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how to paint a steam radiator

Needing to paint a couple of the radiators in my home.
I had previously had two of them sandblasted and then painted but can't do that this time around. It looks like the prior owner of my home had use latex paint on one of the radiators.
I appreciate any and all suggestions.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,085
    Probably did use latex paint. Oh well. Get as much of it off as you reasonably can -- scrape, wire brush. Not paint remover. Then I would coat it with a shellac base primer, such as Zinsser's B.I.N. That will help hold the latex, and keep if from interacting with the top coat -- for which I've had good results with ordinary but top of the line acrylic latex paints, such as Benjamin Moore's Aura line.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,700
  • mikeg2015
    mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,183
    I’m 6 months after using a rustoleum metallic paint on a small bathroom radiator and it still smells a little. I’ll just use a good acrylic latex next time. I have 6 painted that way and they look great. Not peeling, softness or odor. I think it was Valspar they used.

    5 have never been painted since the original metallic coating applied 100 years ago. 1 has a metalic coat thats excellent. 1 is a replacement radiator wit ha metallic paint that is cracking and flaking.
  • Nysteamer
    Nysteamer Member Posts: 22
    I used high temp paint and a quick primer, works fine no smell, no peel