Thursday, January 24, 2013

Restoring an ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING BBQ Grill or Smoker

I know you love the title to this post. ;) I tried hard to come up with a better name. But any other title would not suffice.


Here we go, people.

It’s almost spring time … which means it’s almost summer time … which means it’s almost backyard barbeque time … which means … it’s almost time for you to hang your head in embarrassment because your bbq grill or smoker is “shot”, but raise you hand if you want to fork out ANOTHER $150, $250, $350+ to buy yet ANOTHER bbq grill.

I know, right?

I swear.

Owning a home means … owning a disgusting bbq grill. It’s our rite of passage. And when you own a bbq grill, it DOES become disgusting. And you DO have to replace it. Regularly.

It’s a vicious cycle.

Well. Not anymore, my friends. Not. Any. More.

I’m going to show you how to make ANY disgusting bbq grill or smoker look brand new, like this:

high heat rustoleum spray paint to restore bbq grill smoker 2

Would you believe we found that pristine BRAND NEW smoker on Craigslist for just $20?!

Me either.

We did, however, find this disgusting looking smoker on Craigslist for just $20:

high heat rustoleum spray paint to restore bbq grill smoker 1

Straight up.

high heat rustoleum spray paint to restore bbq grill smoker 9

I think poor Superman thought he was being punk’d when I sent him to pick it up after his shift one morning. Either that, or he thought I was in.sane.


You know what happens when you set a bonfire inside a bbq grill/smoker? No?

I’ll tell you: all of the paint (and disgusting greasy goo) melts off leaving clean steel behind. I tell no lies. Here, take a look:

high heat rustoleum spray paint to restore bbq grill smoker 8

Check. That. Out.

Bare buck naked steel.

**** DISCLAIMER: Remove anything from the grill/smoker that is rubber, plastic, electrical, etc. Otherwise, those components will also burn up in the high heat inferno. Superman removed the handles, thermometer, temperature control panel, and heat element from inside the smoker before lighting it on fire. PLEASE don’t just set fire to your smoker without removing those key pieces that make it work. K, thanks. :D

Setting a bonfire doesn’t make it shine like that … Superman is a serious over achiever, so he got out his random orbital [electric] sander and lightly sanded all the edges.

high heat rustoleum spray paint to restore bbq grill smoker 6

So … he sanded … lightly … and sanded some more … lightly. Then he sprayed them with the hose and dried them off.

high heat rustoleum spray paint to restore bbq grill smoker 7

And then he set all the pieces out on buckets and broomsticks so that he could get to work … wait for it …


… with Rust-Oleum High Heat Spray Paint.
 high heat rustoleum style with cents

This. stuff. is. awesome. It withstands heat up to 1,200 degrees. Fan.flipping.tastic.

And, it dries in 2 hours. That, my friends, is what you call: WINNING.

So, he SPRAY PAINTED all the pieces. Y’all try not to fall over dead from shock that we spray painted something, okay? Thanks.


Here it is now:

high heat rustoleum spray paint to restore bbq grill smoker 2

I'm not gonna lie, I thought it should have been free … but the previous owners were getting ready to have a baby and I wasn’t gonna cheat them out of $20 worth of diapers. Plus, the guy was articulate. And seemed to have achieved an education well beyond 8th grade, which was worth every penny of that $20. (Have you ever dealt through Craigslist? Nothing like Craigslist to make you realize just how, um, ‘educationally challenged’ the general public is.)

high heat rustoleum spray paint to restore bbq grill smoker 3

Do you SEE that thermometer?! Do you?! That is the same original thermometer, people. It used to look like this:

high heat rustoleum spray paint to restore bbq grill smoker 10

But with just a little bon fire … and a lot of TLC … it came back to us. :D

high heat rustoleum spray paint to restore bbq grill smoker 4

Superman even sanded the steel on the handles … and restained the wood dowels using some of the stain from when he refinished our kitchen table.

high heat rustoleum spray paint to restore bbq grill smoker 5


Isn’t is A-MAZ-ING what you can do with a little spray paint?

Amazing. Rustoleum should be paying me for this stuff. Don’t you think? ;)

high heat rustoleum before and after

PS – It only took 1 can of Rust-Oleum High Heat Spray Paint! (Well, not even a whole can. Maybe half.)


  1. This is amazing. Well done! I'm a little unclear on the bonfire part though. What did you do with a bonfire?

    1. Hahaha. Sorry, Morgan. That was a little vague. He just loaded the thing up with firewood, lit it on fire, and let it burn at a REALLY high temperature. It caused all the paint to just melt/peel right off. Suuuuuper easy to get all the nasty off the outside. Way easier than I think either of us thought it would be.

    2. Morgan, please see the disclaimer that Superman had me add. Sorry. I'm not really super knowledgeable about any of these things. It will explain the process a little more. Thanks!

  2. Amazing! It looks brand new! That spray paint is awesome and it's so awesome that all that melted off. Super impressed and new follower :)

    Brie @ Breezy Pink Daisies

  3. Who knew setting it on fire, well, inside, would work? I'd have scrubbed that thing with a wire brush all day and it wouldn't have come out as clean. Great job!

    1. I did try scrubbing it first ... and it definitely didn't come close to what the bonfire did. Thanks so much! :D

  4. I'm going to try this with our grill. Somewhere in between removing all the parts, the bonfire and painting, I'm certain I'll be tempted to run over to Lowe's to pick up a new grill, but I'm going to see it through. I've been storing the paint for a year. I hope it's still good.

    1. You sound like me!!!! Good luck ... and if you end up with a new grill from Lowe's, it's still not a bad plan. HAHA. ;)

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  6. It’s my fist time to visit your blog and I find it incredibly useful and inspiring to everyone. Your husband is very handy. I think it’s so cool that he was able to basically restore the “disgusting old” grill to look like new! How does he know all these things?

    Nohemi Tutterrow

  7. Reading about all the effort you guys put into making that grill look good again had me exhausted. I don’t know how some guys can let it get to that point. I always make sure to clean my grill short of turning it inside out. Apart from the meat coming off the grates cleanly, a well-maintained grill will offer years of service and would not cause you to shell out money for a new one.


  8. Nice Blog! Best Home product Supplier in Singapore Bbq Set

  9. I just restored a new braunfels Bandera smoker. I didn't use a bonfire, didn't think of it, but I took a coarse wire brush attachment with my grill to all metal parts that had rusted, then used acetone to remove the refuse and clean all areas, then painted with Rustoleum high heat ultra. I am going to paint a second coat to get more uniform finish. I went from planning to toss it, to having a near new grill. Seasoning with peanut oil is great idea as it will withstand higher heat than other oils.

  10. We love the Rustoleum High Heat paint! Used it on our fireplace and it completely changed the look of it. Nice work on the smoker!

  11. Wow, Janette! What you did with your grill is amazing. I agree with you that a home wouldn't be complete without a grill. Who doesn't love Barbecue Sundays right? A grill is kinda like a vital part of every family's life so it's really a must to take care of it well. Who would've thought that a bonfire would do wonders for a grill. Thanks for your great tips. :)

    Lindsey Mckenzie @

  12. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with extra information? It is extremely helpful for me. Best Smoker Grills in 2018