Tips for Painting Your Radiator

ECOS Paints 07/22/2021
Tips for Painting Your Radiator

Radiators are far from a decorative feature in a room. Because of that, it can be difficult to know how to work around them when you’re designing your space. However, your radiator can become a focal point with a little ingenuity and a couple coats of paint. But since radiators are also practical pieces of hardware, it’s essential to proceed with caution. Our tips for painting your radiator will help you get the job done.

Chose a Paint

Even the highest quality non-toxic* interior paints may lack the durability necessary for radiators. So, experts recommend using radiator paint. These paints can handle radiators’ high temperatures and slick surfaces. However, not every radiator paint will work for every radiator. Steam and electric storage radiators reach incredibly high temperatures and are often too hot for even quality radiator paints.

Pro Tip: Choosing a Color

In most design instances, the goal of painting your radiator is to make the radiator blend into the background of the room, so most people opt for a neutral color like white or black. However, you can get radiator paints in as many different colors as wall paints, allowing you to either match the color of your walls or choose a complementary color that turns your radiator into a focal point.

Prep the Radiator

Turn off the Radiator

Even though radiator paints are durable in high temperatures, you want to make sure your radiator is cool while you paint its surface. The heat could impact how evenly your paint dries. Beyond that, painting a hot radiator is dangerous and could lead to burns and even melted synthetic paintbrushes. Before you begin, turn off your radiator and let the surface cool down completely.

Prepare the Surface

A paint’s adhesion depends entirely on the surface it’s painted on. To ensure proper paint adhesion, make sure you remove any old, peeling paints, and then lightly sand the surface of the radiator and wipe off any grime or dust from the surface. If your radiator is unpainted or rusty, it’s a good idea to cover the surface in primer before you paint.

Pro Tip: Color and Primer

Normally, you don’t have to prime a surface that already has a solid paint job on it. However, if you’re using a warm color or dark accent color, there’s a chance the previous color may peek through. A tinted primer will help you get the desired effect with the standard two coats of paint on top.


After you have painted the entire surface of the radiator with a synthetic brush, it’s essential that you allow the paint ample time to dry before turning on the radiator again. This will allow the paint to dry evenly across the surface. Since you will have to go a few days without your radiator, make sure you plan to paint it when the weather is warm or when you won’t need the radiator’s heat.

Radiators aren’t decorative. But with our fine selection of radiator paints, you can make your radiator a seamless part of your room’s décor.

 *Non-toxic - Conforms to ASTM-D4236, specifically concerning oral toxicity, skin irritation and respiratory effects.

CATEGORIES DIY Projects Tips & Tricks