Painting A Radiator Cover...

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MadMen | 12:52 Wed 08th May 2013 | DIY
12 Answers
I have a white radiator cover, which I would now like to paint a different colour.
I used B&Q 'Everywhere' paint to originally paint it, but they don't do the colour I want, and nor can i find the colour I want in any kind of paint that's especially for wood.

So, I was wondering, will it be ok to paint the radiator cover in just normal emulsion? I have a pot of the colour I want already, and used it to paint a metal fireplace last week because of the same reason - couldn't get paint in that colour that was suitable for metal. The guy in B&Q said it would be ok because the metal had already had a layer of paint on it, and it wasn't getting direct heat (old fireplace, not in use).

My main concern is that this cover will be against direct heat most days.
Is it in any way dangerous to use regular emulsion against a radiator?

Thanks :-)


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Should be ok MM, although I would give it a light sanding first.
Question Author
That's great. Was hoping you'd be around :-)

Will do.
It should be alright MM.
Question Author

Do you mean it should be safe, or the paint should stick ok?

My main concern is safety. Sounds like a stupid question, but is there any kind of fire hazard with emulsion getting hot? (don't laugh)
No probs with a fire hazard. The other prob with using emusion is that if you get any marks on it you'll have great difficulty washing them off. I'd go for oil-based eggshell to match the wall.
Question Author
Hmm. Good point. It's going in madam's room, so may indeed get a few knocks.

It will be fine, negligible risk imo. Your radiator cover would not be in contact with direct heat anyway, only the radiated hot air from the radiator. Would recommend you turn off the radiator first or the emulsion might dry too fast.
I have painted radiator covers with emulsion with no problems.
But you can go get them to mix the shade you want these days. No need to choose between the 'off the shelf' range.

Previous threads about painting radiators (never mind radiator covers) suggested one didn't have to worry about the type of paint used. Others have found no problem using bog-standard wood paints.
Question Author
I would usually get them to mix me a pot up, but I already have nearly a full pot of the exact colour I want. I want it to be the same colour as the fireplace.

Thanks for answering the question regarding fire hazard. I know it sounded stupid, but I would only be worrying about it all night if I thought there was any kind of risk.

Best get on. Thanks again :-)
The problem with using water-based paints on rads is the paint tends to craze after a while. And as i have said before it is difficult to get marks & stains off.
The paint is on the cover, not the radiator.
I know sipo. But you've still got the problem of cleaning.

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