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How to Paint a Wood Stove

Instructions for painting and refinishing a wood burning stove using high heat paint.

Prepare the surface: Adhesion is a function of surface preparation. “The better the preparation, the better the adhesion”. Sandblasting or mechanical grinding the surface is recommended. This creates a rough surface so the paint has something to bite into and will provide long lasting adhesion. This will also remove grease, oil, dirt or any other contaminates. Solvent cleaning with clean rags is also recommended after the sandblasting. Only a few solvents can be used other than petroleum based which means they will leave an oily residue.  For industrial applications,

Surface Preparation - Carbon Steel

1.    To ensure optimum long-term coating system performance, surfaces must be clean, dry and free from dirt, oil, grease, salts, welding flux, mill scale, rust, oxides, old paint, corrosion products or other foreign matter.

2.    Remove all surface imperfections that will induce premature coating system failure.  Chip or scrape off weld splatter.  Grind down sharp and rough edges, gouges, and pits.

3.    Abrasive blast surface per specification SSPC-SP10, “Near-White Blast Cleaning”, or per NACE Standard No.2 to a profile depth of 1.0 - 2.0 mils minimum, with a 1.5 mil anchor pattern being ideal.  Abrasive used in blasting should be selected carefully from materials of mesh size required to produce the desired anchor pattern.

4.    If abrasive blasting is not permitted, prepare surface by power tool cleaning per SSPC-SP 11.  Use 3M brand “Heavy Duty Roto Peen”, type C flap wheel cleaning system mounted on an air-driven motor.  This method will provide a surface equivalent to that provided by commercial blast cleaning per SSPC-SP6, including the desired surface profile (anchor pattern).

5.    Feather out all edges of adjacent painted surfaces after completion of surface preparation operations and prior to application of the first coat of paint.

Surface Preparation - Stainless Steel

1.    Surfaces must be clean and dry.  Remove all oil, grease, soil, drawing and cutting compounds, and other foreign matter by methods outlined in Steel Structures Painting Council Specification SSPC-SP1, “Solvent Cleaning”.


3.    For large surface areas, steam clean with an alkaline detergent; follow by a steam or fresh water wash to remove detrimental residues.

High Temperature paint needs to be applied at a certain thickness. If the paint film is applied too thick or with too many coats, at elevated temperatures, the solvent will be forced out of the paint film and could cause peeling, chipping, flaking or outgassing/air bubbles. When using high temperature paint, follow the application instructions on the technical data sheet the manufacturer provides for temperatures, dry times, safety and precautions especially. For industrial applications,

Redisperse any settled-out pigments by stirring with a paint paddle followed by thorough mixing to a uniform consistency with an explosion-proof or air-driven power mixer.  Do not open containers until ready to use.  Keep lid on container when not in use.

Primer/First Coat

1.5-2.0 mils


1.5-2.0 mils

Total dry film thickness

3.0-4.0 mils

Curing of the paint for high heat applications is also important. The paint will air dry at room temperature which will give the paint film the initial properties which is seen on un used new equipment. When the paint film is exposed to 350F for 30-45 minutes the paint film will reach its “full cure” / full properties. In some cases, it is difficult to control this temperature. It is recommended that the unit that has been painted such as a wood stove to build a small fire to start and gradually (time and temperature) will eventually cure the paint film. Make sure this is done in a ventilated area by opening a window(s).

Note that potential failures using high temperature paint occur from either surface contamination, improper surface preparation, not allowing the paint to dry properly, applying the paint too thick (too many coats) or heating the paint up too quick.

Dampney Company Inc. is a manufacturer of high temperature industrial paint/coatings and has been doing it for 96 Years. Thurmalox Coatings provide excellent adhesion to any cast or machined metal surface.  Once dried, this high temperature coating is suitable for heaters, vents, wood burning stoves, engines, headers, exhaust manifolds, mufflers, BBQ Pits, Smokers and grills and will resist 1,200°F.

Dampney Co. Inc. offers a full line of stove paints that withstand heat up to 1200°F for manufacturers, restorers, and homeowners finishing wood, coal, pellet and coal burning stoves. Dampney manufacturers a zinc dust primer to prevent rust and corrosion, a clear gloss (for a porcelain like appearance)  and a non-yellowing white.  Dampney offers VOC compliant formulations and custom color matching. Not intended to be used in direct contact with flame.

These coatings are available in aerosol cans, quarts, gallon, 5 gallon and 55 gallon drums and can be brush, rolled and spray applied.

For more information contact and specific applications, contact

Dampney Company, Inc.

Dennis Aikman, Technical Service

85 Paris St.

Everett, MA 02149

(617) 389-2805  FAX (617) 389-0484

Posted in: Stove Paint
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