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Thread: Can I burn painted wood in firepit

  1. #1

    Can I burn painted wood in firepit

    I have a new chiminea firepit on my patio. I also have lots of scrap wood, much of it primed/painted. Can I safely burn this in the firepit?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    In a chimnea outside, I think's probably better than burning it inside, but I'd still try to plane off most of it. Just me.

  3. #3
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    Burning painted or finished wood can create toxic fumes that you may be inhaling even in an outdoor fire but it also releases those toxins into the air which is not good either.
    As suggested above, try planing off most the finish before using it as firewood.

  4. #4
    Painted wood is bad for my plane or planer blades I would rather burn it than dull edges...
    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Shirley View Post
    Burning painted or finished wood can create toxic fumes that you may be inhaling even in an outdoor fire but it also releases those toxins into the air which is not good either.
    As suggested above, try planing off most the finish before using it as firewood.
    Carpe Lignum

  5. #5
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    It will not hurt the fire pit in the least.

    I used to take scraps and old cabinets to campouts. The camping purists claimed it changed the ambiance from "outdoor nature" to "house fire".

  6. #6
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    This is one of those questions that if you need to ask, you probably shouldn't do it.

  7. #7
    Oh yeah, I'm assuming (maybe badly) that the paint is relatively new (i.e., lead-free paint).

  8. #8
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    Perhaps it is but toxins in the air are bad for everyone not just the person doing the burning.

    Quote Originally Posted by phil harold View Post
    Painted wood is bad for my plane or planer blades I would rather burn it than dull edges...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Shirley View Post
    Perhaps it is but toxins in the air are bad for everyone not just the person doing the burning.
    wood dust is a toxin and cancerous,
    just burning wood buts toxins in the air
    where do you draw the line?
    lets just stop doing anything that is hazardous
    dont drive your car
    dont buy anything that is commercially processed
    man is toxic to the planet...
    Carpe Lignum

  10. #10
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    Wow, what a philosophy. Other things do damage so we should just do what we want and forget the consequences.
    Man is already toxic to the planet so we might as well continue.

    To the OP, if you really want to burn the wood you should remove any potentially toxic finishes first and that is not limited to non-leaded paint. The chemicals in many finishes and paints are extremely hazardous when burned. You could run it across your table saw to skim off the outside layer. If it is too small to do that then you do not gain any real benefit from that small amount of wood you would be burning and certainly not enough benefit to risk your and others health let alone the pollution that settles into rivers lakes and oceans and comes back to us in the food chain.




    Quote Originally Posted by phil harold View Post
    wood dust is a toxin and cancerous,
    just burning wood buts toxins in the air
    where do you draw the line?
    lets just stop doing anything that is hazardous
    dont drive your car
    dont buy anything that is commercially processed
    man is toxic to the planet...

  11. #11
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    Not sure how bad it is for you, but I do it all the time - especially since I have to pay by the can for garbage pickup. I usually make sure I am not burning any lead paint - I also burn ply - which I am sure I am about to get a dressing down over -

    I make sure I don't stand over the fire when that kind of stuff is burning.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Shirley View Post
    Wow, what a philosophy. Other things do damage so we should just do what we want and forget the consequences.
    Man is already toxic to the planet so we might as well continue.
    Wow is right!
    I asked you where to draw the line and you did not see the best place...
    The solution it to bury at a landfill, the environmentally correct answer


    Why use more energy to to remove the paint to burn it, when burning wood that will give off more toxic fumes than a cigarette?
    Carpe Lignum

  13. #13
    I don't burn plywood or anything finished...anywhere. Why? Because I don't know everything that went into the finish/glue and I'm too lazy to look it up.

  14. #14
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    I don't have a problem with burning plywood or finished wood, but I wouldn't do it in a campfire-type setting or cook over it. The toxins released are pretty minimal. Most of it ends up as ash in the pile. I do prefer to get the fire good and hot first, then add anything with finish on it--more heat means more breakdown in the chemicals.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rimmer View Post
    This is one of those questions that if you need to ask, you probably shouldn't do it.
    +1. Your common sense gene kicked in when you were guided to ask the question. The fire pit won't care. Other items and mammals in the area may have a different experience.
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


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