Wood Stove Polish or Paint – Which to Choose

If you own a wood burning stove, you know how great they can be. Between their cost efficiency, convenience, and reliability they’re a great heating choice for your home. Unfortunately, the positives are not without a bit of a negative. Due to intense heat and other factors in its location and operation, wood stoves don’t stay looking brand new forever. But fear not, you can restore it back to its past glory using a wood stove polish or a wood stove paint.

This begs the question: Which should you choose? That’s what we’ll be discussing in this article. By the end you’ll know the pros and cons of each so that you can choose the option right for you.

Why You Need Polish or Paint for your Wood Stove

Wood stove polish and wood stove paint are both helpful products for your stove. They can be applied through wiping them on (polish). Or for paint, you simply spray it on. Both are used to improve the look of wood stoves and other similar appliances (usually cast iron or metal).

The reason to use one of these products is to refresh the appearance of appliances that suffer damage over time. This damage can result from things like moisture or superheating. Because wood stoves are not just functional but also seen during all months of the year. And therefore you want to keep them looking their best.

Why Do Wood Stove Exteriors Get Damaged

As the owner of a wood stove, you should be well aware of how hot they can get and the heat they put off. Even though the heat rises through the flue’s ventilation, the surrounding enclosure where the fire burns is still effected by the fire. This means that it goes through frequent superheating and cooling which subjects the exterior to significant wear and tear over time. This can cause some visual imperfections such as warping, damage, or discoloration.

How to Update Your Wood Stove Appearance

In order to keep the wood stove looking its best, you should use a wood stove paint or polish. This will allow you to touch up the color and look to bring it back to basically brand new. Fortunately, the wood stove polish and paint are created to be resistant to the incredibly high temperatures experienced. This means the color will likely last a long time even though the exterior is subjected to extreme heat.

Wood Stove Rust – A Common Problem

In addition to the heat’s effect on a wood stove, there is also the concern of rust. When a stove is subject to moisture rust occurs. This moisture can come from a few sources, although primarily it occurs from heating liquids with the stove or through moisture accumulation from the chimney opening. When untreated, rust can continue to spread and damage the stove even further. This is both dangerous and unattractive looking and should be remedied right away. Luckily, wood stove polish and paints help prevent rust, you just need to remove it first.

One of the best ways to remove and prevent rust is to sand it down or to use wire wool to remove it manually. Then once it is clear of imperfections, you can apply the stove polish or paint of your choice. This will protect against further rusting and more damage.

Reasons to Use Wood Stove Polish

Before highly heat resistance paints came around, wood polish was unanimously the top and most popular option. Now, wood stove polish is likely the less popular option for touching up your stove although it still has its uses should you decide to use it. Stove polish is very black due to being made from graphite and carbon and comes in liquids and paste. Manually apply with a rag.

You would want to use a stove polish if:

  • You want a very dark black finish and a more authentic sheen closer to satin than matte.
  • You want to bypass using a high temperature primer and only require a single coat.
  • Your stove requires touching up in harder to reach areas due to stove polish being hand applied. It is cleaner and easier to apply than a paint spray in smaller areas.

Reasons to Use Wood Stove Paint

Wood stove paint is a more modern approach to maintaining your wood stove (or changing its look completely!). It is highly popular among stove owners because it is convenient to apply and allows you to get creative with your look. Application is usually through a spray and there are a variety of temperature resistances available. Note that wood stove paint needs a high temperature primer to be sprayed down before its use for safest operation.

You would want to use stove paint if:

  • You want to get creative with your stove’s look through the use of multiple colors and finish styles.
  • You plan to change the color due to its ability to be sprayed on top of other paints. This is something polish doesn’t offer.
  • Your goal is long term rust resistance and the ability to apply over sandblasted portions.

Hopefully the preceding information has convinced you that you need a wood stove polish or wood stove paint in order to keep your stove looking its best. Be sure to review the pros and cons outlined to aid your decision between them.

Take care of your stove and it will take care of you for years to come! Learn more great tips on how to clean your wood stove and wood stove glass.

Featured image from flickr.


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