I have a tripple wall chimney of stainless steel that I would like to
Can I paint stainless steel with high temp Rustoleum, or should I wrap
it with galvanized or aluinium and paint that?
Thanks in advance.
Painting stainless steel is a bitch. Not sure why. The general
consensus is to etch the stainless with either chemicals (acid) or
sanding to give the surface some tooth so the paint will have a
I don't know how hot the outside wall of a triple wall chimney gets,
but you may be able to get by with another paint, but Bob was right
that you'll have to do a test.
I wouldn't wrap the stainless with a different metal as you might
create a problem with galvanic action eating the wrapping metal.
I don't think so, Dwight, at least with materials that are available to the
average Joe Consumer. Did you ever wonder why the DeLorean cars were sold
unpainted? Stainless steels in the 300 series have the ability to form an oxide
on the surface of the metal that prevents, or at least retards, corrosion. This
oxide forms almost immediately whenever the steel is sanded, scratched, rubbed,
etc. making it very difficult to apply anyhting else to the surface and have it
"stick". Soldering is possible, although a real bitch, and I'd forego painting
because I'm sure it would only last until the next rain.
Enjoy your shiny chimney.
many DeLorean owners had their cars PAINTED because maintaining the SS
surface was a PITA.
IMO,the OP can go ahead and paint the SS.
a good hi-temp primer would probably be desirable for the first coat.
Paint will bond to SS just as well as any other steel.
That's an opinion that a lot of people take issue with, Jim.
Stainless is passivated and that interferes with the paint bond.
Etching is required to improve the bond, but it's still not a sure
thing. Paint simply does not adhere to stainless as well as plain
Painting Deloreans is not as easy as you think. This from the wiki
entry on the Delorean:
"Furthermore, it is exceedingly difficult to paint stainless steel due
to difficulties with paint adhesion. DeLorean envisioned that damaged
panels would simply be replaced rather than repaired;"
When you say that Delorean owners had their cars painted because
maintaining the stainless was a PITA, that's a bit off the mark. It
was the little fender benders and dings in the door that prompted
people to paint their Deloreans. It's a lot harder to straighten out
stainless (notorious for work-hardening) than to slap on some Bondo
and paint. Most owners didn't have a real choice when push came to
shove - it was a cost effectiveness decision.
Here's an article where they opted to wrap vinyl instead of painting.
I think the OP is barking up the wrong tree, but if he's adamant on
it, he should look into epoxy primers and a baked on finish. That
will be expensive and there's a potential for the elevated chimney
temperature doing funky things to the paint and off-gassing or
creating an odor.
I love the idea of a car that won't rust that looks space age.
Unfortunately I hate the idea of a car that's almost impossible to fix
dents and dings without replacing panels. So, yeah...I guess that is
dubious merit! They certainly look different, though.
I've never used this in a machine shop...but maybe you have!
I wonder if you couldn't get hold of a sandblaster to etch the surface
with. You might take it to a sand blasting company since it's Summer
and get it roughened up so paint will stick. I've never tried to paint
stainless steel so I would have to defer to an expert in painting
metals. I know how to paint galvanized steel by using an etching primer
but I don't know if there is a similar product for stainless steel.
Here's a link to a website that specializes in finishes, and the
experts there says stainless just has to be cleaned. Neither this nor
other sites I checked mentioned anything about using phosphoric acid
or oxalic acid, as is done for aluminum or regular steel:
Here's another forum where the more experienced contributors tell of
the problems painting stainless and having it stick.
Anything can be painted, it's just a question of how long it will
last, and a paint finish on stainless probably won't last long. The
OP didn't say where this chimney is located, whether he wants to paint
an interior or exterior section, and what the access is like. All
contributing factors to the approach.
Like one poster in that forum link said, painting stainless is an
This probably overkill and perhaps not possible in your situation
(unless the chimney can be removed to a shop). :(
Stainless steel can be successfully powder coated..... clear or color
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