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Painting a radiator

(10 Posts)
pippitysqueakity Sun 01-Sep-19 08:04:07

Wonder if anyone has advice. We painted our radiator with that special radiator paint earlier this week and it is now all flaking off. The radiator hasn’t been on, and it was two coats applied with a day in between. I’m assuming this means the previous paint was not correct, although was on there at least 14 years with no chipping etc, so may be wrong there. Do we have to remove the previous paint to be able to repaint a radiator? Can’t just leave it as bathroom now yellow and white and radiator blue! Thanks for any help on this incredibly boring problem!

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Mon 02-Sep-19 12:08:55

The lasting ability will only be as good as the paint underneath which is acting as a base.

You can strip paint or can get dusty with some sandpaper and sand it - paying attention to the flakiest of areas. Even well stuck down old paint needs scuffing with sandpaper to give a rough surface for the new paint to adhere to.

If the flaking is linked to leaks (slight drips around the valves, for e.g.) then the new paint will flake unless you fix or seal the leak.

Finally, use good quality radiator paint. What did you use?

Knittedfairies Mon 02-Sep-19 12:15:46

We used special radiator paint once and it was a nightmare; it flaked just as you described. We ended up stripping the radiator right back and using a metal primer and undercoat before painting it with satinwood; it's been fine.

PigletJohn Mon 02-Sep-19 17:29:18

you need to rub down the old paint, especially if it is gloss.

600grade wet-and-dry paper (which is black and you dip it in a bucket of water to wash the dust off) is fine. It's used by people who paint cars.

It will cut the paint off all the edges and the sides of the columns, so you will have to re-prime them. You should be able to find a universal primer. I'd use an oil paint because a water paint will make the bare metal rust and bleed through.

You can use an emulsion to match the walls on top of the primer if you want. Apply a couple of thin coats.

The thicker the paint, the more it will crack.

if you need to rub down brushmarks and flies feet between coats, use your 600 grade paper but press no harder that if you were wiping your eyes. Or you will cut right through it.

PigletJohn Mon 02-Sep-19 17:30:33


It is a hundred times easier to clean, prepare and paint radiators if you take them off and do them on a trestle in the garden. Do the back and edges first and the front face last.

PigletJohn Mon 02-Sep-19 17:32:22

oh yes, Satinwood. Good but will never quite match the colour on the walls, even if it is nominally the same. Something to do with texture, they say.

pippitysqueakity Sat 07-Sep-19 04:59:53

Thank you all so much. Have got some primer now and radiator all sanded down again so will have another go!

OP’s posts: |
wowfudge Sat 07-Sep-19 08:34:36

As PJ says, emulsion is absolutely fine and means you can paint the rads so they blend into the walls. I've used satinwood in places where I want to be able to wash the radiators down, like a downstairs loo where the towel rail is above and you get water drips.

LimpingAlong3 Sun 08-Sep-19 03:50:45

I've painted my rads a million times through the years. All I did was wash them down, dry thoroughly and then paint with satinwood or gloss. Never had any peeling or yellowing. Peeling between old paint & new suggests the old surface wasn't clean enough to me.

Caspianberg Wed 11-Sep-19 15:49:52

We took ours off, cleaned and lightly sanded. They used radiator paint in a spray machine. Sprayed 12 radiators last summer, they still look as new now after a full winter of use, no flaking paint.
I think the spray gun was key as it coats in on in thin layers.

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