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To use primer or not

I imagine that this had been answered numerous times at this point. I have done research for what paints to use on my steam radiators. I couldn't seem to find an exacting answer on primers thought. To keep it simple, I have cleaned and sandblasted a couple radiators as best as I can without taking apart the sections. There are still a couple areas that have some minor rust on them. Can I use a rust neutralizer or a primer that neutralizes rust, or will that cause any issues with heating?

Thanks for your time and help!


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,548
    Use a primer which is suitable for metal -- and, perhaps, more important for whatever you are putting over it. I use B.I.N., but there are a number of others...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,270
    edited September 2022
    I have used a rust converting primer. You can get it at an auto parts store. Read the label. I wouldn't use any metallic top coat, like silver or bronze, it would restrict the heat energy flow into the room. If you strip it with something like Jasco stripper, be sure and rinse it well.
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 591
    I haven't tried this yet but POR-15 is a company well known in the automotive world for converting rust and sealing a surface. It is extremely durable and can be top coated. I think their standard product will be fine at these temperatures but they also offer a high heat version. Their top coat is super durable as well.

    They also have a product called "Cleaner Degreaser" which is great for cleaning engines and stuff and is water based. They have a "Metal Prep" product too which dissolves and surface rust and leaves a zinc-phosphate coating to help prevent rust from ever coming back.

    Again...I haven't done this but its something I've been thinking about.