Welcome to all the information you could possibly need on the best paint for a chiminea. Painting a chiminea with the wrong paint can be expensive, messy and hugely frustrating.
Under constant punishment from heat and rain alike, chimineas are vulnerable to damage, and a great way to protect them and give them a new lease of life is to paint them! The chiminea paint you choose has to be right for you and your chiminea so read on for some help choosing.
Why Paint a Chiminea?
The main reasons you’d want to paint a chiminea are:
- Make it look better
- Protect from rain and other weather
- Change the colour
- Prevent cracking (clay chimineas)
- Prevent rust (metal chimineas)
If your chiminea is looking a bit worse for wear and even starting to rust, it’s a good idea to paint it.
If you have some outdoor house paint and decide to give it a try- the paint won’t stick very well. Standard outdoor paints aren’t meant for use on a chiminea because you need specialised paint that is heat resistant. Regular outdoor use paint will just melt off and cause a terrible mess.
Best Paint for Clay Chimineas
Clay chimineas may need a lick of paint after a while to give them a fresh look but I’d also recommend painting (sealing) regularly to extend the life of your chiminea. Clay chimineas are particularly prone to cracking and suffering to moisture while outside.
The best paint for your clay chiminea is:
- Heat resistant
- Clear (unless you want to change the look entirely)
My favourite paint to use for clay chiminea is a sealant like chimseal from La Hacienda. Unfortunately, this is difficult to get hold of now and so as a back up I recommend Thompson’s Water Seal.
How to Paint a Clay Chiminea
It’s best to use a paintbrush to paint a clay chim. Prepare by making sure it is completely dry and has cooled completely from any fire.
Then follow these steps:
- Remove your chiminea from its stand and place it on a dust sheet or other paint-proof surface. It’s best to do this outside as you need a well-ventilated area.
- With a small dustpan and brush clean the inside and sweep out all the fire debris.
- Using a dry cloth, make sure the outside surface of your chiminea is clean and dry – don’t forget the lid!
- Place a small amount of your sealant or paint in a Tupperware or similar.
- Use a large, soft bristle brush and completely coat the outside of your chiminea.
- Wait until the outside surface is dry (follow instructions on the packaging) and tip over onto its side to get the bottom.
- To be extra sure, wait 24 hours then apply a second coat. Again, don’t forget the lid and the bottom of the chiminea.
- Wait at least 24 hours before lighting a fire and use small fires to cure your sealant.
You might be wondering why bother painting the underside of your chiminea? It’s so you get a complete seal against moisture. The bottom of a clay chiminea is perhaps the most vulnerable to cracks and breakages so getting it a coat of sealant really helps strengthen this area.
If your chiminea has cracks check my complete guide to repairing a clay chiminea before you paint it.
Best Paint for Painting Steel Chimineas
Steel chimineas also benefit from a coat of paint once a season as they are usually on the budget-friendly side of the chiminea variety and their life can be significantly extended by a coat of paint. Without this extra protection, steel chimineas may only last a few years.
However, steel chimineas can be restored even if they have started to get rusty but remember it’s vital to remove as much of the rust as possible before painting.
Spray painting is best for steel chims as it’s cheap and easy to use. You can also get them in a nice variety of colours that suit chimineas like black, dark green etc. For full instructions check out How to Paint a Chiminea.
Best Paint for Cast Iron Chimineas
How to Spray Paint a Chiminea
To spray paint a chiminea you will need:
For step by step instructions on how to spray paint a chiminea, check this article – How To Paint A Chiminea.
What Qualities Should Paint Have to Paint a Chiminea?
Here are a few things to look for if you decide to find another brand of paint not recommended here:
- Heat resistant. Chiminea paint of any kind MUST be heat resistant.
- Suitable for the type of material your chiminea I made of eg works on steel for a steel chiminea
- Weather-resistant. The paint you choose must be able o protect your chiminea from the elements
Optional (but will make the job easier):
- Needs only 1 or 2 coats
- Does NOT need an undercoat
- Dries quickly
How Often Should I Paint My Chiminea?
For the maximum life expectancy for your chiminea, you should paint it once every season. A good time to do this is at the end of the season (end of autumn) so it is sealed up nicely for the cold and frost.
Regardless of your chiminea type, a quick coat of paint can make a world of difference when it comes to protecting it when it’s stored over the winter. If you can’t store your chim inside, you can dramatically increase its lifespan by protecting it with a coat of paint.
This will do wonders to protect from cold and moisture damage over the winter.
Should I Paint the Inside of My Chiminea?
No. Never attempt to paint the inside of a chiminea. The fire will seal it from the inside. Chimineas are not designed to be painted on the inside and the paint you select will not be designed to coat the inside of a chiminea.
How Long After painting do I have to wait before I can light a fire?
A minimum of 24 hours is recommended after painting before you light a chiminea fire. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the label of the product you decide to use.
Lighting a few small fires and letting the go out will help cure your paint or sealant nicely after painting.
What Equipment will I need to paint my chiminea?
- a cool and dry chiminea
- paint or sealant
- dustpan and brush
- dry cloth and wire brush (for metal chiminea), soft bristle brush (if not using spray paint), mask (is using spray paint)
- dust sheet or other protective material
- a safe space outside
- a dry day
Painting your chiminea can be really quick and easy to do and if you have some spare time this Sunday why not give it a go?