Do you want to repaint your electric or cast iron radiator to give it a fresh look or to better integrate it into your new decoration? Know that it is possible and very simple to achieve. You just need to be well equipped and to do the right things. Discover the advice of our decorating pros and all our tips and tricks for painting your radiator without difficulty.
What kind of paint do you need to paint a radiator?
You can easily find the right paint to paint your radiator without difficulty. Indeed, there are special paints suitable for all types of radiators in DIY stores.
It is imperative to invest in this type of product, because you need a paint capable of withstanding the heat that the device gives off when it is in operation. Additionally, these paints are easy to apply and do not require the application of an undercoat.
Nevertheless, if you want to repaint an old cast iron radiator that has never been painted, it is necessary to apply a ferrous metal undercoat which will avoid the risk of rust. This undercoat will also be essential if you want to apply a traditional paint to your radiator, and not a paint adapted to this type of device. The undercoat will then preserve your color and prevent the product from flaking or forming blisters under the effect of heat.
If you go to a DIY store, you can find a wide range of colors in terms of paint for radiators. And if despite everything you can’t find the shade of your dreams, know that many stores offer you to achieve the shade of your choice thanks to the use of tinting machines.
How to paint a radiator? Our advices
To successfully paint your radiator, you will need to follow the following steps.
Step 1: Prepare your device
Your radiator cannot be painted without prior preparation and cleaning. Clear all the space around the device to be able to work calmly and without hindrance. Carefully dust the radiator with a microfiber cloth or your vacuum cleaner. Do not forget any corner, especially if it is a cast iron device.
Once the dust has been removed, degrease its surface with a suitable product. You can clean it with a clean cloth soaked in acetone or with a sponge soaked in a mixture of hot water and Saint-Marc type degreasing detergent. Rinse the device then dry with a clean cloth.
If your radiator has already been painted, the old paint may be blistering or peeling off. Carefully remove all loose paint residue with a brush to allow the new coat of product to adhere well and obtain a harmonious and lasting result.
Finally, once all these tasks are done, lightly sand the surface of the device with a fine grit sandpaper. This will smooth the surface and make it easier for the paint to stick.
Step 2: Apply the undercoat
This step is only necessary if you are painting an old cast iron radiator for the first time or if you have purchased a classic paint for your appliance. In either case, the undercoat is recommended to prevent the radiator from rusting, to preserve the durability of the paint against variations in temperature of the device in operation and to facilitate the adhesion of the paint. during its application.
To do this, apply your undercoat with a brush or a paint gun. Do not forget any corner and adapt your material to your type of device to cover the entire surface. Then let it dry for the time recommended on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 3: apply the paint
Be aware that painting your radiator can be a long and very meticulous job. You will need to be patient and above all very diligent to obtain a perfect result.
You can apply your paint with a brush, spray gun or directly in aerosol.
- The brush : the brush is the most suitable for an optimal rendering, but it also requires the most time and patience. Buy the brushes according to your radiator. Small, round, pointed brushes are the most practical for painting sides, angles and hard-to-reach corners. Reserve flat brushes or small rollers for flatter and larger surfaces.
- The paint gun : it is easy and fast since it allows the paint to be applied in just a few minutes and without effort. On the other hand, you will need to protect all your floor and wall surfaces around the radiator to avoid covering them with paint.
- Aerosol : this solution is even faster than the paint gun. Also effortless and easy to apply, it likewise requires rigorous protection from the direct surroundings of the device.
To apply your paint, remember to prepare your product well beforehand and have your means of application at hand. For brush application, pour the paint into a paint tray and wring out your brushes carefully on the grid before application. Be sure to apply enough paint to cover the surface, but avoid too thick coats which will leave unsightly marks and risk forming runs.
Once the first coat has been applied, let it dry for at least 12 hours and apply a second coat under the same conditions.
Our tips and tricks for successfully painting your radiator
For optimal results, here are our tips and tricks from the pros:
- Arm yourself with patience and take your time, this is the recipe for your success!
- Always paint your radiator when cold. This one must not have worked recently.
- If your radiator is electric, remember to cut off its power before starting.
- Carefully protect the floor and walls around your radiator to avoid staining them. Similarly, move surrounding objects and furniture away or cover them with drop cloths.
- Be sure to work in a well-ventilated room. If possible, ventilate throughout the duration of the application.
- The undercoat may be essential in certain cases (first painting of a cast iron radiator, use of conventional paint, etc.) and only recommended in other cases. Be aware, however, that an undercoat will always be a plus to prolong the shine of your paint and preserve your device.
- Don’t turn your heater back on too soon! Wait at least 48 hours after complete drying. When starting up, gradually increase the temperature to allow the paint to slowly adjust to the heat and avoid the risk of cracking and blistering.