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Steel Vertical Steam Pipe in Bathroom - Regular or High Heat Spray Paint best?

I'm planning on repainting my bathroom's floor to ceiling steel steam pipe (old NY apartment).
1) Is High Heat or Regular Enamel spray paint best?
2) Do I need to prime first?

I called Rustoleum and they said that neither product will work ...and that they don't offer a product that will work on steam pipes (which I find really odd).
They say the Regular Enamel Spray is only recommended for surfaces below 200° F (steam begins at 212° F) and it will peel and flake on a surface above 200° F.
They also said that their High Heat Spray Paint is only recommended for surfaces above 300° F as it will not adhere under 300° F.
I'm so confused.

Finally, I imagine heat will be coming up in about a month …is it best to paint now or wait till just before heat is expected to come on?

Thanks so much. :)


  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    as with any paint, the surface preparation is the most important thing. When in doubt go to auto parts store and get engine spray paint. Both primer and color. Engine paint is rated for high heat. Google radiator spray paint. There was some made that was listed before. I imagine it is still available.
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    I used big box off the shelf egg-shell and semi gloss paint for radiators, with no issue 3 years going. Some rads were primed with zinser bulls eye, others just scraped well and then painted. We also used rastoleum high enamel black spray paint for some mains and it's been 9 years... prep was done the best it could have been. Some flaking on those, BUT, in areas where we couldn't remove old lead paint, it has been detaching. My experience is that any good paint will do with proper prep. Scrape off any loose paint best you can, and perhaps wipe them down with TSP, then prime and paint.