DIY: Expert shares warning over painting radiators despite new trend – ‘emit less heat’

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With summer just around the corner, and the weather slowly heating up, now is a great time to give your radiator a lick of paint. Painting your radiator a different colour such as black, grey, pale blue or sage green can add a welcome splash of colour or add another dimension to a room. Despite how simple it may seem, painting your radiator incorrectly can negatively affect its efficiency.

Daniel Nezhad, director at UK Radiators, said painting your radiator can affect its heat output.

He continued: “The main relationship between painting your radiator and its efficiency is to do with the type of radiator paint rather than the colour.

“Some studies show that darker colours can increase your radiator’s efficiency but this is only by an extremely small amount (we’re talking around one percent).

“The real factor to consider is the kind of radiator paint you use.

“It has been shown that a radiator coated with metallic paint will emit less heat, under otherwise identical conditions, than a similar radiator coated with non-metallic paint.

“It can affect the efficiency of your radiator to the point where using a metallic-based paint is the same as removing one sixth of the radiator!”

Mr Nezhad also warned if you don’t prep your radiator correctly, it could end up peeling.

“It’s best not to try and cut any corners,” he added.

The radiator expert has shared a useful step-by-step guide for those looking to give their radiator a lick of paint.

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How to paint a radiator

1. The first thing you need to do is turn your radiator off and leave it overnight to cool down.

If your radiator is still warm, the paint will drip and not adhere to the radiator’s surface as well.

2. Next, simply remove the radiator from the wall.

3. Prepare the area you will be painting on by putting down large plastic sheets or old towels so no paint gets on your flooring or surrounding areas.

4. By far the most important step – prepping your radiator.

Cleaning:

You can use a damp cloth and some soapy water to remove any dust and dirt that may have built up on the surface of the radiator.

Stripping:

You will need to remove any layers of paint that are currently on your radiator by using paint stripper.

This is a tricky task as you need to make sure you don’t damage the original structure of the radiator.

This step will make the application of your new paint easy and smooth.

Sanding:

The radiator needs to be sanded down to ensure that the surface is smooth and ready to be painted on.

You can use two different grades of sandpaper so that you can achieve a smooth finish that removes bumps and imperfections of any size.

Priming:

The last stage of preparation is priming. You will need to prime the surface of your radiator to protect the structure of it and help the paint adhere to the surface.

Choose your paint:

You need to opt for a specially formulated radiator paint that will be able to withstand constant temperature changes without damaging the integrity or quality of the paint.

5. Now it’s time to paint. Apply two coats of paint and ensure you let the first coat dry completely before applying the second one.

This will ensure the application is silky smooth.

6. While it’s frustrating having to wait, it’s best to leave at least 24 hours between painting and turning your radiator back on otherwise it could peel or drip.

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