Radiators are usually quite a large feature in a room but can get overlooked when you’re decorating. If yours is looking a bit tired and lets the room down, why not repaint rather than replace? Remember to use a specialist paint such as Little Knights Radiator Paint, which is designed to give a beautiful, hardwearing finish.
Consider the project
First, consider your radiator. If it’s very old and has lots of patches of rust, it may not be worth the time and effort of repainting. Instead, invest in a modern replacement which will be more efficient to run.
Start by turning the radiator off! It must be completely cold before you start to paint. Put down dustsheets and protect pipes and valves with tape. If you’re planning to paint the pipes too, then tape some cardboard to the wall behind them in case of splashes. Move any furniture out of the way to give you a good, clear working space and vacuum around the radiator to keep dust down while you are working.
Use the right tools
Before you start, make sure you have everything you need so that you don’t need to stop halfway. Paint brushes of different sizes will help you get into all the nooks and crannies. You will also need some sandpaper of different grades and your paint colour of choice.
Clean the surface
Radiators pick up a surprising amount of dirt, particularly if you have pets. Add a tiny splash of washing up liquid to warm water, clean the surfaces and allow them to dry.
How to sand a radiator
Preparation is always key for any type of painted surface, and this is no exception. ‘Keying’ the radiator with sandpaper to roughen it slightly will help the paint adhere and give you a better finish. It will also get rid of minor imperfections. Start with a coarse grade sandpaper and get rid of any minor areas of rust and then run fine grade sandpaper over the whole area in the direction of the grooves. This stage is worth spending a little time on for a good finish!
No need for a separate primer
The good news is that you won’t need a separate primer – just dilute the Little Knights paint by 10%. Treat any areas of rust or bare metal with this solution and allow it to dry for four hours.
Apply the paint
Apply your colour, finishing each brush stroke vertically to get a neat finish. Two thin coats will give a better result than one thick one, and you’ll need to wait for four hours again between coats. Paint the edges first and gradually move into the centre. Work your way from one side to the other, overlapping each brush stroke slightly to make sure there are no gaps. If you are painting your pipes as well, leave these until last.
Leave at least 24 hours before turning the radiator back on, then sit back and relax with a cuppa.