How to Re-Porcelain a BBQ Coating

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Refresh the porcelain finish on your barbecue and it will look like new.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose and water

  • Plastic trash bag

  • Oven cleaner spray

  • Stainless steel soap pads

  • Rubber gloves

  • Sponge

  • Dish soap

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Paper towels

  • Stainless steel brush

  • Inexpensive 2-inch brush

  • Brush-on rust remover

  • Fine sandpaper (3 pieces)

  • Metal primer spray paint (with rust protection)

  • 2 cans of high-quality, glossy spray paint made for barbecues

  • Old newspapers

  • One, 2-by-4 (8 feet long) cut in half

After years of using a barbecue, a grill can become to feel like a longtime friend that you can't stand to part with -- even though the porcelain coating of your grill begins to break down. Fortunately, you don't need to buy a new grill. High-heat, easy-to-use porcelain spray paint, designed specifically for re-coating barbecues, is available at hardware stores. Look for products with names similar to "BBQ grill paint" and "high-heat porcelain spray paint," and read the labels closely before purchasing. By following a few steps, your grill will look brand new and be ready for many more years of grilling.


Step 1: Prepare the BBQ

Clean your barbecue. Empty the charcoal (making sure it's cool) into a plastic bag and discard. Rinse the barbecue out using a garden hose. Spread newspaper on the ground and place the barbecue on top of the newspaper.

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Step 2: Clean the BBQ with oven cleaner

Spray oven cleaner to remove grease from the inside of the barbecue, the grill racks and inside of the lid. Follow directions and allow the product to sit until the heaviest grease is softened. Scrub the grill racks with the barbecue wire brush. Wipe down the inside of the barbecue and lid with paper towels while wearing plastic gloves. Use steel wool to remove any remaining grease.


Step 3: Rinse the BBQ with soap and water

Squeeze dish soap onto a wet sponge. Wash the barbecue, inside and out, with the sponge and rinse well. Allow to dry and wipe down with rubbing alcohol and paper towels to remove any remaining residue. Protect the non-porcelain portions of the barbecue from paint over-spray using painters tape and newspaper.


Step 4: Remove rust and sand the BBQ

Brush any rust with a steel brush. Sand the barbecue gently, inside and out, including the lid, with fine sandpaper.

Step 5: Apply a primer

Get the barbecue bowl and lid ready for re-coating by spraying their exterior surfaces only with a high-heat metal primer spray that prevents rust. Allow the primer to dry according to directions.


Step 6: Apply porcelain spray paint

Spray a light coat of appropriate high-heat BBQ grill paint or porcelain spray paint to the outside of the barbecue, using even, continuous passes. Do not paint the inside of the barbecue, as even high-heat paints are not safe for this. Allow the paint to dry, according to directions.

Step 7: Add more coats of paint

Repeat this re-coating process at least two more times. Apply additional light coats of BBQ grill paint until the barbecue has the professional-looking glossy finish that you desire. Allow the final coat to dry.


Step 8: Re-coat the lid

Lay newspaper on the ground and lay the two 2-by-4s on top of the newspaper about 8 inches apart. Place the barbecue lid on top of the 2-by-4s and apply spray paint to its exterior surface. Repeat this process, applying as many light coats of high-heat porcelain spray paint to the barbecue lid as you applied to the bowl of the barbecue.

Step 9: Wait 48 hours

Allow the paint to dry thoroughly. After allowing the porcelain to cure for 48 hours, fire up your old friend again and enjoy.


In order for the porcelain spray paint to dry thoroughly and cure, place the grill in a garage or porch for 48 hours. Do not put the lid on the grill or the racks inside the barbecue until the end of that time.

If the aluminum and stainless steel portions of the grill's legs need a bit of sprucing up, remove the rust and spray with a high-quality aluminum or stainless steel spray paint with rust protection.

Barbecue spray paint is available in black, burgundy, and aluminum.


Ensure that you remove all the grease residue from your grill before applying spray paint. Failure to do so will impair the finish of the paint.

Always thoroughly check the manufacturer's instructions, including safe temperature limits, for the BBQ grill paint you intend to use. Never paint the interior surfaces of the barbecue, nor the grills.



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