Should I Waterproof My Chiminea?

A chiminea is a fantastic way to enhance outdoor life especially when you can easily add firewood and burn a fire to get rid of the chilly air. It’s great for cooking on, warming up backyards, and enhancing outdoor life. What you should know is that it is a big fire pit since it’s meant to be used year-round and you can have a lot of fun with friends and family. 

However, chimineas are not safe from the fact that they are often used and left outdoors. Keep in mind that clay chimineas, in specific, are weak against rain, snow, sun, and physical damages. These external factors can also cause cracks on your chiminea which can damage them even more in the long run. 

So, Is It Important To Waterproof Chimineas?

Yes, waterproofing or sealing your chiminea is definitely something you should consider. In fact, you should seal it twice a year if not used often and at least four times if used a lot. Waterproofing your chiminea will make sure that it will not get cracks from heat exposure and keep moisture away from potentially compromising your chimineas. 

Should All Types Of Chimineas Be Sealed?

The answer to the question is yes, definitely! Whether you’re using a clay chiminea or a cast iron chiminea, waterproofing it is still a must. Rain and moisture altogether can still compromise your chiminea’s performance if it’s not taken care of seriously. 

If you’re using a clay chiminea, leaving it outside during the rain will cause the clay to absorb too much moisture causing its surfaces to crack and ultimately damage it. Moreover, the interior of your interior chiminea will also get wet, this will cause the fire to produce too much smoke and that’s bad for your health and the environment. 

Cast iron chimineas are also not an exception to rain and moisture damage. Acid rain may damage your cast iron chiminea’s paint and cause it to rust and corrode over time. This is why it’s important to invest in waterproof paint to make sure your chimineas are safe from rain and moisture damage. 

Why Should I Seal My Clay Chiminea Before Using It?

First-time chiminea users should also keep in mind that sealing their chimineas is as important as tuning up your car before going on a long road trip. Sealing it will help prevent the buildup of a chiminea’s greatest enemy, the cracks. It also would help it withstand heat more effectively and prevent rain and moisture to inflict long-lasting damages. 

How Can I Properly Waterproof Or Seal My Clay Chiminea?

Step 1 – The first step is to make sure the chiminea is clean and dry before applying the sealer to it. Wipe the surface of your clay chiminea with a clean, damp cotton cloth and remove existing debris such as ashes and pieces of wood. 

Step 2 – The next step is applying the sealer properly. Keep in mind that sealers have different manufacturers so they also have different standards of steps for you to follow. So, make sure to follow those steps religiously. 

Once you’ve successfully applied the sealer on the chiminea’s surface, carefully spread it evenly across the outside using a clean rag. Remember, do not apply the sealer on the inside surface of the clay stove because you may use it to cook food. Sealers may contain certain toxic materials and if your food gets contaminated, you could get sick or even worse, poisoned.

Step 3 – Make sure that you have successfully rubbed the sealer on the outside surface of your chiminea. Incorporate a circular motion when you’re applying the sealer and you may apply many coatings or layers as needed. After applying the sealer, keep in mind to use the chiminea only after 5 days. This allows the sealer to have enough time to dry completely. 

Step 4 – After 5 days, it is now time to seal the inside of your chiminea. Sealing the inside of your chiminea helps prevent cracks and moisture buildup. To start, fill the chiminea with about 3 inches of sand towards its bottom. The sand will help protect the bottom and inside surfaces of the chiminea from direct heat caused by the flames. 

Step 5 – Start making a fire at the center of the poured sand. Remember to just start a small fire in the beginning then gradually increase its intensity little by little. Use small fire tinders such as woods and let the fire naturally burn out. Repeat this process about 5 to 10 times. The soot and ashes from the fire will help seal the pores and cracks inside the chiminea. 


Chimineas are quickly becoming a must-have garden accessory. They can be used in a variety of ways including patio heating, outdoor cooking, and fire pit lounging. But one of the most popular uses is for outdoor entertaining; you can cook out on the grill while enjoying the beautiful weather and even prepare summer cocktails to sip on. While it may seem like the ultimate package, you could find yourself struggling to brew your morning coffee if you don’t protect it from the rain.