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Painting radiators

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 tlm 27 Jul 2011
So - what will happen if I paint a radiator using matt emulsion?

I'm painting the walls a dark colour and don't want a white radiator. I can't get gloss paint to match...
 Jaffacake 27 Jul 2011
In reply to tlm:

Your radiator will have a matt finish rather than a gloss one

(*note, I know nothing about DIY so have no idea if in fact painting your radiator in matt rather than gloss will cause monsters to spawn from it or something)
 EeeByGum 27 Jul 2011
In reply to tlm: You can buy gloss paint to order and any colour you like. I think now, you can even take in a photo of the colour you wish to reproduce.
 Dave80 27 Jul 2011
In reply to tlm: I've never tried it but the risk is that the paint may start to peel over time quicker than it would with proper radiator paint which if you redecorate reasonably frequently won't be an issue but if you plan to leave it for 10-15 years or longer then the radiators may need a rub down and recoat in between times. If you would just have been using normal gloss paint on it then I can't really see any difference anyway.
 jbellj1 27 Jul 2011
In reply to tlm: go to a painters merchant rather than diy shops and ask them to make the radiator paint for you.
In reply to tlm: I matt emulsioned the rad in my sons roon and it was fine for about 2 years, the heat from the rad shrank the paint over time and it just cracked like crazy paving. it was very gradual and not a problem as it never flaked off or anything. Another room I stripped the rad to bare metal and sprayed it silver, that still looks good now but I've now learned that new rads are cheap enough to simply replace old painted ones with a brand new rad. It saves time that it'd take to prep and paint the old one and a new one with new fittings always looks good. Screwfix are the cheapest I've found BTW.
 Fraser 27 Jul 2011
In reply to tlm:

I did one about 10 years ago, and it's still fine. No cracking. Standard matt emulsion. (Mine was quite a dark colour too.)
 Fraser 27 Jul 2011
In reply to Fraser:

Correction, it's at least 15 years ago now - gulp!
Wonko The Sane 27 Jul 2011
In reply to tlm: It will fade quicker and it won't look very good.

Paint them in a slightly contrasting satin finish? Or get the paint mixed, it really isn't that expensive.
I'd go for satin not gloss, but that's personal preference.
 Fraser 27 Jul 2011
In reply to Gunboat_Diplomat:
> (In reply to tlm) It will fade quicker and it won't look very good.

Personal experience makes me disagree there. Chances are the radiator will be ribbed or similar, so the appearance will be slightly different anyway from the flat wall it's mounted on. The one I painted hasn't faded differently to the wall behind it in 15 years.
BrumSparky 27 Jul 2011
In reply to tlm:
I gloss painted a radiator magnolia to match the decor some 5 years ago. Beuatiful finish. Perfect match. Then watched it change to yellow as the rad heated up.
OP tlm 27 Jul 2011
In reply to tlm:

I've had a look on line and have seen comments from a few people saying that they have successfully used matt paint. Maybe how well it works will depend on the make of paint and how hot the radiator gets?

Anyway - I reckon that it is worth trying it and if I get terrible cracking paint, I can always redo it...
Cats 28 Jul 2011
In reply to tlm:

Do they mean matt paint or matt emulsion? Years ago I painted one with Dulux Satinwood and it was fine. There is a Homebase own brand version as well.

Personally I would avoid emulsion and get Satinwood, colour mixed if necessary.
 LastBoyScout 28 Jul 2011
In reply to tlm:

Just re-painted my bathroom one with proper radiator paint.

It's a fairly new radiator anyway and a bit of an odd size, so couldn't be bothered to replace it, but it had a couple of knocks and a bit of rust on the bottom edge and I also needed to paint the pipes.
 LastBoyScout 28 Jul 2011
In reply to tlm:

As an after thought - you could box the radiator into a cabinet and then paint that, so it's not such a contrast with the wall?

Pre-cut MDF sheets will still let the heat through.
 teflonpete 28 Jul 2011
In reply to tlm:

Use Dulux Satinwood or another manufacturers oil based eggshell paint. You can get it mixed in any colour off the chart at a proper paint merchant, it brushes on easily, dries to a soft sheen and doesn't change colour or crack over time. I painted radiators with Dulux Satinwood and they still looked like I'd just painted them after 8 years. You can wipe it clean with a damp cloth and a little bit of detergent if you need to, without harming the finish. You'll need to rub the rads down with fine abrasive paper (180 grit or so) to key the surface and apply 2 coats, leaving 16 hours drying time between coats, but that or a proper radiator paint are the best way to go for a long lasting finish. I'd avoid any water based paints like matt emulsion, they're just not formulated to perform on a hot surface such as a radiator.
OP tlm 28 Jul 2011
In reply to Cats:
> Do they mean matt paint or matt emulsion?

What's the difference?

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