Can you paint radiators?
A radiator can have a dramatic effect on the overall aesthetic of a room in your home. If you're redecorating your home, you might be wondering if painting your radiator is a good idea or not. This article will help clear up some of the questions you may be having around painting your radiator. It will cover topics of what type of paint is best for your radiator, how to paint your radiator and whether paint effects the efficiency of a radiator.
Can you paint radiators in place?
To ensure the best paint coverage on your radiator, removing the radiator from the wall allows you to easily paint the entire radiator, while not having to worry about catching the wall with your brush. However, if you're not wanting to remove the radiator from the wall, it is still possible to paint this in situ, so long as the correct measures are put in place before painting.
If you're wanting to paint your radiator without removing it from the wall, it is important to cover the surrounding floors and walls and to use specialist rollers and brushes to reach to awkward places.
Do you need to remove paint before repainting a radiator?
In terms of radiator efficiency, an additional layer of paint will not affect this a noticeable amount, depending on how many times the radiator has already been painted. However, if you're wanting to prolong the visual appearance of your radiator, it is recommended to remove the existing paint before applying the new layer. This reduces the risk of paint flaking and pulling away from the surface. This is done by lightly sanding the radiator paint away; a fairly time consuming activity, but help towards providing the best finished product.
Can you paint over rust on a radiator?
Yes, you can paint over rust on a radiator, although it is best to remove the rust first to provide a better quality finish. By not removing the rust, it is lightly this will show through in places on the radiator. One of the best ways to remove rust from your radiator is to use some ordinary kitchen foil with a small amount of water. This creates a small chemical reaction between the rust and the aluminium that breaks down the rust. Once the rust is removed, ensure that the surface is cleaned and dried before painting the radiator.
When should you paint a radiator?
Due to the need of having the radiator turned off to ensure a safe painting process of the radiator, it is recommended that you do this during the summer months when you're less likely to need the radiator turned on. The warmer weather helps with the drying period too, whether you’re painting inside or outside.
Does painting a radiator affect the heat output?
The addition of another layer of paint, increases the distance the heat has to travel between the heat source and air, therefore increases the time taken to heat the room. However, this additional distance is so small, it will not noticeably affect the radiator's efficiency.
An important factor to bear in mind when reviewing the efficiency of a radiator is the finish, as shiny surfaces radiate less heat. Particular finishes such as chrome and stainless steel, provide up to 15% less heat than the same model with a painted finish. By painting your radiator, you can actually improve the efficiency of the radiator.
Can you paint radiator pipes?
Radiator pipes can cause an eye sore once you've given your radiator a fresh lick of paint due to their copper colouring or begin to blemish and oxidise. A lot of people tend to think that radiator pipes should be left untouched, but a very similar approach can be taken when painting your radiator pipes as to the radiator itself.
First ensure the radiator system is turned off. Then clean the pipes with a degreasing solution before going over the pipes with some wire wool. This provides a good textured surface for the paint to bond to. Before you paint the radiator pipes with a paint brush or spray paint, make sure you give the pipes a wipe with some warm water to remove and dust or metal filings produce during the texturing stage.
If you’re wanting to paint the radiator pipes, make sure you follow to above stages before applying the paint. The best method when using a brush, is to ensure you use brush stroke along the length of pipes, as opposed to across the width of the pipe to avoid paint flicking onto other surfaces and leaving thick edges of paint on the pipe. Once you've finished painting, allow the paint to dry fully before turning the system back on.
What paint is best for painting a radiator?
You may think that you can slap any old paint on a radiator, but there are some specialist paints that will provide a better quality and more durable finish. As radiators are constantly being heated and cooled, this continuous change in temperature causes some paints to crack and flake off the surface of the radiator over time; throwing all you hard work out the window. To keep your radiator looking better for longer, its best to use specialist radiator paint. These paints have the ability to expand and contract with the heat produced by the radiator and are also formulated to minimise the yellowing found on radiators using standard paints.
There are a lot of different options to choose from when painting your radiator, each providing a different finish and aesthetic. The following highlight some of the benefits and potential downsides to using different paints.