Hot water radiators may not be the most efficient heating system, but they can still be found in many older homes. In order to give this relic of the past an update, many homeowners consider paint. A professionally done paint job can help a hot water radiator blend into the room or emphasize the hot water radiators as a sign of your home’s roots.
The key to successfully completing this project is to choose the right products. A metal etching primer and some careful cleaning before beginning will ensure a foundation for good paint adherence. Also, choose a latex paint that can withstand high temperatures: regular paint may not be able to withstand the vacillating temperatures of your hot water radiator.
Step 1: Use a degreaser to clean the hot water radiator thoroughly. A nylon bristled brush should help you remove any dirt or other debris on the surface. Wipe of the radiator with a damp cloth to remove any residue from the degreaser. Once the radiator has been cleaned and is completely dry, you can proceed.
Step 2: Surround the radiator with a drop cloth to protect the floor from drips. Use painter’s tape and additional drop cloths to cover the walls and surrounding areas as necessary.
Step 3: Paint the hot water radiator with a metal etching primer. To allow yourself the widest selection of paints, look for a metal etching primer that can be used with latex paint. Allow the primer to dry 8 hours, or the length of time specified by the manufacturer, before proceeding with painting your hot water radiator.
Step 4: Apply a latex paint formulated to withstand high temperatures with your paintbrush. Wait 8 hours, then apply another coat of paint to the hot water radiator.
Step 5: Examine the finish. If needed, apply a final coat of temperature resistant latex paint. Once you have finished painting, be sure to wait at least 24 hours before using your hot water radiator.