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Witten by Bernard Morgan (Engineer) & Adam Apperley (Marketing). Published: February 13, 2024. Updated: February 13, 2024

Painting Your Radiators

Revamping your home’s heating elements, like radiators, can significantly impact the ambience of your living space. Painting a radiator requires careful preparation to ensure the paint adheres properly and the finish lasts.

This guide will walk you through the process step by step, from preparation to the final touches, ensuring your radiator looks as good as new.

Painting a radiator | Boilerhut

Preparing to Paint Your Radiator

Step 1: Ensure the Radiator is Cool

Before beginning, confirm the radiator is completely off and cool to the touch. Painting a warm radiator can cause paint to drip or not adhere correctly, leading to a less-than-ideal finish.

Step 2: Thoroughly Clean the Radiator

Dust and grime can hinder paint adherence. Clean the radiator with soapy water and a damp cloth. For tougher grime, consider using sugar soap. Also, prepare your workspace by laying down dust sheets and protecting nearby walls and furniture from paint splashes.

Step 3: Sand the Radiator

Create a surface that paint can easily stick to by lightly sanding the radiator with fine-grit sandpaper. This step is crucial for removing rust and ensuring a smooth finish. Remember to wear a dust mask and clean off the dust afterwards with a damp cloth.

Painting Process

Step 4: Apply Paint

Stir your paint thoroughly. Using a high-quality brush or roller, apply a thin coat of paint, starting from one end of the radiator to the other or from top to bottom, aligning with the radiator’s design. For hard-to-reach areas, a brush is preferable. If you’re considering spray paint, note that it may require removing the radiator and spraying it outdoors, which is more complex. After painting, if changing from a light to a dark colour or vice versa, apply multiple coats as needed, lightly sanding between coats for the best results.

Step 5: Let the Paint Dry

Allow the paint to dry for at least 24 hours before turning the radiator back on. This patience ensures the paint cures properly, avoiding a tacky finish.

Choosing the Right Paint and Color for Your Radiator

  • Selecting Paint: Radiators don’t need special paint, but heat-resistant options last longer. Standard wall paint can suffice, but special radiator paints prevent yellowing over time, especially in white radiators.
  • Finishing Touches: Consider a heat-resistant clear coat for added durability and to extend the paint’s lifespan.

Colour Choices for Your Radiator

While white remains popular, don’t feel constrained. Matching the radiator colour to your walls can create a cohesive look, or choose a contrasting colour to make it a focal point. Ultimately, the colour won’t affect the radiator’s efficiency, so select what best suits your decor.


Painting a radiator is a manageable DIY project that can significantly impact your space’s aesthetic. You can achieve a professional-looking finish by following these steps, from ensuring the radiator is cool and clean to applying the appropriate paint and allowing it to dry. Choose your paint and colour wisely to complement

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