7 radiator paint colors that give every room a new personality


For a bathroom that pays homage to the Art Deco era, East painted the radiator and vintage bathtub to match a reclaimed blush sink. She used a glossy finish for the cast iron radiator. The added shine highlighted the detail in the design. “Although there are many different patterns, textures and eras in a very small space, the colors – and particularly the painting of the bathtub and radiator – work together to create a space that exudes a truly restful vibe. designed bathroom should.”

Make it a happy focal point

When in doubt, choose yellow radiator paint, similar to designer Heather Craig.

Photo: Heather Craig

“Depending on the space, I either like to paint the radiator the same color as the wall for a calming feel, or I like to paint it a contrasting color,” says Heather Craig, designer and creator of @heatherscolourfulhome, who Metal paint used by Little Greene. “Yellow is my favorite. I find it uplifting and fun. Goes with so many other colors though.” Craig, who lives in Dunfermline, Scotland, hand painted this radiator but has since bought a paint spray gun for other radiators in the house. “It’s definitely worth investing in,” she adds.

According to Tolchin, the best rule of thumb when decorating a child’s room is to create an environment they enjoy spending time in. “This room features a vibrant, colorful carpet and whimsically painted walls,” she says. “Taking the butter yellow color from the carpet and using it on the radiator adds character to the unit and makes the room that much brighter and more vibrant.”

How do I paint a radiator?

Step 1: Prepare the cooler room

First and foremost, turn off the radiator and let it cool down. You can disconnect it from the pipe with a wrench, but that might be difficult if the radiator hasn’t been touched in decades. If you choose to leave it in place, putting down a dropper before reaching for radiator paint isn’t enough. “Protect the area around the radiator,” says David Steckel, director of strategic partnerships at the Thumbtack site for home services. Use construction paper and slide it underneath, then secure with painter’s tape. Put something behind the radiator and the wall, e.g. B. a piece of cardboard.

Step 2: Remove chipped paint

Use a paint scraper, wire brush and multi-tool to remove any peeling paint for a smooth application. Stubborn areas can also be sanded down with fine-grain sandpaper, advises Steckel. Do not rush this step, as it will affect the outcome of the radiator rework. Will Glaser, who renovated his 140-year-old Brooklyn brownstone, had to learn this the hard way. “We didn’t scrape off the old paint nearly enough before painting, which resulted in them looking and feeling uneven and chipped,” says the @glamstudio_bk co-founder, who repainted 11 radiators. “It would have taken us at least half a week of tedious work and we thought we could live with them having a little ‘character’. But yes, they would look and feel a lot better if we had put the time and effort into properly scraping and prepping them.” Once the metal is smooth, clean the radiator with dish soap and water to remove any remaining dirt and dust to remove. Wipe thoroughly with a microfiber cloth. “If you find cracks, call a pro right away,” adds Steckel.

Step 3: Prime Radiator

Treat the radiator with an all-surface primer like BIN Zinsser Spray – or an enamel-based primer like Rust-Oleum Rusty Metal Primer if you’re concerned about rusting.

Step 4: Paint

“It’s best to avoid oil-based paint, which can become sticky as the radiator heats up,” says East. An aerosol spray like Rust-Oleum High Heat Lacquer makes applying the radiator paint easier. “Trying to brush or roll paint into the nooks and crannies of these things is basically impossible,” says Glaser, who used Rust-Oleum Satin Protective Enamel Spray. “Maybe it’s fine for touching up, but some of the gaps are too tight.” If you plan to use a roller, Steckel recommends a foam roller as opposed to a regular paint roller, which can leave streaks. Once the first coat has dried, apply a second coat of paint. Wait 24 hours for the radiator paint to dry completely before turning it on again.


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