If your wood-burning stove is left in storage or exposed to moisture then it can start to rust. Modern stoves are much less susceptible than older stoves to this problem, but issues can occasionally arise even in a contemporary appliance if it is out of use for an extended period.
Rust is an easy problem to tackle but it’s important that you deal with it as soon as you spot it. The easiest way to ensure that you don’t miss any is to incorporate a quick check for rust into a monthly MOT for your stove. More on that here.
Once you’ve found some rust, it’s important to act as quickly as possible to get rid of it. If the rust is left it can spread and damage the metal. Given the temperatures at which your stove operates, the metal takes considerable punishment. As a result, a rust spot could develop into a hole in the stove over time if left untreated, which is clearly dangerous.
Aside from that, it can also spoil the appearance of you stove, which is a shame when it is such an easy problem to tackle.
Treating rust on a wood-burning stove
To treat rust, you first need to wait for you stove to cool fully after using it. Once it is cool you can use some wire wool to remove the rust. Rust particles are not the most pleasant thing to tread into your carpet so you might want to put down some sheets beforehand.
Using fairly gentle small, circular motions, rub the wire wool over the affected area until all of the rust has been removed. Once all the rust has gone, wipe the stove down with a damp cloth and make sure that all the rust particles are removed.
You can then leave it to dry.
Restoring your stove’s appearance
Having got rid of the rust and given your stove time to dry, it is time to restore it back to its former glory. To do this, you need a specialist stove paint.
Don’t be tempted to try any old matt black paint – stove paint is made to withstand very high temperatures (usually up to 600°C). Ordinary paint would start to peel off almost immediately.
You’ll probably need to give the stove two coats, but make sure you give the first coat time to dry before applying the second. Aim for an even covering over the area you’re painting.