How to paint a radiator: The 6 easy steps to follow

Heatable demonstrate how to bleed a radiator

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We won’t be needing to use our radiators as much soon with summer right around the corner, which makes it the perfect time to think about painting your radiators. It’s very easy to paint a radiator, but you’ll need to know the crucial dos and don’ts to ensure you don’t compromise your efficiency. Express.co.uk chatted to Daniel Nezhad, director at UK Radiators to find out how to paint a radiator.

Before you even pick up a paintbrush, you need to make sure you have the right paint for radiators.

You might have heard the rumours that painting your radiator with dark coloured paint can increase the efficiency, but studies show this is only by about one percent.

The colour you use doesn’t really matter, the important factor is the type of paint you use.

Daniel said: “It has been shown that a radiator coated with metallic paint will emit less heat, under otherwise identical conditions, than a similar radiator coated with non-metallic paint.

“It can affect the efficiency of your radiator to the point where using metallic-based paint is the same as removing a sixth of the radiator!”

Get a big pot of metallic-based paint and then work through the following six steps – don’t skip the preparation because a badly prepared radiator can result in peeling!

How to paint a radiator

Step one

Turn your radiator off and leave it overnight to cool down.

If your radiator is still warm, the paint will drip and not adhere to the radiator’s surface very well.

Then, take the radiator off the wall and turn your attention to preparation.

Step two

Prepare the area you will be painting on – this can be done with large plastic sheets so no paint gets on your flooring or surrounding areas.

Step three

Now prepare your radiator by cleaning, stripping, sanding and priming it.

Daniel said: “To clean your radiator, you can use a damp cloth and some soapy water to remove dust and any dirt that may have built up on the surface of your radiator.

“When it comes to stripping your radiator, any paint stripper is fine to use, and the aim is to remove any layers of paint that are currently on your radiator.

“Be careful when scraping the paint off that you don’t damage the original structure of your radiator.

“This step will make the application of your new paint easy and smooth.”

The radiator needs to be sanded down and primed to ensure that the surface is smooth and ready to be painted on.

Daniel explained: “It’s recommended to use two different grades of sandpaper so that you can achieve a smooth finish that removes bumps and imperfections of any size.

“You will also need to prime the surface of your radiator to protect the structure of it and to help the paint be applied in the most effective way.”

Step four

Then, choose your metallic-based paint.

Daniel said: “You need to opt for a specially-formulated radiator paint that will be able to withstand constant temperature changes without damaging the integrity or quality of the paint.”

Step five

Apply two coats of paint to the radiator, making sure you let the first coat dry fully before applying the second for the smoothest application possible.

Step six

Wait at least 24 hours before turning the radiator on to avoid peeling or dripping.

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