So you’ve decided you want to paint your radiators as part of your home renovation project, but there’s more to it than you might think.

While painting radiators is a cost-effective and easy way to update any room, there are a number of preparation steps and techniques that must be applied to ensure your radiators are painted correctly.

Read our full article on how to paint a radiator with the best tricks and tips from Hamill Decorating’s team on painting your radiators for a professional and resistant finish.

Cleaning and prepping the area

Depending on the type of radiator you’re painting, it may be easier to remove the radiator from the wall first – but this should be done by a professional to ensure proper disconnection.

If you are painting your radiator while still attached to the wall, ensure that the area under and around the radiator is protected from paint spillages with the appropriate coverings and place a piece of cardboard between the radiator and the wall to reduce any paint mishaps.

And of course, you’ll need to ensure that the radiator is turned off and completely cold before starting any preparation.

How to prep a radiator for paint

Before you reach for the paint brush, you’ll need to prep the surface of your radiator ready for the first coat of primer or paint.

This can be done by hand sanding your radiator with sanding paper to ensure you get into all the areas that can be hard to reach with an electric sander. The surface should be smooth and paint free – remember, metal is an unforgiving surface so any imperfections can be easily seen once paint is applied.

Once sanding is complete, and before you begin painting, you’ll need to clean the surface of the radiator thoroughly with warm soapy water to remove any dust.

It’s also essential to cover all valves and vents with masking tape to protect these areas before you begin painting.

How to prime a radiator for paint

We recommend applying a metal primer to your radiator before applying the top coat. This is not only necessary if any metal on the surface is exposed, but to give the radiator a smooth finish ready for paint application.

For this you’ll need to ensure that you use a special metal primer such as Zinsser Coverstain or Tikkurila’s Otex Adhesion Primer

Top tips on how to paint a radiator

Ensure that you’re using a synthetic brush to paint your radiator and paint in thin coats – ideally waiting 24 hours between each coat.

To ensure a smooth finish when painting your radiator, you’ll need to be restrained in the amount of paint you apply during each coat. We advise to apply a number of thinner coats rather than 1 or 2 thicker coats that could give an unsatisfactory finish.

Start by painting the edges of the radiator and then the front, painting in a vertical direction.

Be sure to wait 24 hours before turning the radiator back on after painting.

Which radiator paint to choose

When it comes to painting your radiator, it’s important to choose a paint that’s suitable for metal surfaces and that can withstand the high temperatures your radiators will be cranked up to during winter months.

All that heating and cooling can also affect the integrity of the paint, so it’s best to opt for a paint designed for painting radiators such as Isle of Skye’s ‘Skye Satin’.

We recommend a satinwood finish, as this is straightforward to apply and creates a wipeable surface – especially important in rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom.

You could also opt to spray paint your radiator, which gives a smoother finish than when using a paint brush.

Contact the Hamill Decorating team for a free quote on your decorating project by filling in the online form here or by giving us a call on 0131 665 9923.