What Kind of Paint and Primer Is Best for High Heat?

You must be cautious with your paint choices when it comes to high-heat environments like fireplaces, grills, stoves, or radiators. High heat can cause regular paint to discolor, peel, or chip. But with the right paint and primer, you can have a beautiful, durable, and heat-resistant finish.

A heat-resistant paint that is able to withstand temperatures of up to 1200°F (650°C) is best for painting high-heat surfaces. These paints are commonly used for barbecues, wood-burning stoves, radiators, and other metal surfaces. A heat-resistant primer should also be used.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The 4 factors to consider when choosing paint for high heat
  • What type of paint to use
  • What finish is best
  • My top picks for the best paint and primer for high heat

The 4 Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint for High Heat

1. Temperature Resistance

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing paint for high heat is its temperature resistance. Different paints are rated to withstand different temperature ranges, so ensure that you opt for one that matches your requirements.

High-temperature paints are ideal for engines and stoves, whereas medium-temperature paints are suitable for grills and firewood ovens. Go through the manufacturer’s instructions and choose a paint that will remain stable and durable even while exposed to high temperatures.

2. The Type of Surface

Another critical factor you should consider is the surface to be painted. The material and texture of the surface will influence compatibility with different paints.

For example, metal surfaces require a paint that can bond perfectly with the metal to avoid chipping and flaking, which can lead to rusting. Always choose a paint type suitable for the surface you intend to paint before making your purchase.

3. Durability

The paint’s duration is expected to last after application, which is a crucial element to consider. You do not want to use paint that will fade or tarnish after a few months.

High heat temperatures usually cause most types of paint to blister or fade, thus exposing the surface underneath. Choose a paint that has high durability properties and can endure the highest temperature the surface can handle.

4. Application Method

Some high-heat paints require specific application methods. Ensure you understand the application method necessary for the specific paint you select. Some paints may require baking or curing to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Understanding and following the application method specified by the manufacturer is essential. A correct application process ensures you get the most out of your paint.

What Type of Paint Is Best?

Silicone-based Paint

Silicone-based paint is best suited for high-heat applications. This type of paint is extremely durable and can withstand temperatures without blistering, fading, or cracking. It also has exceptional adhesive properties that ensure it bonds with the surface perfectly.


  • Heat Resistance: Silicone paints are known for their ability to withstand high temperatures, making them ideal for surfaces exposed to heat.
  • Environmental Resistance: These paints can resist harmful effects of the natural environment, including sunlight, frost, and sharp temperature changes.
  • Versatility: It can be applied to different surfaces, such as wood and concrete, making it versatile.
  • Durability: They can withstand UV radiation, extreme temperatures, moisture, and chemicals without degrading or deteriorating quickly.


  • Lower Temperature Resistance: Modified silicone coatings have a lower resistance to elevated temperatures when compared to 100% silicone coatings.
  • Cost: Silicone-based paints can be more expensive than other types of paint due to their unique properties and benefits.

Multi-Polymeric Paint

This type of paint contains several resins and pigments that provide long-lasting protection from corrosion and heat damage.


  • High-Temperature Resistant: It can withstand high temperatures, making them suitable for surfaces exposed to extreme heat.
  • Durable: These paints offer exceptional durability and protection under harsh conditions, which benefits high-heat applications.
  • Resistant to Discoloration: Compared to other types of paint, multi-polymeric paints are less prone to discoloration when exposed to high heat.


  • Complex Application: The application of multi-polymeric paint may require professional expertise due to its unique composition.
  • Cost: Multi-polymeric paint can be more expensive than other types of paint.
  • Limited Availability: This type of paint may not be readily available in all markets and may require special ordering.
  • Longer Curing Time: May have longer curing times depending on the specific product and environmental conditions.

Enamel Paint

Enamel paint, particularly oil-based, can be a good option for high-heat surfaces due to its durability and heat resistance.


  • Heat Resistance: Most enamel paints are oil-based, providing a solid, heat-resistant finish, making it a good choice for surfaces exposed to high heat.
  • Durable: Strong and long-lasting, which is crucial for surfaces frequently exposed to high temperatures.
  • Smooth Finish: It typically produces a smooth finish with fewer marks or bumps.
  • Easy to Clean: Once dried, enamel-painted surfaces are easy to clean.


  • Long Drying Time: Oil-based enamel paint can take anywhere from 8-24 hours to dry, which might not be ideal for projects that must be completed quickly.
  • Strong Smell: It has a strong, pungent odor which some people might find unpleasant.
  • Requires Thinner: To apply oil-based enamel paint, you often need to use a thinner, making the painting process more complex.
  • Not as Flexible: It is not as flexible as other types of paint, so it may chip or crack over time, especially under fluctuating temperatures.

What Paint Finish Is Best?

When choosing a paint finish for painting high-heat surfaces, it’s essential to prioritize heat resistance over the sheen of the paint. While matte finishes are commonly used for high-heat surfaces like fireplaces, grills, and radiators, other options may also be available.

Some paints might have a slightly glossy or satin finish, but it’s crucial to refer to the individual product specifications to ensure they can withstand high temperatures efficiently. 

Paints designed for high-heat use typically come in a flat, matte finish because the agents used in the paint reduce the amount of light reflected, which results in less heat being absorbed by the paint.

The Best Paint and Primer for High Heat

Here is a list of my top picks for a brush-on paint, spray paint, and primer:

Best Brush-on Paint

POR-15 Black High-Temperature Paint is the top choice for DIY enthusiasts and professionals regarding brush-on heat-resistant paint.

With its capacity to withstand extreme temperatures up to 1200°F (650°C), it provides a tough and durable finish that resists cracking, peeling, and chipping even under harsh environmental conditions.

It is the ultimate solution for renewing and protecting metal surfaces subject to extreme heat. It provides a tough, corrosion-resistant finish that protects against weather, salt, and moisture. This high-temperature paint maintains its rich, brilliant black color and avoids burning off or discoloring with time.

Best Spray Paint

Krylon Black High Heat Spray Paint is the go-to solution for painting surfaces with high temperatures. It is specially designed to withstand extreme heat conditions that range up to 1200°F (650°C) intermittently and 600°F (315°C) continuously.

This makes it an ideal solution for painting grills, exhausts, engines, and other metal surfaces continually exposed to high temperatures.

One of its key features is that it dries quickly to the touch in mere minutes. This ensures that the painted surface is ready for use in no time. It also dries tack-free in just 15 minutes, which eradicates the possibility of unwanted runs and drips. Thus, the resulting finish is smooth and durable.

Krylon Black High Heat Spray Paint is formulated with Thermo-Guard protection, which provides additional protection against heat. This feature makes it ideal for automotive, industrial, and high-heat applications.

Best Primer

If you need a primer for high-heat surfaces, look no further than Rust-Oleum High Heat Primer Spray Paint.

One of the standout features of this high-heat primer is its outstanding heat resistance. It can withstand temperatures of up to 2000°F (1093°C), which is higher than what many other products on the market can handle. 

Formulated with Rust-Oleum’s Stops Rust formula, this oil-based paint provides a rust-resistant base coat. It covers up to 12 square feet (1.1m²) and dries to the touch in 30 minutes.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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