It’s not often you come across a controversial topic involving radiators! But the question of colour does seem to be a bit divisive. One school of thought says that radiators should be painted in dark colours – ideally black – as they’re better at absorbing heat and will thus be more efficient. Another prevalent belief is that radiators shouldn’t be painted at all, particularly in metallic paints, as the slightly uneven surface makes them less efficient. Do these claims have any truth in them, though?
Should radiators be painted at all?
The short answer to this question is ‘yes, if you’d like a painted radiator’. Radiators mainly warm a room through convection (rather than by radiating heat, ironically) which means they heat the air around them which then rises, creating a gentle movement of warm air circulating around the room.
A dark coloured radiator will transfer heat more efficiently than a white one. While a painted radiator does in theory have an extra insulative layer through which the heat has to pass. In practice, though, both of these factors will have only a negligible effect. More important is the positioning of the radiator in the room, and ensuring it has enough space around it. Crowding a radiator with furniture will negate its ability to set up a convection current of warm air around the room.
Are painted radiators better than bare metal?
Painted radiators are slightly more efficient than polished steel or chrome, as shiny surfaces don’t tend to conduct heat particularly well. So a painted radiator should work efficiently than one made of bare metal, but the difference will be marginal. That means the main deciding factor is your own personal taste.
Choosing a colour for your radiator
While the colour of your radiator has only a marginal effect on efficiency, it has a significant effect on the look and feel of the room! A nice modern trend is make the radiator less prominent and by painting them the same colour as the walls, (our Radiator Paint is available in every colour in the little Knights range range).
If you fancy something a little bolder, you can choose a vibrant or contrasting colour to make a feature of your radiators.
For the best, safest paint, choose Little Knights
For the best finish you need the right paint, as radiator paint has to withstand a wide range of rapidly changing temperatures. Little Knights specialist radiator paint is beautiful, hardwearing, and 100% VOC-fee. Click here to view the range.