7th Dec 2022 -

When painting a radiator, specialist radiator paints are available, giving a durable and attractive coating that will resist higher temperatures. In this guide from Building Materials Nationwide, we’ll explore the essentials of radiator paint, look at your options for using other paints on a radiator, and cover how to effectively paint a radiator.

What is the Best Paint For Radiators?

Radiators within a home or other building can be painted in a range of colours, helping them either blend into a room or contrast with it. When looking to paint a radiator, the best paint to use is one specifically designed for radiators. 

Radiator paints are formulated to attach well to metal surfaces and withstand their high temperatures, while also offering durability against bumps and scratches. While they will typically be white, other options will be available. Both oil-based and water-based radiator paints will be available, which are sold by companies like Ronseal, Hammerite, and Jenolite.

Are Other Paints Suitable For Radiators?

Radiator paint is designed to attach well to metal and to remain consistent through large fluctuations in temperature. This performance will not be offered by standard paints including metal paints. If you are looking to use a more standard paint on your radiator there are some options. 

You’ll need to use a priming undercoat designed around radiators, and even then it may not offer great long-term performance. If you are looking to use emulsion paint on a radiator you’ll need to first carefully prime it.

What Sheen is Best For Radiators?

Radiator paints come in a range of sheens, ranging from matt to gloss. Sheen affects the level of reflection offered by a painted surface, ranging from the flatness of matt to the high shine of a gloss. The best option for you will depend on how you want your radiator to look, though glossier paints offer better resistance to bumps and scrapes. 

A matt radiator could blend well within your room, while gloss paint could make a radiator stand out from the walls. Gloss is a common option for wood and metal elements within a room, while matt will be typically used for walls and ceilings. There are other options like eggshell and satin that sit between the two.

Can You Buy Radiator Spray Paint?

Radiator spray paints are also available, allowing you to quickly and effectively coat your radiator. Make sure you buy a heat-resistant spray paint. Companies like Rust-Oleum, Jenolite, and Plasti-Kote produce radiator spray paints.

How to Paint A Radiator

  1. Turn it off: Before you start you’ll need to turn off your radiator and allow it to cool. Your radiator must be at room temperature to allow the paint to dry evenly.
  2. Take it off the Wall: While this is technically an optional step, it will be significantly easier to paint your radiator if it is removed from the wall. Make sure you can support the weight of your radiator before removing it. You’ll have to drain all water from your radiator during this. If you choose to paint your radiator without removing it, you can place cardboard against your wall to stop the paint from getting onto it.
  3. Clean your radiator: Carefully clean your radiator, and use sandpaper to remove any pieces of paint or rust sticking out. This will create a flat surface to paint.
  4. Priming: Some radiator paints can be applied without a primer, but for others, you’ll be looking to apply an even coating of a heat-resistant metal primer. If painting a bare metal radiator, opt for an anti-rust primer.
  5. Painting: Radiator paints will require one or two coats depending on the make, which should be made clear by the product description. Whether using a paintbrush or spray paint you’ll want to start with the difficult areas, ensuring they have a good level of coverage before moving towards the larger face of the radiator.
  6. Reattach: If you removed the radiator from the wall then once it has dried you’ll need to reattach it. Make sure the paint is fully dried before turning your radiator back on. The drying time should be listed on the paint you’re using, and if you are short on time quick drying radiator paints are available.

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All of our trade account holders will have a single dedicated point of contact when they do business with us, who will be there to source whatever they need, from radiator paint to timber beams, delivered to them at a fantastic trade price. 

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