Hunka Hunka Burnin’… Radiator

The short version of this post by Moose: “The radiators were white and we repainted them white.”

The longer version of the post by yours truly (wordy):

We removed three radiators earlier this year (one in the living room, one in the powder room and one right behind the front door… yes, seriously our front door didn’t open all the way due to a radiator.) We removed them after discussing it with our plumbers. We’ve looked into removing the radiators altogether and putting in baseboard heat, but not only is that going to be expensive, but these radiators kick off three times as much heat.

Since they are a necessary and unavoidable part of our home, I thought I’d freshen them up.

First we took off the screws and removed the front plate to reveal a giant dustbin. Yep, I don’t think anyone’s cleaned in here since 1983.

After a thorough vacuuming, I took the front panel outside.

I went over a few rough spots with a high-grit sandpaper wiped down the front plate.

Then I used Rustoleum’s High Heat spray paint in white.

I sprayed 3-4 thin and even coats – using about one can per four panel.

I did talk to our local Sherwin William’s store manager, and he said you could just paint it with regular latex paint. But we decided to play it on the safe side just in case.

We did, however, use our regular trim paint on the sides (since we couldn’t spray paint inside the house).

We then screwed all the metal backings into the walls to tighten them up and reattached the front panel.


Two days later of heat and the top of the radiator was NO LONGER nice and white and clean looking.

So, back to the drawing board.

Since the Sherwin Williams store manager said we could use regular latex paint, we thought we’d give it a shot. So on went the coat of paint with a mini-roller.

And here is the GRAND REVEAL:

So the results are.. uhhh… underwhelming, but you’ll just have to believe me that it makes a big difference. 🙂

We’ve been living with these with the heat ON for a couple weeks now and they are still nice and white looking. So splotches here! And they do clean up the room a lot. It’s always the small little things that no one notices that actually make a room feel new.

If you happen to have some old lookin’ radiators, now you now how to give them a pick-me-up.

Have you had to live with radiators? I like putting my socks on them to get them nice and warm.

2 thoughts on “Hunka Hunka Burnin’… Radiator

  1. LOOKS AWESOME!! great work!
    Hey, I just wanted to let you know that i am now offering my “Daily Bread” & “Our House” prints available for purchase in my new ETSY shop along with other new pieces! You entered my giveaway this summer and I thought I’d let you know about my shop!

    I hope you have a minute to stop by! It’s not too late to order Christmas gifts! Orders made by 12/16 will be delivered before Christmas 🙂

    Happy Holidays,
    brightsides designs

  2. I feel your pain. I’ve been trying to strip floor heating vents for 3 weeks now. Then I can spray them and keep the cat toys out of the ducts!

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