How to Paint Radiator Heaters

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Your radiator heater carries out a complex task to keep you warm and protect your house from moisture during winter. As such, you need to appreciate and show it a little love during the summer season.

This article will guide you on how to paint radiator heaters. It’s a simple DIY task that you shouldn’t spend much money on by hiring a professional painter.

In some cases, the radiator paint may be excellent and sparkling, but it doesn’t match your room paint color. Maybe, you’ve just repainted your room to give it a new look. But what about the radiator? You need to give it a fresh look too.

Painting the radiator is not like painting a house wall. It requires the proper preparation, appropriate method, and choosing the best paints. This article will guide you on the best practices.

However, removing the radiator for repainting can be a tiresome and time-consuming exercise. To evade all that, you’ll also learn how to paint a radiator without removing it.

How to Paint Radiator Heaters

Is it Safe to Paint Radiators?

If you’ve been figuring out how you’ll give your old radiator a new look, I’ll give you an honest answer about your safety while painting and living in the room after painting.

Yes, it’s very safe when you follow the correct method, choose the recommended paints, and carry out the appropriate procedure.

While carrying out the painting exercise, it’s good to have quality protective gear and carry it out at the right time.

Honestly speaking, it can be fun to do during weekends or work off days. Second, it will be fantastic to give your whole room a new look.

Read: How to clean between radiator fins

What Type of Paint to Use on Radiators

Water-based emulsion paints can give you the worst results ever. They quickly disperse heat which may cause them to crack and peel fast. And just in a few months, you’re back with your paintbrush. It can be annoying.

The best combination you can choose is high heat metal primer and high heat overcoat. With both, you’ll experience great results.

Luckily, there is a simpler option if you’ve been figuring out how to paint a radiator with a brush. Radiator spray paint gives the same results as the brush painting method.

However, I’ll share how to paint using a brush or spray bottles with you. Let’s take a look at the procedure.

How to Paint Radiator Heaters

How to Paint Radiator Heaters

First, you need to understand the shopping list. Quality ingredients will ease your painting job.

  •  Mild detergent.
  •  Painters tape.
  •  Vacuum cleaner
  •  Sandpapers (high and low grit)
  •  Safety glasses
  •  Dust mask
  •  Disposable gloves
  •  Rust-oleum heat-protective enamel
  •  Rutland high-temperature paint
  •  Paintbrush
  • Sponge

After assembling all the items, carry out the following procedure;

1. Turn Off the Radiator Heater and Allow it to Cool

The best time to carry out the painting job is during summer when the radiator is rarely used. Ensure the radiator is at room temperature because painting a warm surface will result in poor adhesion.

However, even while using the radiator during winter, you can turn it off and wait for 30 minutes to 1 hour. When it’s cool, you’re good to proceed.

Read: How to heat a garage without electricity

2. Prepare the Area

Since you don’t want the tiresome task of removing the radiator, you can move items like the furniture out of the room to have a wide space.

The next step is to protect your floor because there is a higher possibility some paints will spill. Cover the floor with some nylon sheets or cardboards.

Use the painter’s tape to mask the wall around the radiator to prevent paint from spilling on the wall. You can set cardboard behind the radiator for protection.

Ventilate the room by opening the windows and the door for the paint fumes to quickly dissolve in the air. Additionally, you can place a fan near a window for better ventilation.

3. Clean Your Radiator Heater

Apply mild soap and use a sponge to clean dust and grime on the radiator surface. Afterward, dry the surface using a clean rug.

Using high and low grit sandpapers, sand the surface to remove rust and roughen it for better paint adhesion.

Once clean, use a vacuum cleaner to clear fine dust from the surface and dry it completely.

4. Apply Primer

Metal primer protects the surface from further rusting and creates a good base for the overcoat. As such, I recommend rust oleum heat-protective enamel.

Use your paintbrush to apply the primer carefully without covering the valves. If you intend to use spray primer, ensure your nozzle is around 8 inches from the surface to avoid heavy spraying.

After complete application, leave it to dry. You should confirm the duration your primer will take to dry with your manufacturer.

5. Apply Your Cover Coat

Give your radiator a fine coating with high heat cover coat as the final step. Before opening, thoroughly shake your tin. Afterward, stir the paint with a stick until it’s mixed. Take your paintbrush and apply starting with the top, the edges, sides, and lower part.

FAQs on Painting Radiator Heaters

Is Gloss Paint OK for Radiators?

Gloss paint is suitable for highly heated metals. Traditionally, it has been used in radiator heaters. Therefore, it can be your best choice if you intend to give your radiator a new look.

Is it better to Spray or Paint a Radiator?

Any of the two methods is good. However, spraying can be easier and faster compared to brush painting. Secondly, the spraying finish is effective as the radiator’s original paint. But for all radiator paints, you can easily access them from the nearby hardware shops.

Can I Paint a Radiator With a Roller?

A roller can work best on the radiator sides facing outwards. But if the radiator is installed on the wall, a roller will not work best. You’ll need a special angled paintbrush.

Why Do Radiators Go Yellow?

The radiator turning yellow signifies that the pigment has come out of the primer and the radiator needs replacement. At this point, when the radiator has reached its end of life, applying tips on how to paint radiator heaters may not help. You’ll need to replace it with a modern one. 

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