How to remove old paint from a radiator

A peeling cast-iron radiator will spoil the interior of any room – even if it has undergone cosmetic repairs. After repainting, there is only a risk of making the problem worse, as fresh enamel will accentuate the topography of the battery. The only option is to remove the old paint from the radiator, prime and re-paint.

We’ve compiled a list of recommendations to help you quickly remove old paint from your radiator.

How to remove old paint from a radiator

The basics

To remove the paint from the radiator (as well as repaint it) is only allowed after the heating season. If the battery is heated, the rinse will be ineffective, and the applied paint without even drying in a short time will come off its surface. In addition, it is not safe to work with a hot radiator – there is a risk of severe burns.

To remove old paint, you need:

  1. metal spatula;
  2. a brush with wire bristles;
  3. Sealed cloth and rubber gloves;
  4. High-quality protective glasses;
  5. respirator;
  6. Use as many old rags as possible.

If the paint removal is done after repairs have been made, then cover the surfaces adjacent to the battery with foil or old newspapers. Otherwise, the smell from harmful solvents will soak into the surface of the wallpaper quickly.

Before you begin to remove the paint, wipe down the battery well to eliminate dust and pieces of paint that are already coming off on their own.

How to remove the old paint from the radiator

There are 3 ways to quickly remove the old paint from the radiator.

Chemical method

In construction stores they sell chemical compositions – liquid and aerosol. Aerosol is optimal for treating cast iron radiators, because the places between its ribs are much easier to treat with a jet, rather than a brush. Liquid formulations are suitable for plate radiators. When using liquid products, do not pour them into plastic containers – you can take them from the factory container.

Work with chemical compositions is possible only if the room is well ventilated. Be sure to wear a respirator, goggles, rubber and cloth gloves. Tissue products are necessary, as harmful compositions in a short time corrode rubber products.

Additionally, it is necessary to protect furniture, flooring, walls, so that when spraying the sprayer no particles of the agent get on them.


  1. Apply any of the selected compounds to the surface of the battery. Make sure the product does not get on the rubber gaskets. Otherwise, they can get damaged, which will lead to leaks in the battery;
  2. Wait about 15 minutes;
  3. Remove particles of loose paint with a spatula or brush;
  4. Remove the remains of the paint with a cloth;
  5. Wash the radiator with a soapy solution and wait until it dries.

The disadvantage of the chemical method is the harm to your health. In addition, these compounds remove only the top layer of paint. If the battery is painted several times, that to remove each layer of paint you have to conduct the procedure anew.

The mechanical method

How to remove old paint from a radiator

This is one of the most effective ways to remove paint. It is enough to take a sharp spatula and move it from bottom to top to scrape off the old paint. However, this method is convenient with smooth pipes – with embossed it is too difficult.

You can use a drill, a grinder, etc. d. Put on the nozzle of the selected tool (do not forget to protect your face with a respirator and goggles) and clean the radiator using a medium speed.

The advantage of this method is the high speed of removing the old paint, the disadvantage is the appearance of dust. In this regard, before the procedure, open the windows in the room and close the remaining doors in the apartment.

You can use a hole punch with a spatula attachment, but there is a risk of damaging the radiator if not handled correctly. In addition, these works are noisy – vibrations will be transmitted along the riser.

When selecting a mechanical method you can not use a washer. Remains of the remedies along with the dust from the paint will cover the entire room, which will be very detrimental to your health in the future.

Thermal method

This method involves the use of a blowtorch. It quickly heats the paint, but after that it starts to burn, leading to unsafe fumes, soot and a bad smell. We recommend using this method only if you have the opportunity to take the radiator outdoors.

If you have to carry out such manipulations at home, take all necessary safety precautions. Heated to maximum temperatures, paint begins to emit not only a corrosive smell, but also hazardous to health. Make sure the room is adequately ventilated. Also, this method requires an assistant, because working with a lamp and putty knife one difficult.

Some people advise to use a construction hair dryer – supposedly the hot air heats the paint, which begins to separate from the battery. However, in practice, this method is only suitable for removing paint that has already departed from the surface of the radiator.

Additional tips

It is not always advisable to completely remove the paint from the radiator. Sometimes it’s enough to remove the obvious pieces with a spatula, and then sand the adjoining areas with sandpaper.

Sanding can also help remove thick coats of previous paint. For cosmetic repairs, even a minimum of stripping is enough, which does not require the use of harmful chemicals or specialized tools.

The surface of the cast iron battery will be uneven, even if you remove the paint completely. Additional priming will be required to ensure maximum paint adhesion.

To remove paint in hard-to-reach places, the mechanical method is suitable. Prepare medium-grit sandpaper and a wooden slat. Pull the sandpaper onto the slat and guide it between the ribs of the radiator. And when using the chemical method, you’ll need a narrow spatula to clean hard-to-reach spots in the radiator.

Rate the article
( No ratings yet )
Add comments

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: