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Painting Tips & Info

Tips for Painting Your Woodstove

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Stove Bright Stove Paint

  • EASY
  • RESISTS SCRATCHING
  • FAST DRYING
  • EASY CLEANING
  • FAST DRYING
  • RESISTS SCRATCHING
  • WILL NOT RUB OR WASH OFF
  • RETAINS COLOR WITH EXTENDED EXPOSURE TO 1200° F

STOVE BRIGHT is a high heat coating formulated with a unique blend of heat resistant pigments in a silicone polymer resin that provides excellent color retention and film integrity in working temperatures up to 1200°F(600°C). This coating is designed for rapid curing and good working properties over ferrous metal surfaces. Ideal for wood stoves, stove pipes, engines, engine manifolds, and other surfaces subject to high temperatures.
Air temperature from 70° F to 80° F is optimal for spray application. Do not paint at less then 40° F. Shake can vigorously for at least one minute after mixing ball rattles. Point opening of spray button toward object, holding can 12-15 inches from surface to be painted. Press spray button firmly. Use steady, even strokes. Several thin coats give a better finish then one heavy coat.

Most stoves in the U.S. and Canada are manufactured using one of about five different brands of stove paint. As far as we have determined, most of these brands can be topcoated with Forrest Stove Bright stove paint. The one exception is the DeRusto Bar-B-Que black. The DeRusto paint contains large amounts of graphite, which is oily and hard to stick to, and also contains a resin, which will be “lifted”, or peeled from the surface when repainted. We do not recommend repainting a stove previously painted with DeRusto without completely removing the old paint.

The two largest selling brands of stove paint are Thermalox and Stove Bright. Years of testing have shown that either paint can be used over the other without a problem. Proper care must be used, however, when repainting any stove.

1. Cleaning of Surface

The paint will only stick to whatever is already on the stove. If there is grease, oil, graphite, or foreign material of any sort on the surface, it must be cleaned off. Experience has shown us that Toluene or Lacquer Thinner do the best job of cleaning very oily surfaces. WARNING- both of these products are highly flammable and give off vapors, which are dangerous to your health. Obtain proper advice and use extreme care before using them. When cleaning the surface, use clean, white rags because colored rags will bleed some of the dye onto the stove. On surfaces not quite so dirty, “Paint Prep,” by Forrest, is a citrus scented metal cleaner which does an excellent job of cleaning stove surfaces. In areas where solvents cannot be used, a good cleaner and water can be used. Tri-Sodium Phosphate (available in most paint stores) and water with a wire brush, followed by a good rinse, will work, as will Dirtex spray cans or Windex. Many cleaners, like “409”, leave an oily residue, causing more problems than they solve. In extreme cases it may be necessary to sandblast or sand the old paint off the stove. Remember, the object is to get a surface, which is extremely clean

2. Thickness of Paint

Stoves are generally painted once at the factory. Dealers will often customize the stove to another color. Problems arise when, in repainting the stove, or in changing again to a third color, the total paint film thickness gets too thick. In each normal painting of the stove, about .9 mils of dry paint are applied. Peeling will occur when the total film thickness reaches 2.0 mils or higher. If the factory color is to be changed, only change it once. If a third coat is to be applied, use a sander or solvent (see the last section on cleaning) to remove most of the first two coats.

You can usually tell why paint doesn’t stick to a stove by the way the paint comes off after the stove has been used. If it peels or it looks like shattered glass and comes off in thin strips, this is caused by too much or too many coats of paint. On the other hand, if it comes off in large patches, it is usually caused by a dirty surface before painting. Rusting comes from painting over old rust, not thoroughly cleaning the surface to be painted or not applying paint thick enough in factory production to prevent rust in transit or storage.

3. Application Techniques

Many problems can be avoided by using some common sense in using the paint. The paint is pushed out of the can by the pressure of gas in the can (caution, this gas is highly flammable, a close relative of natural gas, and should be kept away from any spark or open flame. Use only in a well ventilated area). The can is designed to work at room temperature. If the can is cold from being left in a storeroom or a truck at night, heat it up to 70-80ºF before using. A couple of minutes under a hot water faucet will usually do it. Do not get the can hotter than you can hold comfortably. A cold can will sometimes “spit.”

There is a marble in the can, which is there to stir up the paint before using. Unless the paint is stirred by shaking the can thoroughly, the paint will be non-uniform. Shake the can for at least two minutes after you hear the marble rattling around. This will insure a better paint job. This is critical when using some of the lighter colors, especially Almond. The Almond has more pigment in it than the other colors. If the Almond is not shaken well, there is more pigment and less resin on the surface than intended. This will cause the Almond to peel. The Almond which has not been shaken well appears flatter in appearance and rougher than the other Stove Bright colors. So, shake Almond and other light colors, like Sand, for at least two minutes. Paint should be sprayed from about 12 inches; too close and the paint will pool and run – too far and the paint will “dry spray” and appear textured.

4. Plugged Spray Tips

Inside the spray can there is a plastic tube which goes to the bottom of the can. The paint is then drawn into the bottom of the tube from the bottom of the can. If, in storage, any material separated in the tube, it could be slightly different from the main paint. When first using a spray can, it is essential to spray the first shot onto a non-critical surface like a newspaper. This clears out the tube. Make sure your finger is not extending over the front of the nozzle. If it does, paint will collect on the tip of your finger and spit onto the stove, causing spots. “Can Guns” are available at most paint and hardware stores to depress the nozzle using a trigger. This will prevent the finger problem.

After using a spray can partially and if you intend to keep the remainder, turn it upside down and spray until the colored material no longer comes out of the can. By turning the can upside down, the tube is removed from the paint.

5. Curing the Paint

Most high temperature paints operate in the same way. They use a resin, which dries at room temperature giving the paint the initial properties seen on an un-used stove. Then, when the stove is burned, this air dry resin burns away. At the same time, the silicon resin (silicone gives the paint it’s high heat resistance) in the paint will not cure until it is heated to high temperatures. This occurs at about the same time that the air dry resin is burning. We have found that this “transition” takes place at about 475ºF.

At the time of the first burn there will be a ring on the top of the stove. Within this ring the air-dry resin will have burned away and the silicon resin has cured. Outside this ring the silicon resin is still uncured and the air-dry resin is still there. On the ring, however, you will notice that the paint is soft– even wet. This is where the transition happens. After the stove has been burned about three times, the entire surface, which gets hot will have cured, and there will be no further changes. It is important to warn your customers to ventilate the house during these initial burns. Although the smoke is primarily Carbon Dioxide, there are other components of the smoke which make it smell bad and may irritate some customers. These problems will go away after the first few burns, depending on the duration and the surface temperature of each burn.

Another important thing is that while Stove Bright is a little glossy when first applied, it loses some of this gloss when it is cured. This means that a stove, which has begun its cure cycle, will sometimes show a ring that is visible when curing. Often, the cured paint will look lighter in color, because it is “flatter”. Again, after the paint is cured this condition will not be as visible. If this is a major problem, one solution is to use a “flat” paint initially. Stove Bright #6304 is flat and does not exhibit this phenomenon. We have purposely not “flattened” all of our paints, because in the minds of most of our customers, the minor problem during the burn is nothing compared to the better scuff resistance, and better appearance, of the stove.

This article copyrighted by THE FIREPLACE CHANNEL