Sprucing up a drab radiator is cheaper than replacement

A Generic Photo of a person painting a radiator. See PA Feature DIY DIY Column. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Thinkstockphotos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature DIY DIY Column.

A Generic Photo of a person painting a radiator. See PA Feature DIY DIY Column. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Thinkstockphotos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature DIY DIY Column.

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Dig out your paintbrush and spruce up your radiators with the help of these top tips – it’s a lot cheaper than replacing them.

You should only paint radiators when they’re turned off and cold. Sand any paint runs and other imperfections on the radiator, scrub it with sugar-soap solution, then wash it off with clean water. Use a radiator primer if necessary.

Most metal paints can be used on radiators, but heatproof radiator paint is best because it’s designed not to discolour. Standard white metal paint will yellow over time if used on radiators, due to the heat.

Radiator paint is available as both conventional and spray paint. Sprays are a good idea because they dry quickly and make getting a good finish relatively easy, as long as you avoid patchy spraying. They’re also good for touching up radiators, providing the colour’s the same. However, spray paint is messier than conventional paint and you could easily get through quite a few cans, which would be expensive.

When using spray paint, take full safety precautions, including opening the window for ventilation, wearing a respirator mask and masking off the area around the radiator.

If you need to touch up the wall afterwards, a radiator roller enables you to get behind it.

Remember to use masking tape around the holes in the floor or wall, cover the floor with newspaper and be careful not to splatter paint as you work along the pipe with your brush.