How to Paint a BBQ Grill

Steaks and baked potatoes cooking on a grill.
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 30-80
What You'll Need
Wire brush
Spray bottle
Warm water
Liquid detergent
Dry towel or cloth
Masking tape
Heat-resistant metal spray primer
Heat-resistant metal spray paint

With time, a metal grill tends to lose its luster and shine and becomes susceptible to rust as it comes into frequent contact with moisture outside. Painting your barbecue is an easy task that can completely transform its look and extend its life. Don't let your grill suffer a slow death from rust buildup. Follow these steps and add a new coat of paint before your old paint completely wears out.

Step 1 - Select Location

Select a suitable, open place with sufficient airflow to paint your grill. It should be outdoors to prevent you from inhaling paint fumes and to prevent them from spreading in the home, which could be harmful to children and pets. Then, place a layer of newspapers or trash bags under the grill to prevent any drips from landing on the pavement. Removing paint from a patio surface will only make more work for you later.

Step 2 - Clean Grill

A wire brush

Put on rubber gloves and clean your grill to remove all grime, grease, and stuck food particles to it. This is the most important step because anything left behind will lead to an uneven coat of paint, so make sure you pay special attention to the entire surface.

Scrub the outside and inside with a wire brush to remove any dried particles of food, grime, and rust. Spray stubborn particles with a mixture of liquid detergent and warm water and leave for several minutes before scrubbing again. The detergent will loosen them, causing them to wash away more easily. When you're finished, wipe the residue away with a damp cloth or terry towel, and allow it to dry completely.

Step 3 - Cover Extra Parts with Masking Tape

Apply masking tape to parts of the grill that you do not want to be painted, such as the handles, knobs, or screws. Do not get lazy with this step; mistakes can happen very easily and will be permanent.

Step 4 - Apply Primer

Hold a can of heat-resistant metal spray primer about a foot away from the surface of the grill and apply the first coat. Allow it to dry for twenty minutes before applying another. Spraying too much in a particular spot may cause the primer to drip, so make sure you move slowly but steadily to get complete, even coverage.

Step 5 - Apply Paint

A spray paint nozzle

Make sure your topcoat is a heat-resistant metal spray paint as well, one that can withstand temperatures of at least 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent fires or damage while you're using the barbecue. Also, check to make sure the primer has dried completely before you begin. Leave it for another half hour to dry completely if it still feels moist.

Hold the can a foot away from the surface and move it across slowly and steadily for an even coat. Allow it to dry completely for 40 minutes to an hour and paint again until you get the desired look. Painting at least two layers will give the grill a solid color and a more durable finish. Keep the grill in a sheltered place and allow it to dry overnight.