Say goodbye to rusty radiators
It’s when the heating goes on for winter that most people notice the ugly rust patches and general state of their radiators. Fear not: there’s still time to repair and repaint as long as the right materials are used.
The first job is to remove any rust on the radiator. Rust on radiators is quite common, caused by corrosive water in the system reacting with the steel. In fact steel reacts readily with oxygen in water and air and the addition of heat only compounds the problem. It’s easily resolved though – strip the surface back to bare metal. Loose rust can be removed with a stiff brush and the remainder removed using a paint and varnish stripper. Clean thoroughly, then prime the metal with a metal primer to completely seal the surface and reduce the chance of further rusting. Once dry, simply apply radiator enamel.
Paint it right
Don’t even think about using ordinary paints on radiators: heat resistance, odour and yellowing are just three of the potential problems they present.
Radiator enamel is specially formulated for central heating (not free-standing oil-filled electric radiators) and has all the right attributes – it’s heat resistant, low odour and does not yellow with heat.
Paint it onto the cold radiator, then turn up the heat to help it dry. It’s available in gloss and satin finishes.
Apply in the same way as you would other paints. To get a good finish you should keep a “wet edge” going. On a standard radiator, you can do this by painting a couple of flutes at a time. Paint the top and bottom then fill in the first two flutes. Repeat the process all the way along the radiator. Because you’re only painting a small area at a time, you can brush the next section without leaving brush marks in the previous one as it won’t have begun drying.
Paint and go
Alternatively, quick drying radiator enamels are available which are a quick-drying, water based option with similar properties and can be touch dry in just 30 minutes.
Incidentally, they are also perfect for touching up white household appliances such as fridges and washing machines.