Painting a Metal Chimney Cap

Lead Image for Painting a Metal Chimney Cap
  • 2-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-20

A chimney cap is an important part of your chimney system. When you have a chimney the chimney cap is what prevents water and other debris from getting inside the flue. If the cap is missing you could have serious health issues to contend with. Water could get inside the hot chimney causing billowing smoke to enter the home. Debris like branches and leaves could increase the size of the fire in the chimney. The chimney cap is in place to prevent this. A metal chimney cap comes in all kinds of metal including galvanized steel, copper, stainless steel and aluminum. Painting a chimney cap is an option to making this highly visible home accent better match the rest of the home. There are some things to know when setting out to paint the chimney cap and the following article will share these things with you.

Which Metal to Paint

You should always consider the kind of metal that the chimney cap is made out of. Some metal, such as galvanized steel, can rust over time. Stainless steel will not, but copper can tarnish. Many homeowners only consider painting a chimney cap if it is made out of galvanized steel as a way to protect it against rust. It is entirely up to you if you wish to paint the other types of metal.

Inspect for Rust

Before painting a metal chimney cap you should always inspect it for rust or else the paint will not adhere well. Rust is easy to remove and all you need is to use steel wool. Briskly scour the metal surface with the steel wool until you can see the bare metal underneath. This can take some time to complete depending on how bad the rust is. If you find areas where the rust has begun to eat through the metal it is time to replace the chimney cap.

Paint Choices

There are many kinds of paint out on the market that you can use from latex paint to oil paint. There are flats, enamels, satin, and gloss. Not to mention the colors available. The color and sheen you choose are completely left in your capable hands. There are 2 things that are an absolute must in a paint choice. The first is that the paint contains an anti-rust agent. This is important because you are painting metal. The second property that the paint must have is that it is able to sustain high levels of heat. Only choose a paint that can withstand 250 degrees Fahrenheit and up as the chimney cap can get very hot.

Spray Paint or Brush

Out of the paint choices you have you will also have to choose which kind to use: aerosol or brushed on. Either of these paints will work on the chimney cap so it is a personal preference. Painting the cap with a brush affords you a lot of control whereas spray paint can cover more than you want like the shingles. Spray paint does however create an even coverage that is free of streaks.