry, place the fire pit on it. For 1-2 minutes, vigorously shake each spray can. To begin, begin spraying the paint in a back-and-forth motion, 10 to 16 inches from the surface, with slightly overlapped strokes. Apply two or more light coatings, a few minutes apart, to avoid leaking. Keep away from open flames.
  • Dry well before using. Temperature and humidity can affect how long it takes to dry. Dry in colder temperatures for a few hours before heating. Smoke and odorless fumes can be produced by paint.
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What Causes a Fire Pit to Rust?

When metal is wet and exposed to oxygen, oxidation (rust) develops.

Rust can eat away at metal over time until it’s completely gone. Metal rusts at different rates depending on the type of metal.

Compared to copper or cast iron, stainless steel or galvanized steel will rust considerably more slowly and progressively over time.

With these tips, you can slow down the rusting process and keep your metal fire pit at its best for many years to come.

Upkeep for Your Newly Refinished Fire Pit

Thank you for your hard work! Your rusted-out fire pit has been transformed into a stunning work of outdoor art because of your ingenuity and hard work.

Next, let’s talk about how to keep your fire pit looking its best for all the summer birthday parties that are still to come.

Clean Out Your Fire Pit After Every Use.

The remaining ash collects moisture from the air and deposits it directly on top of the metal that has been exposed to high temperatures.

That is certain to result in rust. Once the coals have been extinguished, either discard them in a secure location or use a shop vac to clean up the ash.

Ash is an excellent addition to garden soil. You get a carbon boost, which is good for your plants.

Mix it along with your compost or topsoil.

Protect Your Fire Pit for Extended Periods of Time

Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, chances are you’ll have to deal with rain at some point during the year.

It’s better to store your fire pit in a garage or under a patio while you’re not using it.

There are a variety of weather-resistant covers available at your local hardware shop if these aren’t an option.

Apply Oil to Exposed Metal

After the ash has been removed, lightly coat the fire pit’s exposed metal with vegetable oil (or any other cooking oil).

Using a cloth, add a few drops of oil to it, and then lightly wipe the metal.

Take a look at the oil and make sure it’s not dripping.

Metal will be protected against corrosion because the oil will seal the pores and prevent water from getting into touch with it.

Repair Minor Damage

As a spot treatment, this phase is identical to the entire process of refinishing. When you notice a few spots of rust, perform the same steps outlined above.

Keep your fire pit looking new for years to come with this method.

Can You Use a Rusted Fire Pit?

Even if you do everything you can to prevent rust from forming, it will eventually occur.

A rusted-out fire pit might lead to fire escaping and injuring someone.

This should be taken to your local recycling center and discarded.

How Do High Heat Paints Fight Against the Fire?

Flames can be slowed by using heat-resistant paint, which is widely available, cheap, and effective.

Proper use of heat-resistant paint on residential and commercial properties can assist keep the building safe until the fire is extinguished.

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Fire-resistant paints are mostly composed of silicone, epoxy phenolic, epoxy novolac, or a more advanced multi-polymeric composition.

This material’s ability to withstand the heat of the fire makes it an excellent choice for use as an accent on fire-resistant surfaces.

Thermally-resistant paints are specifically formulated to eliminate any residual heat from the surface.

If the paint is left intact, the underlying surface will be protected from the destructive effects of heat, such as charring, burning, and scorching.

Such paints can endure much of the damage that a fire might do, because of their heat resistance of up to 700 degrees Celsius.

In some cases, heat-resistant coatings will release gases that inhibit the spread of the fire.

Other paints, on the other hand, provide a layer that shields the surface beneath for a longer amount of time.

Fire-resistant coatings can not persist indefinitely; after time, they degrade, exposing the surface to heat and burning.

But the good news is that the paint will allow you to put out the flames with other ways for a significant amount of time.

Other High-Heat Paint Brands

When looking for high-heat paint, it’s important to bear in mind what kind of surface you’ll be painting with it.

It’s important to note that not all of these high-temperature paint manufacturers have the same heat resistance rating.

Many of the paints listed below are marketed as automotive paints used on engine parts that are exposed to high temperatures.

Enamel paint is best for direct flame heat applications like grilling and cooking over a fire pit or on a wood-burning stove.

If you have a fire pit or wood stove, the temperature can rise from 800°F to 2000°F, making any other paint flammable and ineffective.

Enamel paint is best for direct flame heat applications like grilling and cooking over a fire pit or on a wood-burning stove.

If you have a fire pit or wood stove, the temperature can rise from 800°F to 2000°F, making any other paint flammable and ineffective.

Is It Safe to Spray Regular Paint on a Fireplace?

Indoor and outdoor fire pits should only be painted with paint rated for high heat, around 1200°F.

The enamel spray paints for high heat are perfect for wood stoves, radiators, barbecues, and fire pits because they can endure extremely high temperatures while also preventing rust.

Spray Paint Emissions Are Flammable for How Long?

Spraying your fire pit in the morning and roasting marshmallows the same night is not recommended for safety reasons.

Allow some time for the paint to settle. A single night’s rest should be enough.

For interior operations, the paint fumes can last up to two or three days before they are no longer flammable.

As a result, rather than working in your garage or shed during this project, it is recommended that you work outside.


It’s intimidating to start a new do-it-yourself project.

A quick and simple remedy from the folks at Rust-Oleum will have your party guests asking for your secrets, thankfully.

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