How to Paint Radiators at Home

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I love keeping my home as clean as possible. I have a packet of cleaning wipes tucked away in the corner of every room, and you’ll never find someone putting a glass or cup on a table without me throwing coasters down first. And while keeping things clean is easy enough, when something starts showing signs of better days gone by, it can be hard not to find it distracting.

In this instance, I am talking about radiators. I have a radiator in my living room, which has always seen the sun shining directly in the middle of it for years. And while I love a sunny day just as much as anyone, I now have this odd section right in the middle where the white has become a slightly yellow shade I can’t seem to wipe away. The coat of paint on the radiator has seen better days, which has led me down a rabbit hole learning how to paint a radiator. I thought it would be simple. It isn’t. It is almost too easy to mess things up and be left with an amateurish paint job on your radiator when all you wanted to do was give it a new lease on life.

Thanks to the experts at Trade Radiators, who just so happen to know a thing or two about radiators, here are some of the mistakes to avoid if you’re planning to paint a radiator at home.

Never leave the heating on

My first tip might sound almost too silly, but please never paint a radiator if you know you need to have the heating on in a room. Even though radiator paint (yes, you have to buy specific paint) can handle fluctuations in temperature, if you throw a coat on without letting the paint dry properly, you’ll end up with bubbling, cracks, and splits all over.

Never start by painting

If you’re painting a radiator, why would you not start by painting it? Unlike throwing some emulsion on a wall, you need to do some prep work first. Give the radiator a complete clean to remove any dust and dirt, before applying a suitable undercoat. An undercoat will help create a bond between the existing radiator surface paint and the new paint going down.  Forget to do so, and you could see paint simply slip off the radiator like it doesn’t want to be there. Speaking of taking things off…

A hung radiator is a spoiled paint job

Here’s a fun game to play right now if you’re looking at a radiator which has previously been painted. Go over and look at the inside and back of the radiator. You might find that the paint only goes so far in, with the original coat present. This happens when someone paints a radiator because they can’t take it off the wall.

If you want your radiator to look its best, get help taking it off the wall and paint it on a covered floor or outside instead. Not only will be it easier to paint, but you don’t run the risk of bad brush strokes and lines appearing.

You could always just get a new radiator

Now, these are just the basic steps for painting a standard panel radiator. It can be an entirely different ball game when we’re looking at cast iron, column, and towel rails. If it all sounds too much, I recommend the aforementioned Trade Radiators to get a good deal on a custom painted radiator.  Not only is it usually cheaper to get it professionally painted, but you’re going to save yourself so much hassle.

In the midst of redecorating?

Updating spaces around your home? Don’t forget to check the home décor section for advice on making the most of any room with décor and DIY tips.

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