How to paint a radiator

How to paint a radiator

This video is going to show how to paint a
radiator. Painting a radiator is normally an easy job
but the critical part is choosing the correct paint. Normal Gloss paints do not normally
look well for long on radiators and can soon look shabby. If you wanted to you could use
radiator enamel , or you can buy special gloss paints specially for use on radiators.
If you have floor coverings down it’s a good idea to put a dust sheet down to protect
the floor. Before applying any paint it is essential
to mix it properly before use, so a mixing paddle in a drill can make this much easier
and is essential if the paint is a couple of years old. The Zinsser Perma white used
in this video is at least 4 years old, but has been stored in a dry location away from
frost. To start with you need to ensure that the
radiator is clean and ready to be painted. It’s a good idea to switch off the central
heating and ensure the radiator is at room temperature when it’s going to be painted.
This radiator is in a bathroom and is rusty at the bottom, so to start with I’m going
to remove the loose paint from the area, then use a sanding pad to sand down the loose rust.
I am now applying a rust convertor which chemically changes the rust into a surface that can be
painted on to. Once that has dried I’m applying Zinsser
cover stain over the affected area. This will prevent the rust from ever showing through
the top coat of paint. If the radiator has previously been painted
it’s a good idea to prime the surface using Zinsser 123 this will ensure the new paint
sticks and will prevent any previously applied paint from showing through. If you are painting
a brand new radiator you can skip this step. The Zinsser 123 is water based and can be
painted over in about 1 hour. I’m applying the primer using a quality
Purdy XL brush ensuring that the brush is loaded generously then brushed out so that
there are no brush marks or drips. You can see that I’m taking special care where the
indentations are as this is a place that could be prone to drips. After the Zinsser 123 has dried it’s time
to apply another coat of paint. I’m now using Zinsser Perma white, which
again is water based and will give us a durable satin finish. On this radiator I’m just
using the white version but on this smaller radiator I have had the perma white tinted
to a Magnolia colour. I’m using a quality Purdy XL brush again
to apply the paint ensuring that the paint is brushed out evenly with no drips. After
two hours I’ll give the radiator a second coat and then that will leave it with a durable
finish that is easy to clean and should last for years. I’d like to thank you for watching this
video and please subscribe to the channel if you have not done so already.


  • Jusb1066 says:

    Gone are the days of smelly radiator paint! water based paint (and of course easy brush cleaning) has come a long way, I still remember my dad painting a radiator, and everyone in the house felt a bit sick for days due to the smell. i cant believe the exterior stain i used on my window frames is water cleanable, its been the most long lasting of all the previous types ive used.

  • MrIknowbest2 says:

    No need to use zinsser 123 as long as it's been rubbed down and cleaned, Zinsser perma-white is self priming

  • MrIknowbest2 says:

    Zinsser 123 plus is a good primer, but not such a good stain blocker

  • hucks33 says:

    Good to see you didn't paint over the lock shield valves, a big pet hate of mine.

  • Toonses says:

    Cool I can use all purpose paint. Cheers.

  • Crap Gadget Reviews says:

    are you sponsored by zinsser?

  • Daron Philpott says:

    Have you not thought of using a two inch foam roller along side the brush it speeds the job up

  • Daron Philpott says:

    trade 1st buddy or homebase do small kit worth getting just to have in van for touch up jobs

  • Skysurfer says:

    So basically, a pain in the ar*e… Thanks for sharing, always enjoy your vidz.

  • Rui Nunes says:

    Painting radiators… It can be a heck of a job if you find radiators like the ones I have in my flat. My ones are the same as the ones in your video but with dozens of paint drippings. It was a nightmare. I used a Dewalt Palm sander which helped a lot. Nice video.

  • Zed Man says:

    I hate painting at the best of times, I hate glossing. Is there any water based paints you would recommend for doors etc, I ain't got a clue with painting, it's by far my least favourite activity.

  • Jamie Dykes says:

    Another good one !

  • Cliff Carlo says:

    Brilliant job. I also use the same quality brushes and finish the job with a quality 4-inch mini roller to remove any brush marks.
    Yet again it is nice to see it done properly.

  • Paul F says:

    I found this really helpfully, I may well give the zinsser a go next time. Personally I'd have used a slightly wider brush.
    Working with gloss i have often had the gloss tinted the same colour as the walls so the issue of yellowing is not as pronounced as with brilliant white.

  • Peter says:

    is this the same 2 coat system you used on the tiles? after seeing that video, i used the 123 and the permawhite in my bathroom and its still going strong 3 years later! (over old pink gloss tiles that were there when i bought the house)
    I have plenty of 123 and perma white left over so this would be a perfect use for them as i have a couple of radiators that need repainting

  • Kevin Winn says:

    Ahh good old Zinsser swear by it.

  • Dionne Ortega says:

    Very useful video, you make it look straightforward. I'm going to give it a go now! thank you

  • richiem11 says:

    I hate that 1-2-3 stuff, ruins any final finish on a radiator. much prefer oil based primers/sealers , brush it out far flatter.

  • carpii says:

    will be priming mine with Zinnser cover stain (oil based). Do I need to then use an oil based top coat, or could topcoat be water based? Could you reccommend a rust convertor brand please? Love your chan and have learnt to respect your opinion, thanks for any advice!

  • Steven Feather says:

    Subscribed! this channel is great!

  • anthonydavid1965 says:

    Hi. Long term subscriber as great channel. I've painted my radiator with water based paint, and it becomes tacky when the radiator comes on. Would the Zinseer paints avoid this problem. I'm buying some Zinseer paint to go over some tiles so will have it already. Thanks for any advice you can give.

  • anthonydavid1965 says:

    Thanks for the reply. I used a water based Dulux paint, don't remember the exact paint, but one that is suitable for metal. It goes tacky when the radiator comes on. Have used Dulux gloss in the past, but this turned yellowish after a while. Was also thinking whether Hammerstein radiator paint would be any good. Cheers.

  • Contentibus says:

    Absolutely love this channel. For every conceivable diy job I have to do in my flat this brilliant chap has a video on it. Also he is from my part of the world (Lancashire) 😊 Ps a long time ago you reassured me about some shelving I’d secured in my bathroom using the concertina wall screws (but I hadn’t the right tool to make them concertina in the wall space) you said it would be fine and it was. Shelves are still up and look great. Thanks for al the work you do on here fella. All the best πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

  • Drake summer says:

    I have a radiator with several layers of paint over the years looks horrible. Is there a way to safely strip the whole radiator and paint fresh?

  • Tara Swahn says:

    what type of rust converter would you recommend and is rust inhibitors the same as a rust converter?

  • Carlos Torre says:

    Will a light sandbast remove 2or3 layers of old paint safely?

  • Karan Patel says:

    is the perma white-suited for painting radiators or am I better off going for a paint that's specially designed for painting on radiators?

  • Louise Anne says:

    What can I do if it’s dried with drips on

  • LIVING GOD says:

    When will the paint smell go? What could be reason for strong smell even when windows left open whole day and when heater on then the smell is more…??

  • AC Milan 1899 says:

    Only way to maintain factory finish is to use a can of radiator spray paint

  • emigrate says:

    What rust convertor do you use? I always try and strip it to bare metal and then apply an acide etch primer.

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