Painting a Chiminea: Preparation & Execution
Author: Jen Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
A chiminea can make your patio or yard look beautiful but can become rusted and filled with dirt after prolonged use. When that happens, painting a chiminea is the solution that comes to your mind to make your backyard or patio look amazing again.
It’s not complicated to paint a chiminea. You just need access to a few basic tools like the new paint, sandpaper, primer, and coat sealer to paint the chiminea. You can either spray paint or use brush-based paint on the chiminea.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to paint a chiminea with brush-based paints and spray paints in a few simple steps. We’ll also give you a list of some of the best heat-resistant paints you can use to paint your chiminea.
Can You Paint a Chiminea?
It’s completely safe to paint a chiminea, and that’s why many people do it. Even if it’s a new chiminea, you can paint it with a sealer to protect it from getting cracked. Both iron cast and clay types of chimneys undergo severe wear and tear because of the burning process in the chiminea.
When that happens, painting is the only way you can make them look attractive again. You can apply traditional paint or spray paint if you have a clay chiminea. But for iron-cast chimineas, spray painting is best.
How to Paint a Chiminea
If you want to paint a chiminea, there are two ways you can go about it. You can either use the traditional method of painting with a brush or use spray paint. We’ll show how to do it following the conventional method in this section and how you can do it with spray paint in the next one. Since these are free-standing, front-loading types of fireplaces, you'll need heat-resistant paint.
Clean & Wash the Chiminea
A chiminea that has been used for many years will get dirty with time. The first thing you need to do before painting it is to wash it thoroughly. Place a piece of dry cloth on the floor below the chiminea to catch the drips.
A used chimney can carry woodworm or other pests. So, you must clean it if you’re buying a chiminea that’s been used or been sitting around for a long time. A simple cleaning detergent mixed with water will suffice to clean the chiminea.
Dust off the loose debris from the chiminea with a brush before cleaning it. Use a sponge to make your job easier and clean both inside and outside the chiminea to get dirt and grease out of the clay before you paint it.
It’s not a good idea to use harsh chemicals like ammonia or bleach to clean the chiminea. The toxic substances present in these chemicals can damage the clay of the chiminea. That’s why we recommend that you use a mild detergent.
Use Sandpaper on the Chiminea
Using sandpaper on a chiminea before painting is essential for two reasons. The first one is to remove the grit or metal pieces that can damage your paint. The other one is to smoothen the surface so the paint sticks to the chiminea.
You can use 80 grit sandpaper and sand the surface by rubbing it all over the surface of your chiminea. Or you can also use tools like an orbital sander or auto body sander to make your work easier.
Just make sure that you don’t make deep grooves on the surface when you’re using these tools. Repeat the process as much as you need until you no longer see dust falling off the chiminea. Wipe it with a rag when you’re done.
Apply Primer to the Chiminea
The last thing you need to do before painting a chiminea is to apply primer to it. You can use both sprayed-on or brushed primer for this job. Spray-on primers are easier to use than brushed ones and can apply them faster.
Make sure you get a primer that’s heat-resistant. Spray the primer to cover all the areas you intend to paint. You’d have to wait for at least three hours before you can paint the chiminea to let it dry. The primer will not only make the paint stick better but also prevent moisture from coming to the surface.
Paint the Chiminea
Now, we get to the fun part - you’re ready to paint the chiminea. You need to use high-quality heat-resistant paint to paint as the chiminea will get hot when you use it. We’ll share a list of some great heat-resistant paints to paint a chiminea.
You don’t have to be particularly neat when you’re painting the chiminea, as people won’t see the inside of it when it’s sealed. Paint on all four edges and the parts that can’t be sealed. One coat of paint is usually enough if you use good quality paint.
However, if you want to do more coats, you should give the paint a few minutes to dry before applying more. You can go as high as three coats of paint if you want to be on the safe side and make sure it doesn’t come off when exposed to high temperatures.
Add Coat Sealer to the Chiminea
Once you’re done painting the chiminea, and it has dried, it’s time to add a layer of coat sealer to it. The sealer not only makes sure that the layers of paint don’t come off but also prevents crack formation in the chimineas. It also keeps the moisture from getting into the clay and prevents rust.
Most of the coat sealers are green, so you might want to mix them with the paint you used to compliment the color of your chiminea. Spray it evenly on the painted surface of your chiminea and let it dry. It’s recommended that you reseal your chiminea once a month when you actively use them.
How to Spray Paint a Chiminea
Spray painting is comparatively easier than using any types of paint brushes and takes less time. You also need fewer supplies when you choose to spray-paint your chiminea. Here are the steps to spray-paint a chiminea in detail:
Prepare the Chiminea
The first step before painting a chiminea is to clean all the build-up of dirt and gunk that has accumulated over the years. If you don’t want to do it manually, you can use a pressure washer and blast your chiminea.
The pressurized water will take out most of the gunk and prepare the chiminea for you. When you think that the chiminea is clean and you can no longer get any dirt out of it, you can move on to the next step.
You should also clean the exterior of the chiminea in the same fashion, even using sandpaper if needed to remove a previous layer of paint or any overly rough bumps or grime. It's up to you if you want to apply any types of primer paint or use a spray paint that has it mixed in.
Spray Paint the Chiminea
Use high-heat spray paint that matches the color of your chiminea if you want it to have the color it previously had. But you can also take this opportunity to give your chiminea a new look.
Spray the paint on the entire surface of your chiminea from approximately 30 centimeters distance from the surface, swinging the spray can back and forth while overlapping slightly with each stroke. Apply multiple light coats of the spray paint from the same distance for the best results. After applying, let it dry.
If your chiminea has a metal base or stand, you may have to sand it, especially if it’s severely rusted. Get out as much rust as you can with the sandpaper and spray it as well. Let it dry, put the base and the chiminea together, and enjoy your beautifully painted chiminea.
Best Heat-Resistant Paints for Clay Chimineas
There are several options of chiminea paint that you can use. But one attribute that these paint types must have is the ability to resist heat. A chiminea is used as a fireplace, and paint for chimineas must not break down during the burning process. Here are the best chiminea paints on the market:
Rust-Oleum High Heat Paint
If you want a paint that’ll give your chiminea an aesthetic finish, you can’t go wrong with the Rust-Oleum paint. It’s meant to be used on stoves, radiators, chimineas, and other high-temperature surfaces. It can also withstand a temperature of 650 degrees Celsius without breaking down. Learn more at Rust-Oleum.
Calfire Stove & Bar-B-Q Paint
It’s an excellent stove paint that can withstand a temperature of 650 degrees Celsius and has super-fast drying properties at the same time. The paint is also widely available in many paint can sizes, and you can use it to paint your chiminea among other things.
Hammerite High Heat Paint Aerosol
It’s an aerosol paint that has been specially formulated to hold out against temperatures of 600 degrees Celsius. It’s a great option as it has excellent resistance to cracking and flaking and will last a long time. Learn more on Hammerite.
Painting a Chiminea Has Never Been Easier
After you’ve painted your chiminea, you still need to care for it. Otherwise, it’ll become corroded due to the burning process. Keep adding the coat sealer every few weeks so that it doesn’t get damaged.
Chimineas are a great addition to any backyard, and you need to care for them on a regular basis to keep them attractive. Hopefully, now you know about all the steps of painting a chiminea after completing this article. Now you just need to learn how to keep the fire lit!