Can I touch-up paint cast iron cook top grates?
I have a Kitchen Aid gas stainless steel cooktop grill in my home. The black cast iron matte finish grates are starting to mark up and are shiny and not all over black after using them for three years. Is there something I can do to make the grates black again?
Thanks so much for the help!
I am not an expert on industrial paints and finishes, but my guess is that the finish on your grates was baked on at ludicrously high temperatures, I doubt you could touch them up in some way. Are they rusting? If they have a matte finish, you might be able to clean them thouroghly with an abrasive to knock down the shiny parts. If they are no longer black, then what color are they?
Your best bet would be to order new grates as its much cheaper than a new Viking range (doesnt every chowhound lust for one of those?)
Find a place that sells fire place insets & cast iron stoves. There is a specific paint they sell for touch ups which can hold up to the heat. Depending on your area, a good hardware store probably has it. I just did a quick search for "stove paint" & found many sources. If your grates were originally enameled, this will still work, but won't look the same nor fill in the gaps created from chipped enamel.
Don't do anything to the grates. If the finish is bothering you, talk to your retailer about warranty/replacement/likely wear/whatever. But: no function is impaired. Do Not Paint. (!) (Although reading through I see that you did not suggest that.)
My range is a KitchenAid with semi-matte cast iron gratesover the burners. We just wash them once a week or more if needed. Beautiful after 5 or 6 years. Is your cookware leaving...well...scuffmarks on the grates? And are you talking about the grills over the burners, or a "grill?"
If they're some sort of metal, why not rub them with oil (like canola, peanut, etc) and burn them a la seasoning a cast iron pan? It's what I do to my charcoal grill - grind down the rust to bare metal, coat with oil and season with heat.
Of course, if the warranty will replace it for free, go that route!
One reason would be that unlike an outdoor grill, where several inches (and almost always some kind of stone, ceramic or steel diffuser) separate the cooking grate from the flame the grates on a stove are directly in the flame.
Oil would certainly catch fire... Smoke and flames stuff. Bad.
Er, I'm not talking about a POT of oil. I'm talking about a COATING of oil - like one does for a cast iron pan. Funny thing is that my cast iron never burst into flames - it just seasoned...
BTW, I stated "charcoal grill" for a reason. There's no sort of diffuser between the flame and the grate. Just open flame. And when I'm seasoning the metal on the grill, I'm stoking a large fire to get the flame right on it.