Tips On How to Paint a Radiator to Either Restore or Customize It

While a radiator is a common home heating device, it isn’t one that looks very attractive. So, people who want to repaint one are up to a not-so-common undertaking because they get hot and common paint and painting methods will not do. Here are some useful tips on how to paint a radiator.

Painting for a Modern Decor

Painting a Radiator
Tips On How to Paint a Radiator to Either Restore or Customize It

The most important thing when painting a radiator is to use a paint and primer that is resistant to high temperatures. It’s also a good idea to use rust-resistant products that will help protect the heat source against the buildup of rust. Products that are marketed as radiator paint should be the main focus, but a specialty product isn’t strictly necessary.

The heating source can be difficult to access when it is installed close to the wall and floor. If there is time, it should be removed from its position to reach the sides, bottom, and back of the appliance. The back and bottom of the radiator are mostly hidden, so they can be left unpainted. The sides, top, and front can be painted without removal. A paintbrush can also be used, and spray paint can also be useful to get better coverage. The person doing the painting work should wear proper protection, and cloth should be used to protect the wall, floor, and surrounding area.

Safety Is a Vital Step

A rusted radiator
Tips On How to Paint a Radiator to Either Restore or Customize It

While painting a radiator may not sound like a very dangerous job, it has its hazards, and safety should be considered. Before sanding, cleaning, priming, or painting the radiator, the control valve should be turned off. This way, there will be no hot air or steam entering the radiator while it is being painted. The radiator should be left to cool down, and any valves should be taped to protect them from getting damaged.

Preparing the area for painting takes laying down cloth on the floor and the wall where the painting will take place. Scrap pieces of cardboard can also be used, especially if they are thin enough to be fitted behind the radiator. Before any painting is done, there should be an open window and a working fan to improve ventilation. Wearing a long-sleeve shirt, mask, gloves, long pants, closed-toe shoes, and safety goggles is also a good idea.

Prep the Surface and Get to Painting

A painted radiator
Tips On How to Paint a Radiator to Either Restore or Customize It

Removing any rust or old paint is necessary before the painting starts. A screwdriver can be used to see if there are signs of flaking when scraping the surface of the unit. Any noticeable pitting from heavy rust buildup should be removed with a coarse-grit sandpaper that is also great for sanding spots with heavy rust. Then, fine-grit sandpaper can be used to remove the old paint.

Once it has been cleared of rust and paint, it should be wiped with a cloth and warm water. After the surface has been cleaned and the radiator left to dry, it is time to prime it with an appropriate primer, using either a brush or spray. Finally, a paintbrush or spray paint should be used to apply the new paint. A second coat of paint can also be applied, and when the paint dries, the freshly painted radiator can be reinstalled.