How to Restore a Fire Pit Ash Pan

When I went to clean out our fire pit I noticed there were several holes in the bottom of it in what is called the ash pan. What the heck is an ash pan?  I know – I didn’t know the technical term until I started looking for one to replace the rust bucket we currently had.  It is the metal bottom of a fire pit that holds the logs.  Unfortunately, they are made out of inexpensive sheet metal and tend to corrode quickly.  Since we had a square fire pit (purchased at Lowes about three years ago) and purchasing a $20 piece of stainless steel was in the budget we decided to try to prolong the life of our ash pan by just replacing some of the metal.  It is a heck of a better deal than spending the $150 to replace the fire pit.  Here is what we learned along the way…you can’t find replacement ash pans.  I think the fire pit manufacturers are in cahoots making the ash pans wear out quickly so that you have to get a new fire pit every few years.


Well, my husband decided to “stick it to the man” and find a way to keep our current fire pit and just replace some of the metal.  This part is really funny because he is always on my case about “letting it go” and just buying a new one.  After all, he is the one who convinced me to spend over $300 for new cushions for our outdoor furniture. This time it was me that was trying to talk him into just buying a new fire pit.  I was convinced this was going to be an epic fail.  But my husband proved me wrong!  Since I was so convinced of this failure and the fact that we did this at night I don’t have a lot of the pictures to show the process.  I will do my best to explain it though.


24” x 24” 26 gauge sheet metal (purchased at Lowes’)

tin snips

bolts and washers

electric drill with drill bits

Rust-Oleum High Heat Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum Hammered Copper Metal Spray Paint

3M Scotch Blue Tape

1.  Taking a piece of 24” x 24” sheet metal we drew this diagram onto the metal with a Sharpie and then with tin snips we cut along the red lines.

fire pit ash pan replacement

2.  Next, we formed the metal to fit into the existing pan overlapping the corner edges and then marked them and folded one corner edge back and one forward.  Note: we snipped the forward edge so it wasn’t so sharp.

new fire pit bowl

3.  Using a made for metal drill bit we drilled holes through the sheet metal and our rust bucket and then attached a bolt and washer through it to hold it in place. We ended up adding a dozen screws to keep it secure.

new ash pan for fire pit

replacement fire pit pan

By the time it was all screwed in much of the bottom of the pan had given way with a bunch of the rust just flaking off.

rusted fire pit

At this point, I am in awe of my husband’s brilliance and a little shocked it worked!

4.  After it was secure I cleaned it with some Mr. Clean Outdoor Pro and then let that dry. Next, I coated it with some high heat spray paint on both the front and the back of the ash pan.  I used Rustoleum’s High Heat Spray Paint in black.  I also blasted the metal cover with it too.

high heat spray paint

fire bit bowl repair

5.  I taped off the stonework on the top of the fire pit and gave the legs a fresh coat of Rustoleum’s Hammered spray paint in Brown.square fire pit

outdoor furniture area

square fire pit

After I restored the firepit I built a table that fits just over the firepit.  This way the wood will protect the new metal pan and will also allow us to get more use out of this area in the hot summer when we don’t make fires.

fire pit table

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This is a repost from 2012, but ya still need to repair your firepit right?  So I am here to help save you from buying a brand new fire pit just because the ash pan needs replacing! 🙂