All You Need To Know About Radiator Paint

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Best Radiator Paints

If you are looking to brighten up the radiators in your home then radiator paint is the perfect solution!

Over time, radiators can begin to look worn and tired. They mark, rust and discolour, leaving the whole room looking worn out and in need of a makeover. You are always going to have the option of replacing your radiators but this can be costly, time consuming and require you getting contractors into your home to do the work for you. This is why we love radiator paint.

Coming in a range of colours and styles, from gloss to matt and white to pink, there will be a radiator paint that is going to be right for your home. Painting the radiators in your home is so easy providing you choose a good quality paint, so we are here to help…

Best Pick – Hammerite 500ml Radiator Paint, Gloss White

Hammerite REG500 500ml Radiator Paint - Gloss White
  • Heat resistant protection
  • Hard wearing
  • Resists yellowing
  • Solvent based
  • Premium Product

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Only Got 5 Minutes?

If we’ve persuaded you to get going and paint your radiators then no doubt you want all you need to know – and fast! If so, get reading this part of the article for all the essential information you need to warm up your radiators!

What To Know About Radiator Paint

Radiator paint is going to be different from your “standard” paint and we certainly wouldn’t recommend mixing up the two. But, radiator paint will often be more expensive so we have seen many people be tempted into trying to get away with cheaper paints before! This really is the worst thing that you can do as there are reasons why radiator paint is given its name!

First and foremost, the reason to opt for a special radiator paint is that they will dry and cover the radiator with a much better finish and colour than normal paint – ensuring a professional finish every time. But also, radiator paints will be heat resistant so able to withstand whatever temperatures your radiators are giving to without becoming “tacky” or discoloured. Not just this but most radiator paints have colour protection and corrosion protection, so not only do they maintain their colour better but they will also protect your radiator from corrosion and rust so that your colour is maintained and so are the radiators themselves. This is great, as means that you will rarely have to repaint your radiators and you are actually saving yourself money from having ro replace them. Finally, you will also find that most radiator paints have a “protective” coat finish, meaning that they can be wiped down and cleaned as often as needed.

Best Budget – Rustins 250ml Radiator Paint

RUSTINS Radiator Enamel Gloss 250ml
  • Heat Resistant
  • Low odour solvent based
  • Does not yellow with heat

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Radiator Paint Features

Here are some of the main things you need to consider and check for before purchasing your radiator paint.


Most importantly you need to consider what colour you are wanting to paint your radiator! The first thing you need to decide is whether you are sticking to the traditional white colour or whether you are being more adventurous in the colour that you go for. In recent years it has become more fashionable to mix up and try different colours of radiators, but this really depends on the look that you are going for and the style of the rooms that you are working with! Varied colours range massively from shades of green and blue to brighter colours like shades of pink or yellow. This really depends on the colour scheme that you are going for, we would just say to remember to think about what they will look like in a few years time (although it’s so easy you could always just paint them again!).

If you are a traditionalist going for the more standard colour of white then the main things that you need to decide is whether you want satin or gloss. Gloss white colours will have more of a shine to them, giving that fresh and bright look to them, whereas satin will offer a more matt colour that is more of a block of white. These will often be harder to wipe down but do allow your radiators to “blend in” more with the rest of the room.

Pot Size

It’s pretty obvious that the amount of paint that you are going to need will really depend on the amount and size of radiators that you are painting! We would always recommend using more than one coat of paint on your radiators – especially if you are changing the colour that you are painting, so it is important to make sure that you have ample paint to get the job done! As a VERY rough guide, you are going to need about 150ml for each coat on a “standard” sized radiator, but please make sure to go more rather than less as it is difficult to make a judgement for each individual radiator.

Bigger pots of paint are always going to offer better value for money but the paint won’t last for years so it is likely any unused paint will be going in the bin or being donated to someone else!

TOP TIP: Older, more worn radiators are going to take more paint than newer radiators due to their condition and the materials used so make sure to opt for a bigger tin of paint if this is what you are working with!

Spray or Traditional Paint

Traditional tinned paint is more common for radiator paints but there are some spray paints available on the market if this is more what you are looking for. Spray paints will be quicker to use in terms of the actual painting part of the job and can offer a really smooth, professional finish, however you are going to have to take the radiator off the wall to achieve this as otherwise the paint can run, or end up on the wall behind.

Traditional tinned paint may take longer to apply and admittedly you have to be more careful but you are saved a considerable amount of hassle in being able to leave the radiator on the wall.

TOP TIP: If you are opting for an enamel based paint then make sure to go for one that is “non-yellowing” as many radiator paints will start to yellow after a while, particularly if they are in direct sunlight!

Best Brushes

Silverline Radiator Paint Brush Long Reach 50mm / 2" (524598)
  • Angled pure bristle head for all types of paint
  • Enables access to difficult areas
  • Flexible plastic handle
  • Excellent paint pick-up & distribution
  • Extra-thin 325mm long reach handle

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Silverline Reach Brush 40mm / 1-3/4" (571494), White
  • Angled mixed bristle head suitable for all types of paint
  • Enables access to difficult areas for painting & cleaning
  • Extra-thin long-reach wooden handle
  • Excellent paint pick-up & distribution
  • Length 370mm

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Aieve Radiator Cleaner Brush, 80CM Radiator Brush, Flexible Long Radiator Duster with Wood Handle, Multipurpose Cleaning Brush for Radiator & Dryer Lint & Washing Machine
  • Perfect Design: The radiator brush full length is 80 cm / 31.5 inches, flexible and strong metal with rubber protection tube and soft and firm nylon bristles and anti-scratch top rubber protection cap.(especially high-quality bristles)
  • High Efficiency: Aieve radiator cleaner brush flexible metal can effectively remove deep dust to prevent fire hazards caused by dust accumulation, nylon bristles are easy to clean, wooden handles and hanging ropes are easy to operate and store.
  • Widely Compatible: Our radiator duster brush is ideal for most type of radiators, dryer lint and washing machines , very suitable for cleaning stair rails, air passages , outdoor sinks and the bottom of furniture and appliances.
  • Necessity of cleaning: Dust removal reduces the mixing of warm air and dust particles to improve air quality , which helps improve the efficiency of the radiator and indirectly saves fuel costs , and the potential risk of fire is effectively avoided.
  • Usage advice: the use of the radiator will generate a lot of dust, it is recommended that the radiator be vacuumed again to make it cleaner. No need to remove top grill of radiators, so you can clean the inside of the radiator directly.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

The Best Radiator Paint Features

So you know the main things that you need to think about before you go out buying radiator paint, but in our experience there are some additional features that we found make a real difference, not just to the finish that you are able to achieve but also the application process…

  • Quick drying paint – if you have children, pets, or quite honestly just breath in the house that you are painting then it is well worth opting for quick drying paint! It can totally ruin the finish if your radiators become smudged, marked or dappled with dirt and debris before the paint has had time to dry! Some advertise that they are touch dry within 30 minutes, meaning you could have the room back to normal before the day is out!
  • As we will discuss below, it is recommended that you sand your radiator and apply a coat of primer before painting your top coat. However, if this sounds like too much hassle then there are radiator paints that can be applied without all of this preparation, but that won’t compromise the quality of finish that you are able to achieve!
  • One coat paint – If you know that you are going to be in a rush then there is one coat radiator paint available. These will save you a considerable amount of time and some can still give a professional finish providing the radiator has been prepped first!
  • Fragrance free – The smell of paint can really linger, and whilst some people love that fresh paint smell, plenty of us would rather not be left with that irritated nose and underlying headache from that strong paint smell! Some radiator paints come with low odour so that you don’t have to have the windows open all day to remove the smell.
  • Long lasting – As much as these radiator paints are going to make the job easier for you, it still isn’t a job that you would want to be doing regularly. Look out for long lasting radiator paints that have specialist formulas to help protect the quality of both the radiator and the paint itself.
  • Washable and moisture resistant – As far as we are concerned this is a crucial feature that you need to consider as radiators (especially those in key areas in the house) are going to need wiping down and cleaning. Not just this but in winter sometimes your only option is to safely use those warm radiators to dry socks and other garments! So make sure your radiator paint is washable to avoid it chipping and cracking straight away!
  • CFC Free – These paints will be free from any harmful toxins and gasses so are safe to be used by you, but more importantly around children and pets! If you know that the radiators you are painting are in places where other people are going to be, or maybe you don’t have a massive amount of ventilation, then this is a really important feature to check for!

Top Tips for Radiator Painting

If you are new to painting radiators then here are some top tips to help you get the job done!

  • Make sure that your radiators are off and completely cold before you start the process. Although radiator paint is heat resistant, it will only dry properly in the first place if the radiator is cold!
  • Open windows to make sure the room is ventilated – if you are low on ventilation then opt for a radiator paint with no odour and CFC free!
  • Clean as much dirt and debris from the radiator and then begin to sand it down. Once you have sanded the whole radiator you can then remove any newly created dust or debris. It is important to use both higher and lower grit sandpaper so that all debris is removed, especially if you are wanting a perfect finish! We would recommend using a hoover and a slightly damp cloth at this point to remove any traces of debris or dust!
  • Some radiator paints don’t require a primer first, so this will save you some time. Otherwise at this point you will need to apply a metal primer or radiator primer first.
  • Once this is completely dry you can start to paint your radiator. Give the tin a good shake and apply thin layers of paint to the radiator, making sure to paint in the direction of the grooves on the radiator!
  • If wanting the best finish, then apply your second coat and a clear top coat once the other layers are completely dry. This will help to ensure that your radiator is well protected!

Best of the Rest

Hammerite 5092847 400ml Radiator Enamel Aerosol - Satin White
  • Brilliant white finish
  • For water-filled radiators and water pipes
  • Heat resistant
  • Long lasting
  • Resists yellowing and rust formation

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Rust-Oleum AE0060002E8 400ml Radiator Enamel Spray Paint - Satin White
  • Washable and moisture resistant
  • Non yellowing formula
  • Provides rust protection
  • For interior use only

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

JENOLITE Directorust Radiator Enamel Spray Paint | WHITE | Gloss Finish | Resistant to 130ºC | Durable, Scuff Resistant, Non-Yellowing Radiator Paint | No Primer Needed | 400ml
  • HIGH QUALITY RADIATOR PAINT: JENOLITE Directorust Radiator Enamel Spray Paint is a perfect radiator spray paint for refurbishing old radiators. Available in a range of colours, it is the prefect way to freshen up your radiators and keep your home looking great
  • HIGH TEMPERATURE RESISTANT: Resistant to temperatures up to 130ºC, JENOLITE Radiator Enamel Spray Paint is prefect as a radiator touch up paint for radiators and pipe work around your home
  • DURABLE & RUST RESISTANT: This radiator enamel spray paint is extremely hard wearing and non-yellowing, ensuring the white enamel spray paint retains its bright white finish. Rust resistant properties safeguard your radiator from corrosion.
  • EASY TOUCH UP: Ideal as a radiator touch up paint, JENOLITE's Radiator Enamel Spray Paint can help keep old radiators looking fresh or transform them with a contemporary new look using our range of white, black or silver radiator enamel spray paint
  • NO PREMIER REQUIRED: Can be applied directly to bare metal without the use of a primer, the enamel spray paint is easy to apply anywhere in the home, including bathroom radiators

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to use radiator paint on radiators?
There are other metal paints that arguably you would be able to use on radiators but they won’t offer the same level of heat resistance and the same finish that specialist radiator paints offer. Not just that but radiator paints offer special protection from discoloration and corrosion so will avoid your radiators developing that dated yellow colour!

How many coats of paint do radiators need?
We would always recommend using at least two coats of paint when painting radiators if you want a professional, block colour. If it has been a while since your radiators have been painted, or you are going for a different colour, then it may be worth using a primer and a clear coat on top as well.

Will painting my radiators make them less efficient?
No – it’s as simple as that! Old rumours around paint stopping your radiators from being as effective don’t take into consideration how radiators actually work. So there really is no reason not to paint your radiators!

Do you have to sand a radiator before painting?

We would always recommend lightly sanding your radiator before you start painting. This will slightly roughen the surface and remove any dirt or debris so that you get a more professional finish when the job is done.

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  • Features
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About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

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