Giving an old radiator a fresh coat of paint can often give what was once an eyesore, a whole new lease of life. If you are going to paint an old radiator, then you will need suitable solvent-based radiator paint, a chunky paint brush and a dust sheet to avoid getting paint on your carpet or flooring. If your radiator has been painted before, then you may need to use some sand paper to give it a rub-down first to get rid of any lumps and bumps from the previous layer of paint..¯¨
Make sure your radiator is cold
Before you start, make sure your radiator is turned off and completely cold and if necessary, sand it down. If the radiator has never been treated previously then you can move on to giving it a clean. You can use a cloth with some hot water and optional mild detergent to clean the radiator to ensure it is free from grease, dirt and dust and any other loose materials. Then spread your dust sheet underneath the radiator to protect the floor from any paint splatters.
Use radiator paint & take your time
The paint you use should be suitable for metal and preferably heat-resistant as standard gloss or emulsion will simply peel after the first couple of uses of your radiator. Mix your paint according to the manufacturers instructions and please give the tin a good shake to make sure that the paint is fully mixed. To get the best results when you apply the paint, use a good quality paintbrush (it’s worth paying a little extra) and apply the paint vertically in the direction of the grooves. It is best to paint in sections (for example, 3 grooves at a time) and slowly moving across the radiator, slightly overlapping until you reach the end.
Use an angled radiator paint brush if necessary
When dipping your brush into the paint, don’t be tempted to overload the brush, as you will want to avoid unsightly drips and runs from forming on the radiator. Once you have painted all the central grooves, go back over the very top and very bottom of the radiator and ensure you paint any other visible surfaces. It is possible to buy special radiator brushes that have a long handle and angled bristles. These are very handy for painting any hard-to-reach areas.
Decide if your radiator needs a second coat
When you have finished painting your radiator, leave the paint to dry in accordance with the instructions on the tin. Err on the side of caution and go with the more conservative estimates. Once dry, take a look at the quality of the finish and apply a second coat in exactly the same way, if necessary. If you are happy with the coat, then double-check the paint is dry before turning the radiator back on. The first couple of times you have your central heating on after painting your radiator, you may experience a fairly strong paint smell. However this is usually to be expected and will not last long.
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