Painting your stove or stove flue
It is possible to paint your vitreous flue to match the stove colour. However we don’t recommend painting single walled flue in the polar bear belly colour. It is the least temperature tolerant of our colours, added to the thermal nature of flue, which will expand and contract, some customers have been disappointed with the results. So we now recommend either black vitreous or stainless steel flue for polar stoves, where a single walled length is being used. For all other colours or for touching up an area of your stove there are 3 steps.
Preparing the surface
Applying the paint
Curing or setting the paint
The most critical step is surface preparation. The paint will adhere to the surface coat, if there is rust, it will fail. If the stove/flue has a coating that is peeling, blistering or chalking in any way, the topcoat will release in the same way. If there is oil/grease/contaminant the paint will not adhere.
01 Preparing the surface
Remove all rust; by sandblasting, grinding or sanding. Our paint will not stop oxidation, don’t paint over rust. A new stove/flue should arrive rust free, this will only be if you are be relevant if you are renovating an old stove.
Remove oil, grease, contaminants. New flue can arrive with a chemical on the surface used during the manufacturing process. We recommend the use of an acetone based paint thinner and that you key the surface with fine sandpaper. This preparation is vital.
Paint coming off in patches indicates a problem with surface preparation. The remedy is to remove the paint, prepare the surface and start again.
02 Applying the paint
(vapour and propellant are flammable, avoid all naked flames and sparks)
Best results are achieved when the paint, the stove/flue surface and the air temp. are above 18C/66F -29C/85F. You can warm a cold can of paint by running a hot tap over it for 2 minutes. DO NOT expose to flames.
Shake the paint for 2 minutes to thoroughly mix the pigments, metallics and solvents.
Do a test spay onto a peice of cardboard, the first spray can be mostly propellant with no pigment.
Apply the first of 2-3 light coats. The first coat should be a mist coat (it will look like dots on the surface). Apply from 12-15 inches, if you are too close the paint will drip/run, if you are too far away you will get a gritty finish.
You can apply the second coat after 15 minutes. The paint will be touch dry in about 20 minutes. We recommend leaving it 4 hours before lighting the first fire, described above.
If you are touching up a stove be aware that there are minute variations from batch to batch of paint so you may need to paint a whole surface to avoid these variations showing. eg if you are covering a mark on the top you may want to apply a coat to the whole top plate. YOU WILL BE
COMPARING CURED PAINT WITH UNCURED PAINT SO THE DIFFERENCE WILL BE MORE APPARENT UNTIL THE NEW PAINT HAS CURED.
If paint peels/looks like shattered glass/comes off in thin strips, too much paint was applied. If the surface is gritty the spray was applied too far from the surface. The remedy is to remove as much paint as possible, prepare the surface and repaint.
03 Set or cure the stove paint
Wait for a minimum of 4 hours after new paint is applied to allow it to air dry, (if you are unboxing a new stove, drying time had already been achieved prior to boxing). This applies to stoves and flues.
Then we recommend the Goldilocks and the 3 bears method: small fire, medium fire and big fire.
Small: Light a small kindling fire, keep burning for 10-15 minutes
Medium: Add fuel gradually to build a medium fire. Building a hot fire immediately will “shock” the paint and cause it to release from the surface. Keep it burning like this for approx. 1 hour (bringing the stove surface temperature to 450°F/230°C).
Big: For the final stage of curing, add fuel to make a very hot fire. Keep it at this level for about 1 hour (achieving stove surface temperatures above 600°F/315°C).
Don’t touch the surface with anything during the curing process. There is usually a strong smell when the paint is curing, ventilate the room well, open windows/doors as necessary. Take extra care if anyone in the house has breathing difficulties. There will be a very slight colour change as the paint cures, more obvious with the lighter colours. The hottest areas will cure the soonest. Some of the areas furthest from the heat of the fire may take a number of fires to fully cure.