Blaze King Ashford enamel vs paint finish

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dafattkidd

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2007
1,798
Long Island
Greetings all! I am about to place an order for a Blaze King Ashford 25 insert in my new house. My wife likes the look of the enamel finish. I want to get this for her, but I am concerned about the durability of the enamel finish. I like the idea of being able to freshen up the black paint every few years if desired and hate the idea of a chipping enamel finish that cannot be freshened up.

I'd love to hear from some BK owners, hearth professionals or any of you who have experience with these units. Am I being overly cautious about the finish? Am I missing something? I'd love your input. Thank you!
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
I have no experience with enamel finish. And I have a different (painted) BK stove.

I do find the paint to be easily scratched. A poker touching a corner, a thermoelectric fan (and 1 grain of sand) on top, a cordless drill on top (for chimney work), even a vacuum cleaner (plastic part likely had 1 grain of sand embedded in it), all scratched my paint. I was thinking that if you aesthetically like enamel, that that might be more robust.

I like the more modern look, and I'm not going to paint for a few measly scratches (for all the ones on top you have to look carefully to see them). But, I did find the paint was damaged more easily than I had expected.
But then again, I was used to a cast iron stove before...
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,698
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I've repainted a few stoves because high temp paint is not as strong as you would think. Not as good as automotive finish for example. It fades, it scratches, and the manufacturer's don't always do a great job of applying it in the first place. Despite this, I would prefer a painted stove because it can be repainted. I've seen chipped enamel and it's not a good look.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,233
South Puget Sound, WA
Enamel will stand up well, but like a good paint job, it's all in the prep. If there is contamination, like oils on the metal, then the bond may not be good. Majolica finishes are multi coats, so it is doubly important for this to be done contamination-free and under very controlled temperatures for proper fusing and bonding. I used to think that poor enamel jobs happened on Friday afternoons.
If enamel is done well, and the stove is taken care of, then an enamel coat can last a long time. Our old F602 still looks pretty good after about 40 yrs. I particularly like blue-black enamel on Jotul and Hearthstone stoves where they leave out the final clear coat. That is tougher and looks classy.
 

dafattkidd

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2007
1,798
Long Island
Thank you, all for your responses. I must admit the current issues with supply demands are impacting my thought process as well. Much like the “poor enamel jobs happened on Friday afternoon” I feel like the chances of poor enamel jobs increase as the supply demands grow.

As a contractor I’ve purchased $120,000 doors that failed due to poor conditions during the manufacturing finish process. I’m not say Blaze King will have the same experience, I’m just saying the chances of a mistake in the process increases under increased stressors.

International supply chain back ups + global crisis due to pandemic + decreased stove/insert options due to increased 2020 regulations = increased chances of poor enamel finish.

What do you think of this?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
If your thinking is right (I'm not convinced), it'd happen at any stove and any finishing.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,233
South Puget Sound, WA
If your thinking is right (I'm not convinced), it'd happen at any stove and any finishing.
I follow the thinking. These are strange times. A paint finish is a simpler process and user correctable down the line if some error was made. That said, I think BK sets a high standard for the finish.
 

dafattkidd

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2007
1,798
Long Island
I follow the thinking. These are strange times. A paint finish is a simpler process and user correctable down the line if some error was made. That said, I think BK sets a high standard for the finish.
This is exactly my point. @stoveliker for the record, I hope I’m not right. Nonetheless I believe I’ll have more peace of mind going with painted black.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,428
SE North Carolina
I really like my enamel. We’re in a humid climate. In door RH can hit 70-80%. I try to keep it lower but a week mild week and it just is more than my dehumidifier can do. I don’t have to worry about it much.

I guess I’d rather have a stove that doesn’t need re-painting over one I could repaint. BK is a premium stove and enamel a premium on top. I would like to think that they have a production routine that works even on Friday.

Evan
 
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Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
898
Rochester NY
I sometimes wish I got an enamel finish on my T5 because now going into my 5th or so season with it, I see it's becoming more important to keep an eye on rust on the outside of the stove. And I don't mean where the paint has been scratched, but simply just areas where there appears to be very slight rust coming through the coating, corrected with a quick scuff and paint touch up.

For one, this would be from a super thin coat anyway, over minimally prepped cast iron. I'm not positive what PE coats these stoves with but like most of them it's certainly not a high build paint whatsoever. That, to me, is where the enameled finish would have an edge - better protection by thicker coating over the actual substrate.
 

dafattkidd

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2007
1,798
Long Island
Thank you all so much for helping me process this. Just having this conversation has been healthy for me. I ordered the Ashford 25 in the black paint. I had to go with my gut on this one. They are both beautiful units. I do not think I will regret this decision.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,233
South Puget Sound, WA
I sometimes wish I got an enamel finish on my T5 because now going into my 5th or so season with it, I see it's becoming more important to keep an eye on rust on the outside of the stove. And I don't mean where the paint has been scratched, but simply just areas where there appears to be very slight rust coming through the coating, corrected with a quick scuff and paint touch up.

For one, this would be from a super thin coat anyway, over minimally prepped cast iron. I'm not positive what PE coats these stoves with but like most of them it's certainly not a high build paint whatsoever. That, to me, is where the enameled finish would have an edge - better protection by thicker coating over the actual substrate.
The painted Alderleas have Stove Brite metallic black paint coating on the cast iron according to PE. Our stove is 13 yrs old now in the wet Pac NW and has no signs of rust on the finish. But we don't have NY summer humidity.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,698
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
The painted Alderleas have Stove Brite metallic black paint coating on the cast iron according to PE. Our stove is 13 yrs old now in the wet Pac NW and has no signs of rust on the finish. But we don't have NY summer humidity.
We have rain but it’s a dry rain.
 

Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
898
Rochester NY
The painted Alderleas have Stove Brite metallic black paint coating on the cast iron according to PE. Our stove is 13 yrs old now in the wet Pac NW and has no signs of rust on the finish. But we don't have NY summer humidity.
Yeah I think the room the stove is in does get subjected to humidity pretty easily but for the heck of it though I should take a paint mil gauge home from our shop and measure the thickness of the stove's paint. Stove Brite builds about as good as water, which I think is the main issue of any rust-through.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,233
South Puget Sound, WA
Our old little Jotul is now in the greenhouse. It sees a ton of humidity. The enamel is still fine.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,233
South Puget Sound, WA
Our old little Jotul is now in the greenhouse. It sees a ton of humidity. The enamel is still fine.
I just stumbled on the thread from when the Jotul was moved to the greenhouse. The post shows the enamel off pretty well. Not bad for a 30+ yr. old stove.
 

dafattkidd

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2007
1,798
Long Island
I just stumbled on the thread from when the Jotul was moved to the greenhouse. The post shows the enamel off pretty well. Not bad for a 30+ yr. old stove.
That stove is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,622
Fairbanks, Alaska
Just double checked, my Ashford 30 "point zero" was installed in May 2014. Seven and a half years old this month.

On the one hand I don't baby it, on the other hand I have only ever owned three cars more expensive than this wood stove. The enamel has held up brilliantly. I have only ever applied a clay bar to the Ashford, umm, maybe five times now. If I could find a carnuba stable at 500-700dF I would probably use it.

If not enameled, I would probably go for the bare cast iron version instead of paint, but my wife did not care for that one (bare cast iron) at all.
 
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dafattkidd

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2007
1,798
Long Island
If the wife likes the enamel finish, you get the enamel finish.
Generally good advice, but after a quick discussion with my wonderful wife we’ve gone with the Ashford with the black paint finish.
 
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Smolder

Member
Dec 25, 2019
120
Ashton, Ontario
B56A51F2-4903-4E38-9B33-F2BC5CA45128.jpeg
The enamel BK puts on the Ashford is amazing. 3 years of daily burning and it looks amazing, and looks just like the day it was installed. No scratches, hairlines or crazing. Washes with a damp cloth, and it isn’t fragile.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,233
South Puget Sound, WA
View attachment 285226
The enamel BK puts on the Ashford is amazing. 3 years of daily burning and it looks amazing, and looks just like the day it was installed. No scratches, hairlines or crazing. Washes with a damp cloth, and it isn’t fragile.
They did a nice job on the enameling. It's a castiron jacketed stove that keeps the temp swing lower which helps.
 
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dafattkidd

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2007
1,798
Long Island
Thanks for all your input on this. I went with the paint finish and I’m glad I did. After four months of waiting it finally came last week. It was a little scuffed up from the delivery crate. Thankfully the installer/supplier had Stove Bright on the truck and touched it up (the exact reason I went with paint finish). Anyway, I’m so thankful this puppy is up and running.

F76393AE-9C9A-456D-B7E5-413B5FECAE1F.jpeg