Radiator paint buying guide

Radiator paint buying guide

Anne, Painter, Cambridge

Guide written by:

Anne, Painter, Cambridge

32 guides

Applying a lick of paint is a great, cost-effective way to breathe fresh life into an old radiator. A special radiator paint or aerosol spray can be used to make your radiator blend in seamlessly with the rest of your home decor so read on for out top tips on choosing the right radiator paint.

Important features

  • Paint properties
  • Safety regulations
  • Impact on heat output
  • Different types of radiator paint
  • Tools for painting a radiator
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Technical characteristics of radiator paint

Radiator paint us made of a specially formula designed to be rust-proof, heat-resistant, dust-proof, stain-proof and scratch-proof. It is able to withstand temperatures of up to 120°C. Radiator paint is most commonly white but can come in a range of colours.

Radiator paint and safety

It's important to do your research when you want to repaint a radiator in terms of safety (i.e. risk of fire) and health.

You cannot paint a radiator with just any kind of paint as many will give off harmful fumes. To avoid any risks, it is essential to use a specially designed radiator paint.

Impact on heat output


Radiator paint is usually white which will blend into most interiors. If you do want to go for a different colour, it's worth noting that darker colours will emit more heat.

The same goes for the paint finish: a matte paint will release more heat than a glossy one.

Radiator paint

Different types of radiator paint

Cast iron radiator paint

Cast iron radiators are usually powered by central heating and should be painted using a special rust-proof paint. You can choose between a solvent-based oil paint or a water-based paint. If the radiator has already been painted, be sure that the paint is not peeling away before you reapply.

Electric radiator paint

It is possible to paint some types of electric radiator, though you must check the manufacturer's recommendations. It is best to use a water-based paint in this case. You may be able to use a cast iron radiator paint, provided you check the paint components before purchasing. Bear in mind that water-based paints release fewer VOCs. If using a water-based paint, your painting tools can be cleaned using water.

Radiator spray paint

The benefit of using a spray paint is that it is able to reach easily into all nooks and crannies. It adheres well to all surfaces as long as they are clean and not chipped. Another advantage: you don't have to use any tools so no need to clean your brushes or rollers!

However, radiator spray paint is not without its drawbacks; for example, you will need to take great care to protect the surrounding area to prevent any paint transfer. You'll therefore have to use protective tarp and masking tape.

Tools for applying radiator paint

Flat radiators are, of course, easier to paint. However, most radiators feature fins. But don't worry: as long as you've got the right tools, painting a radiator should be a doddle. You'll need:

Masking tape
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Guide written by:

Anne, Painter, Cambridge, 32 guides

Anne, Painter, Cambridge

After 8 years of trade, I turned professional: I trained myself to be a painter and carpet layer either solo or with 16 years old comrades. 9 months later, following vocational school, my registration in Trades Directory, and the label ‘Artisan’ in hand, I created my company. And since then, I don’t even touch my brushes. I’m a self-taught DIYer and decoration enthusiast, I love to find and restore furniture and to create unique decoration elements. I completed the restoration of my sister’s house, this was last summer, with my niece: electrical, tiling, finishing, plasterboard...we did it all. And today, if I can share my experience I'm happy to do it. A total DIY enthusiast joke: ‘What’s the difference between a clown and a DIY enthusiast? A sense of humor.’ Good Luck.  

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