How to paint hot batteries correctly: from the choice of paint to the technology of coloring

It takes more than just turning up the thermostat to keep your house warm and comfortable during the winter. A vital component of effective heating is making sure your radiators are operating at maximum efficiency. Painting them correctly is one way to improve their performance and extend their lifespan. We’ll walk you through the steps in this guide to help you choose the best paint and apply it correctly to your hot radiators, giving your house a new look and better heat distribution.

The initial stage in this procedure is to select the paint that is suitable for your radiators. It is essential to choose a paint that will not peel, crack, or release toxic fumes at elevated temperatures. Seek out paints for radiators that have been specially blended and intended for this use. These paints are frequently referred to as radiator enamel paints or heat-resistant paints. Usually, they are made of materials that don’t affect how well they function or look when exposed to heat from hot radiators.

To achieve a smooth and durable finish, preparation is essential before beginning the painting process. To reduce the possibility of burns or mishaps, make sure your radiators are fully cool and off. Make sure the radiators are completely clean to get rid of any debris, oil, or dust that could hinder the paint’s ability to stick. For this, a clean cloth and a mild detergent solution will work well. To give the surface a rougher texture that will aid in better paint adhesion, think about lightly sanding the area as well.

It’s time to paint your radiators after they have been cleaned and allowed to dry. Start by giving the radiator surface a uniform coat of paint using a premium brush or roller. Avoid drips and streaks at all costs, as they can ruin the finish’s overall appearance. Applying multiple coats of paint may be necessary for complete coverage and durability, depending on the type of paint being used. Prior to applying the next coat, let each coat completely dry, adhering to the manufacturer’s recommended drying times.

Your freshly painted radiators can be reactivated after the last coat of paint is applied and allowed to completely dry. It usually takes a few days for the paint to completely cure, at which point you can safely turn the radiators back on and enjoy the aesthetic and practical results of your labors. In addition to improving the overall appearance of your house, properly painted radiators are essential for effective heat distribution that keeps you toasty and cozy during the winter.

Choosing the right paint Consider heat-resistant options
Surface preparation Clean the surface thoroughly
Priming Apply a suitable primer
Painting technique Use even strokes for uniform coverage
Drying time Allow sufficient drying time between coats
Final touches Inspect for any missed spots or imperfections

Requirements for paint for hot batteries, what to choose

Choosing paint for heating radiators during the heating season requires a different strategy. After all, not all paints are appropriate for these circumstances, and these appliances can get extremely hot during the winter. Paint must undergo a polymerization and drying stage on the heated metal in order to maintain its adhesion, color fastness, durability, and visually appealing qualities. The coloring substance should also not spread offensive smells and be hypoallergenic.

Considering the aforementioned specifications for heated batteries, the following vibrant materials are utilized:

  • acrylic;
  • alkyd;
  • oil-based;
  • water emulsion;
  • specialty;
  • spray enamels.


Painters use odorless, fast-drying acrylic colorants based on polyacrylic emulsions to paint batteries in children’s rooms. They can be separated into dyes based on organic solvents and water-dispersion types based on the type of solvent. Use water-soluble acrylic compositions when painting radiators. They pose no threat to human health and are safe for the environment.

Acrylic compositions have the benefit of being easily cleaned of recent perspiration and unsightly stains with a rag soaked in water, leaving no evidence behind.

In addition, even for brief periods of time, it is forbidden to leave the paint can open. Paint loses its qualities quickly after drying.


Alkyd resins, which are produced by heating vegetable oils while alcohols are present, are used to make alkyd paints. Alkyd compositions are ready-made and packaged in metal cans for sale. They have different levels of elasticity and durability, dry fast, don’t shrink or crack, and maintain their brightness. White pentaphthalic enamel is the type of alkyd paint that is most commonly used.

One major drawback of this dye is that when the paint dries, components that evaporate can leave behind an unpleasant smell that can linger for a long time.

Thus, using an alkyd composition paint in the winter can be accomplished by using a special gas respirator, clearing the rooms of people for a while, and trying to ventilate the rooms with newly painted radiators as much as possible.

A further drawback is the low white color fastness. surfaces painted yellow with time.


Their foundation lies in vegetable oils. They are applied to metal surfaces as waterproof coatings.

Oil composition paints are essentially never used for painting radiators while they are hot.

Acrylic dyes have successfully taken their place. Long drying times are experienced by painted surfaces containing oil compositions, but the result is a tough layer that prevents corrosive processes from occurring within the battery metal.


They are made of water mixed with tiny pigment and polymer particles. Water molecules evaporate from painted surfaces, leaving behind a solid layer of solidified emulsion. Water emulsion dyes are similar to acrylic paints in composition.

Appliances that are heated up can be painted using them. Over time, the paint may peel and lose its sheen.


These are addressable enamels, which are specifically made to paint pipes and heating appliances in any temperature—cold, warm, or extremely hot.

They are essentially the same acrylic paints, but their composition has unique additions. Special paint has no smell, is hypoallergenic, and doesn’t yellow with time. The paint coating hardens into a glossy, long-lasting layer after drying.

Enamels in aerosol

Panel radiators are a convenient surface to paint using aerosol enamel. This cure is available in cans of heat-resistant automotive enamel. Panel radiators are solid planes as opposed to lattice cast iron radiators.

Because of this, the aerosol almost completely sticks to the surface that has to be treated, never straying. Paint in cans may seem expensive, but in the end, there is a substantial cost savings.

After taking into account the types of coloring materials mentioned above, one can select paint for hot radiators during the heating season while keeping in mind the unique characteristics of heating devices.

Does the color of the paint affect the heat output of the radiator??

In the modern world, this topic is the subject of a heated debate. In addition, there are opposing and incompatible viewpoints. While some parties in the debate acknowledge that color can have a significant impact on the amount of heat that heating devices produce, others dispute the impact of battery color on the amount of heat transfer to the heated room’s interior.

The third plane holds the true answer to this query.

Yes, paint color can have an impact on the radiator’s heat output, but not to the point where it is worth noticing. Thus, experts claim that applying lead whitewash and green paint to hot radiators can cut their heat output by 1.3% and 4.4%, respectively.

Conversely, the application of white and terracotta enamel to radiators will result in a 1% and 3.8% increase in heat output, respectively. Paint, regardless of color, has very little effect on radiator heat output when the coating is as thin as 1 mm.

What we will need for painting

It is required to get the batteries ready for painting after learning that they can be painted during the heating season. You will need to get the following supplies and equipment ready.

Radiator brushes

The primary tool for painting cast iron batteries—where it is challenging to reach the rear of the radiator heating device—is the radiator brush. The brush has a long handle with a curved end. Stocking such brushes with varying bristle lengths ranging from 20 to 100 mm is advised.


Intended to remove fillets, which are thin paint strips. When painting a surface, small round brushes are useful for final finishing touches. They are used to apply paint to areas that are difficult to reach or overlook.

How to prepare the radiator for painting

Battery preparation for painting is done as follows:

  1. Wet rags wipe thoroughly all sections of the heater. In case of heavy soiling, the battery is washed using detergents.
  2. The rust is removed with sandpaper (a piece of sandpaper). If the corrosion is deep, it is removed with a metal round brush inserted in the drill chuck.
  3. Hard-to-reach places are treated with a rust converter. The chemical solution transforms iron oxides into a strong anti-corrosion layer. The liquid is applied with a brush of suitable size. Work with gloves.
  4. Preparing the flush. The solution is applied to the hot radiator and covered with a film. After two hours, the swollen old paint is removed with a spatula or a metal round brush. Flushing can be prepared at home. For this purpose 1 kg of soda is mixed with the same amount of slaked lime in 5 liters of water.
  5. Finally, all surfaces are sanded and degreased with white spirit.
  6. The heater is coated with a special primer. Primer increases the adhesion of paint with the cleaned surface of the battery.

When the heater is hot, the paint will lay flawlessly on the treated surfaces if the preparatory steps were correctly completed.

Features of painting batteries made of different materials

The selection of water heating radiators for homes includes radiators made of various materials, including gadgets:

  • cast iron
  • steel;
  • aluminum;
  • bimetallic;
  • copper.

Based on the features of each type’s construction, a unique approach to painting techniques is needed. Paint is applied to cast iron using radial and round brushes. Spray painting panelized steel appliances yields better results. Round and fillet brushes are used for painting bimetallic and aluminum devices. Due to aluminum’s strong resistance to corrosion, leave exposed aluminum surfaces unaltered. Paint should never be applied to copper radiators.

Step-by-step instructions for painting

Once the radiator is ready for painting, move on to the complex of painting the radiators in compliance with the guidelines’ subsequent points.

  1. Cover the walls and floors around the radiators with covering material (PVC film, sheets of paper or cardboard). Fix the protective coating with scotch tape.
  2. Paint radiators from top to bottom. All drips are removed with a brush.
  3. Face surfaces of sections are painted with round brushes and rollers.
  4. Surfaces between sections and inside are painted with radiator brushes with curved heads.
  5. Panel units are painted with paint rollers or applied with spray cans. The heating panels are also painted with a paint sprayer.
  6. According to the type of paint keep a certain time between layers of paint.
  7. Tactilely determine the final drying of the paint.
  8. Remove the covering material.

To paint in the heating season or to wait

The apartment’s owners’ wishes will determine how this question is answered. In the event that the apartment’s repairs are finished by the time the heating system needs to be turned on and the batteries are still unsightly, painting should begin right away rather than waiting for spring.

This could be hampered by the elderly and young children residing in the apartment. The health effects of active ventilation in rooms with painted heating radiators may be detrimental. Then, it would be best to hold off until the days get warmer.

Tips and recommendations

We offer you helpful advice and suggestions for painting hot batteries in the winter months.

  1. During the heating season, when the radiators are warmed up, it is preferable to paint them with acrylic enamels or special paint for radiators. In this case, it will not be necessary to ventilate the room for a long time.
  2. In convectors it is not necessary, and even impossible to paint aluminum petals. Paint only the protective cover.
  3. When working with alkyd enamels it is obligatory to wear gloves, use a respirator and put on glasses.

Not only can properly painted hot radiators improve the visual appeal of your house, but they can also increase the overall efficiency of your heating system. Choosing the appropriate paint type is essential to guarantee longevity and heat resistance. Choose paint that is heat-resistant and made especially for surfaces near radiators to avoid discoloration, peeling, and cracking and to ensure a long-lasting finish.

The surface must be properly prepared before beginning the painting process. Make sure the radiators are completely clean to get rid of any debris, oil, or dust that could interfere with the paint’s adhesion. A smooth base for the paint to stick to can be achieved by lightly sanding the surface. To improve adhesion and give the paint a uniform base, you might also want to use a primer designed especially for metal surfaces.

Achieving a professional-looking finish in paint application requires careful technique. Use a premium brush or roller to guarantee uniform coverage and few brush strokes. Apply thin, even coats of paint slowly, allowing enough drying time in between each coat. This guarantees complete coverage and adherence in addition to assisting in the prevention of drips and streaks.

Additionally, take into account the surroundings where the radiators are situated when selecting the paint color. Darker colors absorb heat and may lower the overall efficiency of your heating system; lighter colors tend to reflect heat more effectively. But when choosing the color scheme, one should also consider personal taste and interior design.

In conclusion, painting hot radiators is an easy yet efficient way to keep your heating system operating efficiently while also improving the look of your house. You can achieve a long-lasting and attractive finish that matches your interior décor by carefully choosing the paint, prepping the surface, and applying the paint. You can paint your radiators with confidence if you keep these pointers in mind, knowing that you’re making improvements to your home’s appearance as well as its usefulness.

In the quest for a cozy home, ensuring effective heating and insulation is crucial. When it comes to maintaining your heating system, painting hot radiators is a task often overlooked but holds significant impact. Choosing the right paint and applying it correctly can not only enhance the appearance of your radiators but also improve their efficiency. From selecting heat-resistant paints to mastering the painting technique, attention to detail is key. In our article, we delve into the essentials of painting hot radiators, guiding you through the process step by step. Whether you"re sprucing up your living space or aiming to maximize heat distribution, mastering this art can make a notable difference in your home"s comfort and energy efficiency.

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Sergey Ivanov

I like to help people create comfort and comfort in their homes. I share my experience and knowledge in articles so that you can make the right choice of a heating and insulation system for your home.

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