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Painting, decorating and home improvement tips blog

How to paint a radiator

Posted by Adrian
March 1st, 2010

Graphic of a radiator

How to paint a radiator

To paint a radiator firstly turn it off and let it go cold if it has been in use. Once the radiator is cool your ready to begin.

Firstly give the old paint on the radiator a ‘key’ for the new paint to adhere to, basically this means give the radiator a light rub down with a fine to medium grit abrasive such as sand or glass paper. You could also use wet and dry.

Next, dust off the radiator or wipe it over with a damp cloth to remove and dust. You are now ready to start painting.

It is advisable to lay a dustsheet under the radiator to catch any spills, splashes etc.

Where to start?

I normally paint the ends first, painting around the bleed valve end then the other end.
Load the brush with paint and paint the first three or four flutes (the indented parts) at the top and the bottom ensuring they are covered well.

Next paint the first few flutes from top to bottom, then with an unloaded brush, brush from top to bottom spreading the paint over evenly.

Depending on how big the radiator is you can paint all the flutes and then the top and bottom of the radiator. If the radiator is big or if you work slowly it is better to do a few flutes and then work the top and bottom along as you go.

When you have worked your way along the entire length of the radiator go back and check for any runs, normally at the bottom of the flutes, if there are any runs simply brush them out with an unloaded brush.

Finally, stand back and admire your work!

Please note that when you do turn the radiator on again it will give off a smell, this is the paint and is normal, the smell will go after the radiator has been on a few times and the paint is fully cured.

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Posted in Decorating Tips | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “How to paint a radiator”

  1. Andy Says:

    With oil paint, I tend to leave the rads on low if possible. Paint flows on really nice when warm and less viscous. You have to work quick, so maybe not a tip for DIY. (And not a good idea for water-based finishes!)

    Date posted : March 13th, 2011 at 8:54 am
  2. Adrian Says:

    If your radiator is off the wall, maybe so you can wallpaper behind it, this is the ideal time to paint it. Paint the radiator laying flat, it does mean you can’t have the radiator on for a day or so whilst it dries but it does avoid any runs and get good paint flow.

    Date posted : March 13th, 2011 at 2:38 pm
  3. Sandy Lover Says:

    When my husband and I decided to redecorate our living room we had to remove our radiator in order to wallpaper behind. After wallpapering we painted the radiator a nice cream colour to go with the wallpaper. Thanks to your helpful guide, we have now got a lovely decorated living room with a fresh looking radiator.

    Date posted : July 27th, 2011 at 8:08 am

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