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Suggestions on removing paint, then repainting steam radiators

I've had very good success using a pressure washer with a zero degree (rotating) nozzle. Won't say that it removes every last bit of paint, but it gets the vast majority and whatever is left is <I>very</I> well-adhered.

In most cases there's little if any paint deep inside as it takes an angled brush and lots of patience and time to completely coat a radiator. Other than the original coating (which sometimes covers the entire radiator), later coats are usually "just where a straight brush can reach".

No need for special "high temperature" paint--just NEVER use latex over bare iron! After a coat or two of oil-based primer you can switch to latex, but from then on ONLY latex can be used.


  • John_153
    John_153 Member Posts: 9
    How do I remove paint, then repaint steam radiators?

    Hi, after disconnecting and dragging them outdoors, what�s the best way to remove all the paint from steam radiators? Will a power washer do the job? Home Depot doesn't rent sand blasters ;). How the heck do you get to remove the paint between the tubes? I have health concerns as I have several small children and the paint is chipping and I want to learn how to strip and repaint them. If anyone can also recommend a safe paint for steam radiators (& suggestions as how many coats to use, if primer is needed, etc., my little gremlins and I would appreciate it. Thanks!
  • John_102
    John_102 Member Posts: 119
    paint removal on rads

    Do a search on this topic & check the library. Recent photos & discussion of using a pressure washer.

    I called around & found an industrial paint contractor who did a beautiful job (sandblasting) for what I feel was a fair price. The radiators look like they were just manufactured yesterday (they're 1920's Corto's).

    I had him prime the rads with a high quality solvent-based primer. I'll spray finishing coats on myself, although I may see what he would charge for the next batch.

    It took a bit of search (some sandblasters didn't want to bother, others didn't seem to think they could do it). The only real issue was geting the beasts out the door & into the truck (and then back again). They're like cats - they don't always obey when you order them out the door & up the ramp. It's the 5 or 6 footers that scare me - these 3 or 4 foot rads are only about a 1/4 ton each - a piece of cake.

    Good luck.
  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059
    my thought

    I have a monuments maker (tombstones) that will sandblast Rads if brought to him. I then take the sandblasted Rad to the Auto body shop and have them paint em up. Best Wishes J.Lockard
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    On the "Resources" tab at the top banner, go to "Hot Tech Topics". Then look for three articles titled, "Stripping Radiators", "Painting Radiators" and "Bronzing Radiators".

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