View Full Version : Rust removal for a wood stove.

03-21-2010, 08:00 PM
Just bought a used Ponderosa wood burning stove that was exposed to the weather. Has surface rust all over it. Read in a thread here that Ospho is a great rust removal product. Could it be used on something that will have fire in it? Would hate to use something that is going to put off fumes in my house when the metal gets hot.

Also would BBQ grill paint be the right choice for when I'm done killing the rust or should I go with high temp engine paint?



03-22-2010, 04:01 AM
Since I don't know anything about this particular woodstove, these are some general comments.

If the surface rust is light, use steel wool to remove the rust. Working outside, use mineral spirits with the steel wood to help cut the rust and to wipe off the residue. If the rust is heavy and deep, I'd use a wire brush in a drill. Wear goggles to protect your eyes from the broken bits of wire Work at it gently to help protect the underlying metal.

When you finish, wipe down with mineral spirits. Let the solvent evaporate, then apply your finish. Don't wait long, as you'll get flash rust rather quickly on bare metal.

As to finish, if it has a finish on it like a BBQ grill, then, that's the paint that I would use. However, be aware that this paint doesn't hold up as well as the original factory finish.

If the stove is castiron use Stove Polish. Apply, according to the directions, then buff. (Similar to waxing a car.) I use this on my wood stove in the shop about once a year. I haven't tried it on previouly painted metal, but it should work, and may actually work better than High Temp grill paint.

Suggestion: After you finish cleaning up the stove, fire it up outdoors first. Put on a short section of stove pipe to act as a flu. If you use paint, follow the directions for curing and firing it.

Almost anything you put on that stove will have an odor and may release some smoke the first time you build a fire in it. Doing this outdoors, will keep smoke and fumes (depending on what you use) outside.

Before I forget, when you apply Stove Black (polish) be sure to wear gloves. Don't ask me how I know that. :) Have plently of rags for the polishing as you'll discard those when you finish.

With mineral spirits, hang any rags or paper towels that you use on a clothes lines, lay flat on a driveway, etc. so the solvent can evaporate before you put those rags in the trash. Or, burn them in the stove, a few at a time, after the solvent has evaporated.

Hope some of this helps. Good luck with cleaning up your stove.


03-22-2010, 07:08 AM
I made my stove out of 1/4 inch flat steel plate. I used a hand wire brush to get the heavier rust of and like Lee said I used Stove Black. It is good stuff IMO. Now is a good time to check your firebrick (if you have them ) also.
Congrats on your stove. Amazing how much it will work for you.

03-22-2010, 07:18 AM
if you have a cup shaped wire brush for a right angle grinder that will take the rust off quickly.

03-22-2010, 01:27 PM
You can also use black Stove Paint in an aerosol can. I don't know if that is the same as Stove Black. The cans I have say "Black Stove Paint".


03-23-2010, 02:41 PM
Paul, Stove Black is a different product. The one I use comes in a tube and looks like a cream. Apply it with a rag. Then, after waiting a bit, polish it, removing the excess.

Here's a site that has a FAQ with info on it. However, I don't agree with some of her comments, regarding stove black. Seems she's promoting more "modern" products to use instead. That's OK, if that's what a person wants to do.

However, I do know that stove black does work. Been using it for years. The principle is the same as waxing the castiron tops of my shop equipment. I could spend big bucks for something in a spray can that'll do the same job. And, will have to be re-done just about as often. Periodically a little elbow grease and some Johnsons Paste Floor wax, keeps the rust off my equipment.

And, BTW, I have had some problems with using high temp paints on my BBQ equipment. Just didn't hold up. Maybe the brand??


Just my 2-cents.

03-23-2010, 05:18 PM
I also have used stove black for a long time. I really like the stuff and the black that it leaves does not look "fake" if you know what I mean. The only drawback is the first fire after using it but it is still good stuff.

03-28-2010, 01:47 AM
Sounds like you've got some work to do. Hope it comes out well.

Stove Black is not paint:
http://www.lehmans.com/store/Stoves___Stove_and_Chimney_Maintenance___Lehman__x 92_s__xAE__Best_Stove_Black___BSB?Args=

Perhaps you should call these folks and see how much of this you will need.
I'm not sure how far one tube will go. 1-888-438-5346

03-28-2010, 11:06 AM
I,m gonna need several tubes DavidOH. Will try to post pics of it soon. Have to get ready to go out of town for a few weeks for work.