In the first article “Fireplace paint is a critical part of a wood stove care” we were able to cover the first and an important point. The surface must be clean! When the surface is ready to go an understanding of the painting process is in order. We will look at number 2: Thickness of application of the paint.
When you go to the stove or insert store and pick out the one to take home the piece of equipment comes with a fresh coat of paint expertly applied at the factory. Most often this is the way you will bring home the stove and install it and wait for the first fire in the fall. However, as a service by the dealer, he or she may offer to customize your new stove with a coat of paint to match a different color. Maybe to match color for the room the stove is going into or who knows, maybe your college colors. This can lead to a problem for you the stove owner. Problems can start when the paint is too thick on the stove. If the thickness of the paint on the stove’s surface exceeds 2.0 mils the possibility of peeling greatly increases. The original coat of paint is.9 mils thick from the factory. If an additional coat is to be applied make the change only one time. After that the old paint must be removed for the new paint.
When looking at the existing finish and problems are detected an analysis of the paint can tell us what is going on. One of the typical sights is to see the paint peel away and look like shattered glass. This will come away from the stove in narrow strips. This is a result of several coats of paint. If the paint comes away from the cast iron surface in chunks it is a safe bet the surface was not correctly prepared. Rust can be a culprit. But this only happens when the surface was not made devoid of rust to start with.
When making a decision to change the color or add paint to a cast iron stove or insert consider what is already there. If it is the factory original paint a second coat can be applied. Prep the painted surface to accept a second coat. Remember, the paint needs a surface it can adhere to, it needs tooth so to speak. By doing this the operation will be a success.
We will continue in the next article with the proper application techniques. For a safe fireplace this winter, have your hearth rug in place and use a wide fireplace screen. Remember to have the chimney inspected and replace the smoke alarm batteries.