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How to paint a radiator

Painting a radiator can smarten it up, turn it into a feature or make it blend seamlessly into the wall.

It’s not a complicated job but should be done once you’ve finished decorating your wall and ceiling – you don’t want paint dripping on your newly painted radiator!

What you’ll need:

  • A 2-inch paintbrush
  • A suitable water-based primer that protects against rust
  • Premium Wood & Metal paint
  • A dustsheet
  • Sponge and warm water


1. Start prepping

As with any other DIY job, you need to prepare the surface before you paint. Use a sponge and warm water to wash your radiator and remove excess dirt. Leave this to dry before you begin painting.

Protect your floor with a dustsheet and use masking or decorator’s tape to attach newspaper or a sheet to the wall behind your radiator. This will protect the wall from any accidental brush strokes.

2. Apply your primer

Primer helps give you a smooth finish and the right one protects your radiator from rusting too. Make sure you choose a primer that can be specifically used on radiators and withstand heat. This will help to seal the metal, protecting it against moisture and prevent it from rusting.

Thoroughly stir your primer, applying it with a paintbrush in the same order as in step 4.

3. Choose your colour

Our Premium Wood & Metal paint is suitable for radiators and is available in 2.2 million colours. So if you want your radiator to perfectly blend in or have just the right contrasting shade, bring us a sample of the colour you’d like and we can match and mix it for you.

If you’re struggling to make up your mind, we also have hundreds of pre-mixed colours for you to choose from.

4. Paint in a logical order

First things first, make sure your radiator is switched off.

Once it’s cooled down, paint in a logical order. Paint the section closest to the wall in long horizontal strokes.

Then tackle the rest of your radiator bit by bit. Paint a small section of the top and bottom panels and then join it in the middle. Paint the grooved sections first followed by the raised panels in vertical strokes. Once you’ve finished that section, move onto the next part.

Make sure you slightly overlap the sections you’ve recently painted for consistent colour and coat.