Spraying Cast Iron Radiators and Covers

Spraying cast iron radiators and radiator covers is a fantastic way of updating the interior of an office, retail outlet or any commercial building. Cast iron radiators can be given an attractive and durable finish, but it is important to abide by the following advice when refurbishing them.

1. Prepare the Surface of the Radiator
If a radiator is rusty or paint is flaking off then it needs to be removed before re-coating. On old radiators there is chance lead based paint will have been used, so extra care must be taken to avoid breathing in any airborne lead particles. As well as leading to a smooth finish, abrading the surface also creates a key ready for the new coating to adhere to it properly. Any dust and dirt then needs to be cleaned off the radiator using a damp rag, possibly with a product to remove any grease.

2. Do Not Powder Coat Radiators
Radiators can be taken to a powder coating factory which would result in a beautiful looking finish, however in order to cure the coating the radiators would go through extremely hot ovens. Unfortunately, there is a risk of the seals between compartments in modern radiators deteriorating if they are baked. This in turn may cause the radiators to leak which in turn would invalidate any guarantees issued by the manufacturer.

3. Spray Radiators on Site
If radiators are already installed in an office, shop or other commercial building, it would be inconvenient and cumbersome to move them for re-coating that’s why painting radiators on site is the best approach. If reclaimed radiators have been purchased they too can be painted on site even if they haven’t been installed somewhere yet. Furthermore, re-coating can take place out of hours, so radiators can dry overnight causing the least amount of disruption.

4. Use the Correct Method when Coating Radiators on Site
Avoid painting radiators with a brush as this will result in unsightly brush marks. The best method of coating radiators is to use a spray gun in order to achieve a sleek surface. Spraying radiators also ensures hard to reach areas in the middle of the columns and within any patterns will be coated evenly. A professional company experienced in spraying architectural metalwork will be able carry out the work to a high standard. They will be able to mask off areas to protect them from overspray and prepare the radiators properly resulting in an even finish.

5. Use the Correct Coating when Spraying on Site
An ideal coating on radiators is not only consistent, it will also be long lasting, so using water based products are not advisable as what are known as rust blooms may appear on cast iron surfaces after a while. Radiators will also rust if latex is painted on to cast iron radiators. An appropriate oil-based primer should be used first unless a primer is integrated in the specialist coating. There are a range of coatings manufactured specifically for radiators, but a cellulose or acrylic based paint can result in a great finish. In fact, a surprising array of paints can be used on radiators. For example, car paint gives a glossy appearance and it is also designed for high temperatures as well as being extremely durable. Plasti-kote is similar in appearance to powder coating and can be cured without the need for baking therefore avoiding possible damage to any seals.

An experienced paint sprayer will make sure the correct product is applied using the best method having prepared the substrate properly. As long as due care is taken, spraying cast iron radiators and radiator covers can give them a new lease of life and lift the appearance of the whole commercial interior.