What is Heat Resistant Paint – What Does it Actually Do?

heat resistant paint

For the most variety of paints, about 300 degrees is the limit – beyond which they may fail to provide the desirable results.

But this is not the case with high-temperature heat-resistant paints.

As the name implies, heat-resistant paint is a type of paint that is designed to withstand temperatures that are far higher than room temperatures.

The paint is heat resistant because it combines inorganic pigment powder and a binder solution that is made up of polysilicon alkoxide.

The result is that the paint formulation can resist considerable amounts of heat. In fact, there are some paints that are designed to resist upwards of 600F degrees.

Some of them can also resist temperatures as high as 750F degrees.

In general heat resistant type of paint is designed to resist the following…

  • Heat
  • Flame
  • Grease
  • Smoke & Rust

The paint itself comes in different colors, mostly black, silver, grey, gold, white, orange, and red oxide.

Rust-oleum, Krylon, Vitcas, Behr, and Dulux are the most popular brands that manufacture these types of paints.

You can check their products if you are in search of the best heat-resistant paints on the market.

11 Most Common Applications of Heat Resistant Paints

Now when you know what the heat resistant paints are exactly, you may be keen to know what are the most common places to apply heat resistant coatings?

Let’s check them out…

1- Boilers:

The combination of heat and moisture makes boilers an obvious subject for heat-resistant paint.

By covering the metal parts in the boilers and water tanks, the heat and water-resistant paint also reduce the chances of corrosion forming. 

2- Chimneys:

Because most of the heat from fireplaces moves through the chimney, they are subject to more intense heat as compared to the rooms in which the fireplaces sit.

In fact, heat-resistant paint is used to lower the chances of fires that can be generated from the buildup of soot and debris inside the chimney that is located on your rooftop or terrace.

3- Exhaust & Transmission Systems:

Mostly found in vehicles (like car or bike engines), the exhaust pipes and transmission systems generate a considerable amount of heat.

While standard paint will not last very long, heat-resistant versions will hold up to the heat, grime, and debris that exhaust and transmissions systems are subject to receiving.

4- Fans:

These are industrial fans designed to move heat through large spaces.

Such fans are subject to high amounts of heat despite the dispersion of the air that the fans in motion generate.

Coating the blades with heat-resistant paint protects the plastic or metal surfaces from moisture and the formation of grease along with the higher temperatures.

5- Fireplaces:

Although much of the heat from a fireplace goes straight up, it also flows out into the room.

Heat resistant paint is used on the stress points where the heat touches the interior walls, sides, or mantle of the fireplace.

6- Fire Pits & Grills:

The open heat flames take their toll on grills and fire pits.

This is why heat-resistant paints like Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra Enamel Spray work so well in protecting these surfaces.

Plus, it is durable enough to last for many years even when exposed to the elements.

7- Kilns:

These are essentially industrial ovens used to cure a variety of products.

The high temp enamel spray paint not only resists the heat but also protects the surface from other corrosive elements.

And it makes the surfaces easier to clean.

8- Ovens:

Both commercial and residential ovens used for cooking are prime applications for heat-resistant paint.

Cooking ranges that have high settings such as broil and grilling will need this type of coating to protect the surface areas.

9- Steam Pipes:

Still used in many homes and buildings for heating purposes, steam pipes also generate moisture due to condensation.

This is where paint that resists heat and humidity can be quite beneficial while still transmitting the heat to the rooms.

10- Stoves:

These are wood or metal stoves that use a variety of fuels to heat and cook food products.

In many ways, stoves, heaters, burners, and gas fires are quite similar to furnaces in their construction.

The paint will resist the heat, smoke, and flames for a long time under normal use conditions.

11- Light Bulbs and Fixtures:

During the festive seasons like Halloween and Christmas, many people prefer to paint glass lampshades, light fixtures, light bulbs, etc. to make them decorative.

This kind of paint when applied to these surfaces bonds well and ensure that it remains on them for long without any kind of damage made.

heat proof paints

Different Types of Heat Resistant Paints

There are several different types of heat-resistant paint, but four stand out among the rest as being the most durable and versatile.

1- Ceramic

A popular type of heat-resistant paint, this is widely used on equipment and machinery that experience high temperatures on a regular basis.

Ceramic itself resists heat quite well, which is why the material is often used as parts for machinery.

This makes ceramic-based paints natural for use in hot environments. Plus, it is virtually free of toxic compounds.

Because they absorb heat quite well, they are often used as corrosion-resistant paints against certain chemicals.

Plus, their thickness and consistency make them excellent insulators in terms of the paint layers applied to machinery.

2- Multi-Polymeric

You can find this type of paint in water or solvent-based.

The main ingredients are either epoxy or silicone which makes them quite a heat resistant.

Because they resist fire so well, you will often find this type of paint used in most construction projects.

That includes housing and commercial buildings.

The silicon-based multi-polymer paints are particularly heat resistant, especially against the high temperatures experienced in engine rooms.

You can use them to coat stoves, flues and chimneys, boilers, and machinery or equipment that experiences high temperatures on a consistent basis.

3- Powder

Also based on either epoxy or silicon, powder-based paints are not only heat-resistant they are also free of volatile organic compounds or VOCs which makes them environmentally friendly.

The silicon-based types are more resistant to heat and offer a wide range of colors.

This means that you can forego the normally bland colors used in most engine rooms or to paint your boilers.

Or you can usually find colors that can match the aesthetic of the room itself, making it quite versatile.

4- Thermal

This is generally a spray that is used that is not only heat-resistant but also resists corrosion.

By applying the paint as directed, you can keep the elements away from the surface.

The combination of heat and moisture protection is quite potent with thermal paint.

You will mostly find this product used in manufacturing facilities or where heat and humidity are found in combination creating the perfect environment for rust metals.

For metal parts that experience temperatures over 400 centigrade, such coatings will help stabilize the temperature and provide solid heat resistance.

paint for hot surfaces

How to Select the Right Heat-Resistant Paint?

Not all heat-resistant paint is alike as you can see.

The first and most important step is to evaluate your needs and then choose the paint that best suits them.

It helps to understand the different categories of paint that are available.

But most importantly you need to understand the stresses, heat concentration, and application to purchase the right product.

a) Requirements

Are you looking for heat resistance alone or are there other factors?

Corrosion resistance along with fire safety are two important considerations.

In addition, paints that hold up under a variety of temperature conditions may also be a requirement for areas that undergo considerable change.

Start by reading the instructions to see if the paint meets the standards that you have set.

Next, eliminate any paint that does not meet such requirements.

Be sure to read the instructions, online reviews, and any tips or hints from the manufacturer will help as well.

b) Temperature Range

An easy way to start is by choosing the paint that will hold up under the temperature ranges it will experience.

And while no paint will work under all conditions, it should be tough and durable enough to withstand the expected heat from where it is applied.

This means that you will need to ensure some headroom when selecting the right type of paint.

So, if the expected temperatures are 300 degrees centigrade, then the paint you choose should have a temperature tolerance well above that, such as 450 degrees centigrade.

That way, any unexpected concentrations of heat can be withstood.

This will help you eliminate the type of paint that cannot reach the upper levels needed for its application.

c) Characteristics

This means if you are looking for a thin film to protect the surface or a thicker coat for more protection against other factors.

Thin-film coatings are good because they are flexible, maintain their integrity, and can withstand high temperatures easily.

The thicker coating offers better support and long-lasting protection, although it may not be as flexible or temperature resistant under certain circumstances.

Just because the coating is thicker does not mean it is the best paint for your needs.

d) Where the Paint will be Applied

Basically, are you going to apply the paint to a surface that is exposed to the elements?

This is an important consideration since the UV rays of the sun will affect the paint.

Plus, precipitation may have an effect as well.

So, if you are going to apply the paint to an outdoor grill, it better has UV protection.

If it is near a water source, then it will need to be waterproof.

Knowing the environment will help you choose the best heat-resistant paint for your needs.

Applying High-Temperature Paint on Metal Surface

How to Apply High-Temperature Heat Resistant Paint Correctly?

Applying heat-resistant paint is easy, especially if you are using an aerosol spray can.

Here are a few steps you need to follow:

  • Turn off the heat or any other source of ignition and allow the surface to cool down
  • Now clean the surface using a cotton cloth and make sure it’s free from dust, dirt, grease, and rust
  • Mask off the areas you do not want to coat. Also, use a drop cloth or a newspaper to avoid overspray damage
  • Now take the aerosol paint can and shake it vigorously for about 2 minutes to mix the paint well
  • Holding the aerosol can at about 12”-15” from the item spray the object directly
  • Make sure you spray over the item evenly and apply at least two thin coats, it’s better than applying one thick coat
  • Allow the coat to dry for about 15-20 minutes between the two coats
  • After applying the final spray coat wait for 6-8 hours before using your item

Do you need to apply primer before applying high-temperature paint?

Most high temp. paints, when used for interior applications, do not need to apply primer and are self-priming.

However, if you are using the paint for exteriors, it’s good to apply a high temp primer prior to painting.

This will help in adding an extra layer of protection for resisting high humid climates, cold air, rain, snow, and other environmental conditions.

What is the Difference between Heat Resistant and Fire-Retardant Coating?

Flame and Fire are many times used interchangeably in place of one another.

Also, when we talk about Resistant vs. Retardant paints and varnishes many people get confused with these terms that may sound to be the same but are different.

Resistant is a type of coating material that is inherently resistant to catching fire. It actually provides a kind of insulation to the surface.

This also means that this type of coating is self-extinguishing in nature and it does not drip/melt when exposed to extreme heat directly.

Retardant on the other hand is a type of coating that has been “chemically treated” and made to be self-extinguishing.  

Fire retardant and fire-resistant paint coatings are both designed to be used on different substrates and will respond differently when exposed to direct fire. 

Fire Retardant coatings, for example, can be applied (using a brush, roller, or spray) to combustible materials like wood or plastic and can help in reducing the rate at which the flame spreads.

Fire Resistant coatings are more useful for coating furnaces that reach very high temperatures very quickly.

Since Fire Resistant coatings are thicker than fire retardant coatings these are often sprayed or troweled on.

The Bottom Line

Heat-resistant paints and coatings are great for homeowners, businesses as well as industries – where they need to deal with high temperatures.

Since there are a number of different products available for varied purposes and temperature ranges, it’s important that you choose the right product and apply it correctly.

This will most probably help to save you a good amount of time and money.

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