Heat resistant enamel paint is used to protect barbecues, stoves and ovens.

Enamel paint – the glossy, hard, and durable finish

The term ‘enamel paint’ covers a variety of coating types used for different substrates and purposes. The common factor between all these applications is that the coating provides a hard, opaque, and glossy surface, and it is this which characterises the ‘enamel’ paint. There are three main types: Enamel paint for high gloss house surfaces like window frames, doors and trim, high temperature enamel paint for industrial and heat-proof surfaces, and the kind of enamel paint that is used for enamelware which is baked onto a substrate.

In this article we look at the different types of enamel paint, as well as how they are used and applied. We also list enamel paint manufacturers and suppliers in New Zealand.

The 3 main types of enamel paint

As mentioned above, there are three main ‘types’ of enamel paint: those used for architectural applications, those for heat protection, and those which are baked on. Below we describe each of these in more detail. Within the different categories there is enamel paint for metal, enamel paint for wood, oil or water based enamel paint and a range of other substrate and chemistry specific varieties.

1. Gloss enamel paint – trim, windows, doors, etc.

Surfaces in high traffic or high use areas like doorways, windows, trim, and cabinets require a hard-wearing paint that won’t easily be chipped and scratched by daily use. There is water based and enamel paint and oil based enamel paint for these purposes which can be used for interior paints or exterior surfaces. They provide excellent coverage and colour retention, are washable, and are available in varying levels of gloss – generally the higher the gloss level, the more heavy duty the finish.

It is possible to use enamel paint for wood, metal and plaster surfaces. This coating also comes in the form of enamel spray paint. Products like Dulux Duramax Enamel Spray Paint are used for metals, wood and plastics to give them a glossy finish.

2. Heat proof enamel paint

High temperature or heat proof enamel paint is an enamel paint for metal that protects surfaces from heat. These kinds of enamels are available as aerosols and liquid paints and are generally used for heat proofing surfaces at home rather than hard-working industrial heat proofing. Objects like barbecues, stoves, lamps, flues, stove pipes, engines and other heat adjacent or exposed surfaces all can be treated with a heat proof enamel. This applies to exterior surfaces – the interiors of stoves and barbecues (or any part that comes into contact with food) should not be treated.

These enamels contain silicone resin, which is what gives them their heat proof properties. They are formulated to provide heat resistance, film integrity and colour retention up to different temperatures, from 300°C to 650°C. Though the colour range is not vast, heat proof enamel is available in at the very least red, black, and silver.

3. Vitreous enamel paint – baked enamelware

Every grandma had some somewhere, and now the trend has come round again – enamelware is a homely classic. And it is not just a kitchen classic; the history of car paint includes a variety of different enamels. These types of coating are generally alkyd enamel paint or acrylic enamel paint, but they can also be epoxy or urethane resins. Other typical applications for baked enamels are oven walls, kitchen appliances, sinks, bathtubs, silos,  processing equipment and pharmaceutical tanks and even advertising signs.

The key ingredient in baked enamel coatings is powdered glass (‘frit’), which is why they are also called vitreous enamel.This glass is fused to the substrate and baked at very high temperatures (about 850°C), which is why it is a process used for metals. It is smooth, hard, durable, resistant to chemicals, abrasion, and corrosion, and very easy to clean.

Where to find enamel paint suppliers and products in New Zealand

There are a number of companies that provide each of the different enamel paints for the New Zealand market. For gloss enamel paint there is always Bunnings, where you can find products from brands like Dulux, British Paints, and White Knight. For heat proof enamel paint Bunnings also has a wide selection from White Knight and Dulux. For vitreous enamel companies like Procote Industries provide a range of services. Below we have compiled a sample selection of enamel paint products and companies in New Zealand.

If you have a project that needs enamel coating and need advice on products, get in touch! Our experts are here to help. Just use the “Request a Quote” button beneath this article and fill in the contact form with the relevant information.

Enamel Paint Product/CompanyDescription
British Paints H2O Enamel A water based enamel, designed for use on interior and exterior doors, windows and timber trim surfaces.
Dulux AquanamelA water based interior and exterior acrylic enamel that dries to an ultra-smooth and durable finish. Recommended for doors, architraves, skirting boards, internal and external windows, timber trim and walls and is ideal for bathrooms, kitchens and laundries.
PPG Paints Easycoat Interior Doors and TrimsGloss paint that includes Microban, which provides antimicrobial protection against the growth of mould, mildew and fungus on painted surfaces. Use it in damp areas of your home and in rooms that suffer from high humidity.
PaintPlus AcryGlazeA clear, water based acrylic enamel particularly suited to interior applications over dressed timber and wooden joinery.
Procote Industries LimitedVitreous enamelling company for signs, architectural paneling, promotional products (mugs, plates, etc).
White Knight Pot Belly BlackA heat resistant, self priming paint designed for use on metal surfaces which are subject to radiant heat with a maximum heat resistance of 300°C. Ideal for use on pot belly stoves, heaters, ovens, BBQ surrounds and flues.
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