Your beautiful chiminea has finally had its day, fired its last logs, and the thought of getting rid of it breaks your heart. You’ve become quite fond of your lovely little rustic fireplace and are looking at your options.
Different Types of Cracked Chimineas
Cracked chimineas can happen eventually just from the wear and tear of many fires on your clay chim, or perhaps it was a result of breakage from dropping. It might just have been you made that fire a little too hot and your trustee chiminea couldn’t take the heat.
Regardless of how it happens, there are a few different types of cracked chimineas and they range from the hairline crack to the separation of parts – usually the chimney stack from the fire bowl.
TIP – Always lift your chiminea by holding the fire bowl part and not the chimney part. For most clay chimineas, the stack and fire bowl is fired as separate pieces and then joined together. Hence this part will be weaker.
In this instance, your best option is to attempt to repair your clay chiminea. Check our article for full instructions on the way we suggest you go about it.
In a nutshell, it’s easy to do and not too expensive and if there’s a chance you can save your chiminea and even have it functioning with fire again, it’s with the time and small investment.
Larger Crack That Doesn’t Change Structure
These types of cracks often mean the end of your clay chiminea for the purpose of being a fireplace, but if the damage still maintains the shape of your chiminea, there are a few things you can try to repurpose it.
By doing this, you get to keep the amazing rustic charm but just have it performs a different (usually purely aesthetic) function.
Ideas for Repurposing Your Chiminea
- Planter – You can even keep your chiminea in the centre of your patio and simply plant with something that will thrive.
- Water Feature – With a trip to your local garden centre you could easily set up a simple water feature incorporating your chiminea.
- Candles – A simple cleanout and some plain white candles and you’ve got yourself a stunning feature that you can use indoors and out! Add some citronella candles if going outdoors and deal with the bugs too. If using as an indoor chiminea, always exercise caution with candles.
- Fairy Lights – Similar effect with a more permanent effect – you could even look for some solar-powered fairy lights, so you’re not worried about using excess power.
- Planter & Lights Combo – Lights in the fire bowl and plant out the top.
When Your chiminea is Past Saving
Unfortunately, if your poor chiminea has broken into pieces, there may be nothing you can do to repurpose it unless you could somehow rebuild it back together.
If you do have to dispose of it, best take it to your Council’s local recycling centre and dispose of it responsibly.
Don’t Forget You Can Paint It!
Regardless of how you choose to repurpose your chiminea, it’s probably a good idea to give it a new coat of paint to help weather protect your chiminea. Even a basic sealant can be used if you have your heart set on keeping that rustic charm of the clay.
Painting your chiminea will give it a new lease of life and let those creative juices flow! There are some super colours to choose from.
Any paint that is heat resistant is a good option, and you can get some lovely designs and patterns just by injecting a bit of colour.
How I Will Repurpose My Chiminea
My lovely little clay chiminea is still in good condition but I’m working on it to be used as an indoor chiminea with some sort of indoor friendly heat source in the fire bowl. I’m curious to see if I can get some cool candles or some sort of gel or biofuel.
I’m going to experiment and see if I can use it as an alternate heat source as the central heating will not be going on very often this winter! Talk about a price hike!
It already has lava rocks in there so may even experiment with some candles. Just remember to always be mindful of ventilation if burning indoors… and whatever you do, don’t light wood in chiminea indoors.
Don’t Let Your Chiminea Rot
It’s heartbreaking to see when a chim that is past its best is left to rust and rot in a garden. If you no longer use it, stick it on Gumtree (or Craigslist in US) and get it on to a new owner. Even if it’s in pretty bad condition, you can list it for free, and you’ll get folk ready to come and pick it up.
With some ideas on how to repurpose your cracked chiminea, it can hopefully give you that nudge to put it to the best use.