Use Radiator Paint to Update Your Old Radiator

Whether you want to turn a flaw into a feature by updating your radiator colour, or just want to make the radiator a less obvious part of a room, radiator paint is an easy, cost effective way to achieve this.

How to paint a radiator

Though it may seem like a specialist task – it needs to survive heating through the winter after all – it is as simple as any other DIY painting project you might undertake at home. There are at most three important steps:

  1. Preparation – Firstly make sure your heating is off and the radiator is stone cold. If the room isn’t well ventilated, open a window. Clean the radiator of all the dust, hair, grease with lightly soapy water.
  2. Sanding and priming – Any lumps of old paint or rust should be sanded off to make sure you have the best surface for your paint. Clean the radiator down again if you do need to sand it. If your chosen radiator paint specifies a primer (some don’t!), apply the primer to the freshly sanded and cleaned surface evenly and cleanly/
  3. Painting – Once the primer is dry it is time to paint. Using the edge of your brush paint the edges with long even strokes (along the edge not towards it) before moving to the mouldings and faces of the radiator. Only lightly load the paintbrush to avoid dripping. Paint along any grooves and join up any patches neatly. And you’re done!

A look at the best radiator paints UK

Below are 5 of the best radiator paints available in the UK, and a look at the brand and suitability of each. There are a wide range of radiator paint colours and application methods – including radiator spray paint, to make the job even easier. Not just any metal paint, radiators need heat resistance to deal with their working temperatures.

Radiator paint
Johnstone’s Paint for Radiators

Johnstone’s Radiator Paint – Gloss and Satin

One of the specially formulated options on the list, Johnstone’s Radiator Paint is a high performance coating available in either High Gloss or Satin finish (pictured), and only in the tradiational white. It is also:

  • Water-based and non-yellowing
  • Quick drying
  • Suitable for use on hot water pipes
Radiator paint
Rust-Oleum Universal Paint – Gloss White

Rustoleum All-Surface Paint – Paint and Primer

If the idea of priming does not appeal to you, or if you just don’t want to be without heating for that long, Rustoleum’s All Surface Paint is a paint and primer in one. It can be directly applied to a range of surfaces and:

  • Rust, fade and chip resistant
  • Available in 27 colours
  • Is touch dry in 2 hours, second coat after 16 hours, full hardness after 7 days
Radiator paint
Dulux Gloss Paint for Wood and Metal

Dulux Interior Gloss – for Wood and Metal

Though there is not a dedicated Dulux radiator paint, their Non Drip Gloss for wood and metal is suitable for radiators. The paint is a hard wearing solvent based formulation that is:

  • Self-undercoating
  • Easy to apply
  • Dry in 16 hours
radiator paint
Ronseal One Coat Radiator Paint

Ronseal One Coat Radiator Paint – No primer needed

The ease of Ronseal One Coat Radiator Paint is its self-priming formulation which provides a super smooth, tough enamel finish with no brush marks. It is:

  • Heat resistant for extra scuff and scratch protection
  • Available in white in either Satin or Gloss
  • Dry enough for radiator use in 24 hour
Radiator paint
Hammerite Radiator Paint – Gloss White

Hammerite Radiator Paint – The name in metal

Hammerite in the name in metal paint, and the Hammerite Radiator Paint is no exception. Available in a white gloss finish, it is tough, long-lasting, and:

  • Heat resistant
  • Suitable for radiators and hot water pipes
  • Repaintable after 16 hours