Thanks. I used the same VHT and even simulated "curing" with a series of heat ups using a gas burner - the stuff is chit! I'm getting ready to soda blast mine and just use Rustoleum BBQ flat black. I hoped you had found a better solution: still like your pit design!
Weber 26.75 OTG w/CI grates & SJ/WSM Mini
Home built 24"x72" reverse flow stick burner trailer with 18"x44" grill w/CI grates and upright SS gas oven/smoker.
Home built 48" fire pit with a 30"x30" Santa Maria style ranch grill.
Home built lump charcoal retort, iGrill & a bunch of other cooking toys.