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advice for painting stainless steel chimney

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by ericj, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. ericj

    ericj New Member

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    I'm planning to install class a chimney through the wall and up the side of our house. (I'd really like to keep it inside the house, but am forced to go through the wall.) To make the chimney blend with the house a bit more I'm thinking of painting it a shade of brown. Can someone recommend a brand/type of paint? How successfully can you paint stainless steel? I mean, will it peel and need repainting every 5 years? I hope not.

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  2. fjord

    fjord New Member

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  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I've never seen anything bad about a SS chimney so long as it doesn't have creosote running down the outside of it. But to answer your question, no, I do not know what you would use but suggest you go to a paint dealer and ask that question.

    btw, when you go horizontal through the wall, you need a minimum of 1/4" rise per foot of horizontal (we wen about 1/2" rise) and you usually need to go a bit higher with the chimney too. Recommended is 13-14' chimney but you have to add for every elbow. If the flue comes out the rear of the stove then you have only the tee so add 3 - 4' to the height of the chimney. If you have an elbow inside and outside, then double it.

    Good luck Eric.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Stainless can be painted, though it might be getting a bit too cold for a good finish. 4 years ago when we put in the new foundation I didn't want any opportunity for rot to hit the house at the patio. This gets a lot of weather, so I used stainless as the flashing. But I didn't want a shiny band of metal showing at the base so I painted it satin black. This required me lightly sanding the surface first, then brushing on two coats. The finish has held up well, still looks good, with no sign of flaking or peeling.

    If you want to try this I would get a can of stove brite paint and try a test patch. Sand the area first, then clean it with a solvent like acetone or alcohol. Then paint. Let it go through the winter and see how well it stands up. If the bond is good, you should be good to go. No guarantees how well this will stand up. The paint I used (Rustoleum) is designed for outdoor, full sun use. But I am not sure if it would be ok to use on class A pipe due to the temp.
  5. spot

    spot New Member

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    Jun 27, 2006
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    Four simple steps to painting stainless steel, aluminum, galvanized, or other "hard-to-paint" metal.

    1: Clean and degrease. Dish-soap works well. Acetone or other solvent if you wish.
    2: Scuff the surface with sandpaper. Do not use steel wool as it may leave behind traces of itself to rust.
    3: Prime with an "etching" primer. This eats into the surface a bit for a better bond.
    4: Paint. You probably still have a half-gallon of matching house paint in the garage.

    I am definitely not a chimney expert, but it shouldn't ever get hot enough to warrant a "high-temp" paint.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Are the primer and house paints rated at 2-300 °F?
  7. ericj

    ericj New Member

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    Thank you everyone for your suggestions. Since class a is so infrequently painted, I'm going to contact the manufacturer of the chimney pipe, Selkirk, and ask what they recommend. If they don't have any recommendations, then I'll contact another manufacturer. (The different brands of chimney should all take paint the same, I suppose.) It sounds like the process is generally: degrease - the chimney will be new so no problem there, sand to scuff the surface, then maybe etch the surface if the paint requires it, then paint. The manufacturer should be able to recommend a specific paint. (Stove Brite seems to be a good paint.) They might also recommend an etcher. Thanks again!
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Also ask if a galvanized finish would be a better pipe to start with.
  9. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    Ours was painted with heat resistant paint, i believe the paint info is within the signature link below. The galvanized class a inside the home was painted last yr, and has held up without deteriorization.

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