Pit Painting

If the paint is peeling form the exterior of a bbq pit, I recommend going to a large hardware store, and buying the best heat paint you can get. Try for Rust-o-leum 1000 degree, or 1300 degree paints if you can find them. Epoxy’s are TOXIC and cannot & should not be used on food products like bbq pits, as the paint breaks down when heated and gets inhaled, so to speak. Not real good for you. You might not die right away, but it may be harmful to you. Epoxy coatings are used on off-shore platforms. You might not die right away, but it may be harmful & toxic for cooking equipment. OSHA, TEC, DOT, & FDA might roast someone over slow coals for using such a thing on bbq mfg. Usually use 500 degree or 700 degree paint. As I understand it, charcoal burns at 700 degrees laying flat, & 950 degrees standing on end, as there is more exposed surface burning with heat rising. Hardwoods burn at roughly 1050 degrees, with mesquite the hottest at 1180 degrees, being a fibrous and porous wood. Anyway, due to the expansion & contraction of the surfaces of bbq pits made from sheet metals & steel to " thick, I have found that the metal can move as much as 1/8" during the heating & cooling process. The heat dries out the paint, & the expansion tears it, causing it to flake.

Start with the best paint you can find. I use 1300 degree paint on my bbq pits, five coats, painted over a three day period and dried a week before I will let a customer touch them. Smoking out the pit should also help seat the paint just like you would a new skillet, sherpa tin, shingle, siding that has fallen off the house, or whatever else you might try to use to cook on, I have seen weird ones. Anyway wire brush the afflicted area good, wipe down with water and allow that to dry, even lighting the pit with a LOW FIRE, say 200 degrees, to help expand the metal so the paint will seat deeply in the pours, and spray or wipe the paint on while the pit is warm. This helps bake it on, so-to-speak. A few coats, with an hour in between, should help. Let the pit cool naturally. Cold water or high humidity at this point only counter-acts the steps taken to a lesser degree. Be sure there is a 70% humidity or less for the base coat of paint if possible. It will probably peel again as there are very few paints of the quality needed for this application that the average person could afford.  Personally, I used a gallon of nose-cone re-entry paint for the space-shuttle tiles, no kidding. It is a ceramic fiber finish that is the whitest WHITE you have ever seen. Only drawback with this ceramic finish is you can’t touch it, as it pulls all the oil & dirt off your skin and into the finish for eternity. No wonder they wouldn’t let me touch the shuttle before. You can imagine what the pit looked like after pushing it in & out at the shop a few days. Total hand-prints. I had to black over it with 1300 degree paint. Why didn’t I just repaint with the nose-cone paint you say? It costs $650 per gallon. That’s why. Doesn’t peel though. Might be 178,000 degree heat-paint. I dunno. This is getting too long, though we haven’t even scratched the surface of the paint subject yet.

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