How To Paint A Radiator: We Paint All Kinds Of Radiators

Old radiators lose their aesthetic appearance over time, rust appears, cracks appear in the coating, the paint peels off. Agree that in this case replacing the radiator is not the best idea. It is much easier, faster and more economical to repaint the radiator. Moreover, it is easy enough to update the appearance of the radiator.

We will help you in choosing the right enamel composition, explain how to prepare and how to paint the radiator correctly. We also show you the nuances to consider when working with different types of radiators.

The suggested photo ideas will inspire you to choose an interesting solution and realize your design idea.

The contents of this article:

  • Requirements for the paint coating
  • Sorts of compositions for painting the battery
    • The advantages of acrylic dyes
    • Peculiarities of alkyd compositions
    • Other types of paint for
  • Preparation for painting
    • Dust and grease removal methods
    • Remover of old coatings by mechanical means
    • How to get rid of paint by chemical means?
    • The rules for priming the surface
  • Painting a radiator
    • The general technique of painting
    • Nuances of painting aluminium radiators
  • Intriguing painting ideas
  • Conclusions and useful video on the topic

The requirements for the painting

Not always the material and in many cases it is not technically possible to put a new radiator. It is easier to refresh the exterior of the heating device, if it is still able to serve. In case the radiator already had to be repaired or it does not warm well, it is better to replace it with a new one.

The painting process as such is not particularly difficult, but that does not mean that you can buy any composition and immediately proceed to restore the attractiveness of the radiator.

Paint must be chosen according to certain parameters, and the radiator should be carefully prepared. If this is not done, the new coating will not last long and you will soon have to repeat the process all over again.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

The old cast iron radiator with a peeling paint looks very unaesthetic. In addition, the material of its body becomes oxidized and rusty

When choosing a composition, it is best to go for variants specially designed for heaters. But if there is no such inscription on the label it is worth carefully studying the instructions and finding data about its heat resistance.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

For a good, durable and beautiful finish you must use paint that has \"For radiators\"

Requirements for the paint coating:

  • Temperature resistance. The composition applied to the radiator body must withstand temperatures up to 80-90 degrees and be flawless for the time promised by the manufacturer.
  • Adhesion.It is necessary that the composition be characterized by good adhesion to the painted surface. It will not peel during heating and alternate heating/cooling.
  • Corrosion protection.The composition must contain anti-corrosive substances so that the coating in direct contact with the body does not cause any damage.
  • Color fastness.Unqualified because the radiators are painted for aesthetic reasons among others.
  • Fatigue resistance.The coating must not thin from direct contact with a variety of furnishings, things being dried, etc.
  • Safety.It is very important that the composition does not contain components harmful to health.

A good radiator paint must meet all the requirements given and not the individual points.

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Painting to protect against aggressive influences

Painting to restore aesthetic the look

Painting the radiator for accents

Painting to maintain the tone of finish

Designing an ordinary radiator

Decoupage technique in radiator decoration

Use of paint with metallic effect

Painting to mask battery

Battery paint preparations

When painting a battery, the first thing to pay attention to is the technical component of the paint. But the aesthetic characteristics are not the least important.

The advantages of acrylic paints

Acrylic paints, which belong to the group of water emulsion paints, allow to kill two birds with one stone. The undoubted advantage is that they do not emit any harmful substances, are odorless and safe for humans.

They are fast drying (approximately 30 minutes at 18-23 degrees), have water repellent properties, form a very strong coating, resistant to mechanical stress.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

The technical and aesthetic characteristics of acrylic paints are excellent for radiators

and, perhaps most importantly, they stand up perfectly to high temperatures, maintaining their qualities and their original appearance for seven to eight years.

At this time, they will not acquire a yellow hue, will not crack or peel. Acrylics have a whiteness index of 96%, the color is very rich and bright and the surface has the appearance of plastic coating with a slight sheen.

Peculiarities of alkyd compounds

Alkyd paints are highly heat resistant and also suitable for painting the battery. They are stronger than acrylic compounds, have anti-corrosive properties and adhere well to the surface to give a smooth and nice finish.

But they are not as safe as water-based paints. The solvent in them causes an unpleasant smell that remains in the room for at least 24 hours.

The paints dry rather slowly and the specific smell may persist even after drying. Alkyd paints should be used only in a well ventilated room and it is advisable to leave the room altogether until the smell has completely evaporated.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

When working with alkyd compounds you should be careful and the room thoroughly ventilated

Another significant disadvantage - paint retains its color relatively shortly and starts yellowing with time. If you do decide to paint the radiator with alkyd paint, it is better to choose a composition that forms a glossy coating.

In this case, the period during which the radiator will remain white is increased by about 20%, compared to matte and semi-matt paints.

Other types of radiator paints

Aluminium and silicate resin paints are suitable for radiator painting as they provide a hard and flexible layer on the surface that does not crack even in case of temperature changes.

Silicate paints are very adhesive and do not require a primer on the surface and are designed to work in very high temperature conditions. Their disadvantage is a strong unpleasant smell.

Another type of paints worth mentioning are hammer paints, which are a type of alkyd compositions. They form quite an interesting but very specific coating. After they are applied, the surface is not smooth, but as if beaten with a hammer (hence the name) or with an embossing effect.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

Hammer paint perfectly hides all the irregularities of the cast iron radiator - a property very useful for owners of houses with old heating systems

A significant advantage of hammer paint is that the non-uniform texture will make various roughnesses, unevenness and other small defects of radiators invisible.

This property is especially valuable when it comes to painting old cast iron radiators from the Soviet era whose rough surface will completely hide behind the original coating.

A very common way to paint radiators is to use silver paint, which is a mixture of lacquer and aluminum powder. It withstands high temperatures very well and can be applied to both primer and old coatings. However, the paint has a persistent odour and therefore the room should be well ventilated during and after application.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

Silver lacquer is available in a ready-to-apply form. It is possible to prepare the compound yourself by mixing two parts of aluminum powder with five parts of varnish

Aluminum powder is an explosive substance. The process of making it yourself is quite risky. It is not worth resorting to it if you have easily combustible structures in the house and even less young children.

Preparation procedure for painting

Preparing the surface for painting is as important as the painting itself. Treat it responsibly as all mistakes and shortcomings that you make during preparation, will certainly affect the quality of painting and the appearance of the battery. It should be noted right away that all work should begin only after the heating season is over.

Methods for removing dust and grease

First of all, the battery must be cleaned from accumulated dirt and dust in it. This can be done dry with a vacuum cleaner or brush and wet with water and detergent. If there are deposits of grease on the radiator, wash them with normal dish detergent. After that let the radiator dry and proceed to the next step.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

Cleaning paint from the radiator can be done with an ordinary metal brush, but this process will take you a very long time and effort

Now you need to remove the rust and old cracked paint from the heater.

How to do this? There are two ways: mechanically, but it is quite long and time consuming and chemically, which is easier but has some nuances that will be described below.

Cleaning old coatings mechanically

To remove paint mechanically you need a metal brush. It's easy, just take it in your hands and rub it until you get tired and you'll get tired pretty fast, that's why it's better to use a more productive method. A grinder with special attachments - a brush brush or a scraping wheel - will help you.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

Fast and effortless removal of old paint is possible with a grinder fitted with a metal brush attachment

The old paint may be removed in a couple of hours with this power tool. But be careful not to work at high speed, especially on non-ferrous radiators as you may damage the surface of the radiator itself along with the paint.

It is not necessary to remove the paint completely. A new coat can be applied to even, non-cracked areas.

How to get rid of paint with chemicals?

Let's look at the chemical method. It consists of rinsing the paint with special products that come in gel, paste or spray. When using gels and pastes, apply them to the whole surface of the radiator with a brush with natural bristles and then cover with plastic wrap to get the best effect.

The exposure time depends on the product used and can be from fifteen minutes to a few hours. The exact time is indicated on the label. After the paint has softened, remove it with a spatula and the remains with a metal brush.

Aerosol cleaners are convenient to apply and are easy to treat even hard to reach areas of the radiator. The principle is the same as for the gel-type compounds - after a certain time (15-40 minutes depending on the product) the paint softens and is easily removable with a brush.

Pre-application remember to cover the surrounding interior, floor and walls.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

The old paint softens and peels away. It is then easy to remove with a spatula

But the chemicals are not as harmless as they seem at first glance. First, they have a pungent, unpleasant odor and should be used only in a well-ventilated room. It is advisable to wear a respirator and protective gloves before work.

Secondly, it is not known how metal will behave when interacting with an aggressive chemical composition. It is possible that it will react with it, and after washing you will find a damaged surface.

Old cast iron batteries are not afraid of modern chemicals. But here there is another thing to be wary of: previously hemp (a natural material made of linen or hemp) was used to seal radiators, that is just it can very easily be corroded by chemicals.

As a result, when the heating season comes, water can splash from all joints. So it is up to you to decide which method of cleaning off the old paint coating suits you best.

Rules for priming the surface

After the old paint is removed, before you start painting the radiator directly, you have to go through a number of other procedures. To remove cracks, scratches and other minor imperfections, smooth steel or copper surfaces should be sanded. Cast iron radiators are better treated with a metal brush.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

GF-021 primer has anti-corrosive properties and provides additional protection against rust formation

The radiator now needs to be degreased and primed. When choosing a primer must pick up a means designed for metal, has anti-corrosive properties and is compatible with the paint.

For example, with domestic paint compositions well matched primer GF-021. If you use a foreign-made dye for painting the radiator, you can advise the primer Dulux or Sigma.

Painting the radiator

This brings us to the main stage - direct painting. Here it is advisable to stick to the following rule: it is better to apply two thin layers of paint than one thick one.

It is hardly possible to get a perfect surface the first time, and if you apply the paint in a thick layer, the effect will be the opposite: thick and ugly smudges will form on the radiator.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

Bent handle brush helps you get to the hardest-to-reach areas of the battery

General painting technique

Get at least two brushes to paint: one normal brush and one for hard to reach areas with a long bent handle. This is handy for applying paint to the backsides and insides of the radiator. Fluff up the bristles before working so that any loose hairs fall out.

First, paint the tops inside the battery and then the bottoms. After that, proceed to the outside surface. This, too, is painted from top to bottom. If you start from the bottom, the painted surface will drip. The second coat of paint is applied only after the previous one is completely dry.

How long it takes depends on the paint, usually this parameter is indicated on the label. If the first coat is uneven, when it has dried, sand the surface to remove any unevenness and dirts.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

Battery painting should be started from the top to avoid getting paint on the painted areas (click to enlarge)

Nuances of painting aluminum radiators

All the previous tips concerned painting cast iron, copper and steel batteries. How to paint a heating radiator made of aluminum? But first it is better to answer the question: is it worth doing it at all?

The modern aluminum devices are painted in factory conditions at a professional level with a special powder paint. Home painting will not provide a quality smooth finish.

In addition, if the radiator is still under warranty, once painted at home, the manufacturer's warranty expires.

But it is unlikely that anyone will think to paint a new radiator. If the unit was damaged during transport or installation and has chips and cracks that severely spoil the appearance, you can use auto enamel.

We should note that auto enamel is most effective and dries quickly only on hot radiators. Drying time at 130°C is 20 minutes and at 20°C up to two days. Work with a respirator and open windows and spray at a distance of 20-30 cm from the surface. Do not hold the spray jet in one place for a long time, otherwise drips will occur.

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Photo of

Specifications for painting aluminium radiators

Painted sections of bimetal radiators

Reasons to restore radiator coating

A self-repair option

Benefits photo prints in restoration

Application in bathrooms and kitchens

Waterproofing properties of photo wallpaper

Photoboards for radiators

You can also remove chips and dents from aluminum radiators using automotive putty. Degrease the surface beforehand and treat it with a primer. Then apply the putty in the desired shade with a brush.

If you decide to completely repaint the radiator, it is not necessary to remove the old paint. Degrease and prime the surface and apply two coats of alkyd or water-based paint with a spray gun.

An alternative option for decorating the radiator is to install a decorative screen.

Interesting paint ideas

White radiator is a classic that we got used to since the Soviet times, when almost all houses were equipped with the same type cast iron radiators.

The color of the radiator, if it affects the heat output, only to a very small extent, so nothing prevents to paint the radiator according to the room interior.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

The radiator can be made almost invisible if painted to match the walls

Today you can find many interesting design solutions where the radiator is one of the decorative elements in harmony with the surroundings.

Can on the contrary build a composition using contrast and make the radiator an accent and attract attention by painting it in bright rich color.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

A red radiator against the background of light interior looks unusual and very effective

It is very fashionable today to paint things using ombre technique. Its essence is that the first battery sections are painted in pale, subtle shades, all subsequent ones a tone or two darker, and for the last sections very bright rich colors are used.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

The battery painted in the ombre technique will become an excellent decoration of any interior

The most creative design ideas can be realized in the nursery.

How to paint a radiator: we paint all kinds of radiators

You can paint the radiator sections in different lush colors, draw them in interesting patterns, turn them into a zebra strip or a colored pencil set

Conclusion and useful video on the subject

To make it easy to understand how to paint a radiator, here are some videos on this topic.

The process of removing the old paint from a cast iron radiator is very well presented in this video clip:

How to paint a radiator correctly you will learn if you watch the clip:

Original ideas for creative painting of cast iron radiators you may learn from the following video:

You do not have to have special skills to paint a radiator. And although there are certain complexities in this, as in any other job, they are easy enough to learn. By following the technique of painting and knowing all the nuances of the work, you will have an excellent result.

Do you have practical skills in painting batteries? Perhaps you have encountered some difficulties in the work or want to ask a question? Please leave comments on the publication. The feedback form is below.

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