How to Restore a Rusted Fire Pit

Lead Image
  • 3-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-380
What You'll Need
Rust remover
Steel wool
Sanding block or electric rotary sander
Coarse-grit sandpaper
Fine-grit sandpaper
High temperature spray metal sealant
High temperature spray metal paint

A fire pit is a great addition to any back yard because it provides a convenient place for family members to come together, even on a cool evening. Unfortunately, a large number of outdoor fire pits are manufactured with metal that eventually rusts. Using some simple techniques you can remove the rust and help prevent it from happening again.

Step 1 - Get the Supplies

You will need to obtain a high temperature metal sealant and a high temperature metal paint. You can use cans of sealant and paint but spray cans will work more effectively. Make sure that both of these products have maximum temperatures of at least 2,000 degrees. Products that melt at lower temperatures will wear out rapidly when using the fire pit.

Step 2 - Remove the Rust

Spray a rust remover chemical on the affected areas of the metal. Then, use steel wool to scrub these deposits thoroughly until the rust is fully removed. It may take several applications of the chemical and repeated scrubbing before you get it all off.

Step 3 - Sand off Paint

Use a rotary sander or a sanding block with a coarse-grit sandpaper to sand the entire fire pit until you have fully removed the existing paint and exposed bare metal.

Step 4 - Smooth the Fire Pit Out

Switch to a fine-grit sandpaper and go over the metal a second time. Do this in smooth circular motions to prevent obvious scoring to the surface. Continue until the metal has a nice smooth feel to it and no noticeable pits or scratches.

Step 5 - Apply Sealant

Hold the can of high-temperature metal sealant approximately 2 feet from the fire pit and apply a thin, even coat over the entire surface. Avoid a thick build-up of sealant because this can lead to bubbling and cracking.

Step 6 - Apply the Paint

Take your can of high temperature metal paint and situate it about 1 to 2 feet away from the fire pit and coat the fire pit. Avoid making a thick layer because this can lead to unattractive bubbles as well. You will probably have to apply a second coat of paint to ensure full coverage. Utilize the same method as you did for applying the first coat to get an even, clean finish.

Step 7 - Apply an Outer Layer of Sealant

After painting, add a secondary layer of sealant over the top using the same method you used for the first. This secondary level will help to protect the paint from water damage which can cause future rust deposits.