Buying the best radiator paint can have a really big impact on your interior decor style. From whites to anthracite, radiator paint comes in a variety of colours and thus can match your existing decor. But how do you know which one to choose?
If you get the choice wrong you might end up with a radiator paint that flakes, blisters, has a terrible odour that won’t go away and is difficult to apply. So how do you avoid these things happening to you?
You leave it to us of course! We’ve painted hundreds of radiators over the years and know the right paints for the right jobs. We’ve combined our knowledge with thousands of consumer reviews to bring you the ultimate guide to choosing a paint that’s not only going to look fantastic but is going to last too. Keep reading to find out which paints we would recommend.
Best Overall: Hammerite Radiator Paint
When it comes to the best radiator paint, it’s hard to look past Hammerite’s truly outstanding satin radiator paint. This paint has been specifically formulated for use on radiators and is brought to you by a brand that’s synonymous with metal paints. In short – if you’re looking for metal paints, you should turn to Hammerite.
So what makes this radiator paint so good? Whilst the end result is almost always fantastic, it’s the easy process which makes it possible that should get your attention. This paint can be applied directly to new, bare or previously painted radiators with minimal preparation and simply makes your life easier.
It also has fantastic opacity which means that whether you’re looking to paint over a darker colour or are simply looking to touch up your radiator with a lick of paint, one to two coats is all you’ll need.
One common issue with painting radiators is that the paint is rather thin and cheaper brands especially tend to formulate paint that results in drips and runs. Fortunately, Hammerite’s radiator paint has excellent adhesion and thus tends to avoid this issue.
In terms of durability, you can expect this paint to last years due to its tough finish which requires minimal maintenance.
- Heat-resistant and is perfect for radiators
- Only requires one coat in most cases
- Can be used to paint onto unprimed surfaced
- Doesn’t drip and is easy to apply
Professional’s Choice: Johnstone’s Radiator Paint
As you might notice from this article, every other paint is a radiator specific paint whereas the professionals opt for Johnstone’s Aqua System which can be used on a variety of substrates (mostly woodwork) but is often used by professionals on radiators. So why is this?
Well the job of radiator paint is to help the heat radiate (I know that sounds stupid). It just conducts the heat better than normal paint, so the radiators are just as efficient as when they were new.
Most professional decorators just use the same paint as they’re using on the woodwork though with the most popular choice being Johnstone’s Aqua Guard satin. Are there elements of laziness here? More than likely. But it just goes to show that sometimes convenience beats quality in the decorating world.
So as a professional, would I recommend this paint for radiators? If you’re buying for just radiators, probably not. This trade satin is expensive stuff and would do a good job on radiators but simply put, it doesn’t conduct heat as well as specifically formulated paints. Now, if you want all your woodwork and radiator to be the exact same colour then I would absolutely recommend this.
- Can be used on both radiators and woodwork to achieve a uniform colour scheme
- Is very easy to apply
- Has fantastic coverage
- Great opacity
- Doesn’t conduct heat as well as radiator-specific paints
Best Radiator Spray Paint: Rust-Oleum Radiator Enamel
If you’re looking for the best spray paint for radiators, we’d highly recommend Rust Oleum’s Radiator Enamel. This spray paint has been specifically formulated for use on radiators and is washable as well as moisture resistant.
When looking for a paint for your radiators, there’s some key things to bear in mind. The paint needs to be heat resistant, prevent moisture build up and of course look great. Rust Oleum’s Radiator Enamel ticks all the boxes here and it’s difficult to find any spray paint that is comparable.
The hard wearing paint can withstand temperatures of up to 80 degrees celcius, doesn’t flake or chip easily and should last you a decent length of time. It’s easy to apply with the nozzle being resistant to blocking and spitting unlike some other spray paints on the market. The quick drying formula sets to a chic bright metallic finish – perfect for the modern home.
- Is highly durable and can also be cleaned thousands of times
- Is heat resistant up to 80 degrees celcius making it perfect for radiators
- Sets to a beautiful chic finish, brightening up boring looking radiators
- The colour doesn’t fade over time
- Strong odour means you’ll need to apply in a well ventilated room and take other safety precautions such as using a protective face mask
Best Black Radiator Paint: Stovax
Recently we’ve been seeing a greater demand for black radiator paint. Black radiators exude style and its uniqueness is very appealing so it’s no surprise that we’re seeing this demand. But how do you achieve the best black finish? Well, we’d recommend using Stovax’s black radiator spray paint.
With temperature resistance up to 800 degrees celcius, you’ll have no issues with the any peeling or blistering which can be common with cheaper brands when coming into contact with high heat.
You can also look forward to achieving an attractive matt black finish as the spray can distributes the paint nice and evenly. Moreover, besides using some covering to ensure you don’t get paint on the walls, application is incredibly quick whilst the coverage and opacity ensures you’ll only need to coat your radiator once to achieve a great finish.
As mentioned above, durability is a shining quality of this paint with its toughness so impressive that it can withstand use on many items such as stove fires and barbecues.
- Attractive matt black radiator paint
- Can withstand incredibly high temperatures
- Can be sprayed on which saves time and effort
- Quite expensive for a radiator paint
Best White Radiator Paint: Ronseal Radiator Paint
Ronseal radiator paint in general is great stuff but their Stays White is a great choice for white radiators. As the name suggests, this altered formula dries incredibly quickly, covers in just one coat and more importantly for those looking for squeaky clean, like new radiators, stays white for a number of years.
Assuming you prepare the surface properly by removing any rust marks and giving it a good sanding down for something for the paint to key to, you can achieve a cracking finish in just one coat. If painting over darker colours then you may need two. In terms of the finish, the paint is satin so you’ll get a low level sheen which is durable yet still gives the radiator a nice, clean look.
Application can be done simply with a 1 or 2 inch brush and with very decent covering capability (I believe it goes further than any other paint in this article) painting is a breeze. On top of that, the paint becomes touch dry in around 30 minutes so if you do end up needing two coats, you won’t need to wait too long before you apply the second.
Compared to other paints, Ronseal’s radiator paint has relatively low odour although it’s advised that you keep the room in which you’re painting well ventilated before, during and after application.
- Stays white for longer than other radiator paints
- Highly durable
- Simple application with a 1 or 2 inch brush
- Lower odour than most radiator paints
- Dries incredibly quickly
What Paint Brush Should You Use For Radiator Paint?
Whilst it may be tempting to pick up any old paint brush to paint your radiator, getting the right one is of high importance. With many different grooves and awkward to reach places, the right brush will really help you out.
With that in mind, you should use either a one or two inch synthetic paint brush to paint your radiators along with a round tip brush to get into any awkward areas.
Our go-to brand at the moment is Hamilton and would thoroughly recommend them as they distribute paint very evenly and don’t typically leave any brush marks.
How Good Is Radiator Paint?
Lots of people are unaware that radiator paint can not only restore the look of their radiators but the performance too. It’s for that reason, radiator paint is well worth the small investment.
As radiators get older they become less efficient at outputting heat and you may find that over time your radiator has more and more ‘cold spots’.
Fortunately, radiator paint is specifically formulated to help the heat from the radiator, well…radiate. This makes the radiator more efficient and ultimately will save you a small amount of money on heating bills. That’s of course not mentioning how great new radiator paint can look and moreover, how easy it is to achieve an attractive finish.
Whilst Hammerite would be our choice when it comes to painting radiators, all of the paints mentioned in this article should do a great job for you. If you want a mix of durability and aesthetics then Hammerite seem like the obvious option. If having a squeaky clean white colour is more important then Ronseal’s radiator paint might suit you better.
And lastly, if you want to match your radiator colour with your woodwork then don’t be afraid to use a trade satin paint like Johnstone’s. It may not provide your radiator with added efficiency but it will certainly look great.
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