Radiator Results And Rethinking

by Josh on August 9, 2006 · 7 comments

in Uncategorized

Radiator half-strippedHere is a first look at the results of my paint stripping the bedroom radiator. I scraped the Peel Away off this afternoon, roughly 48 hours after application. As you can see, most of the paint came off easily, but in some places where the stripper was not thick enough or dried out too quickly, the paint remains.

There is also quite a mess of chunks of dried stripper paste that have collected near the bottom of the radiator fins that my tools just can’t reach. Although this is progress, I’m ambivalent that I’m on the right track with my stripping method.

I should add that these results are preliminary. I did only a cursory job of brushing at the remaining paint, and I need to get a more narrow brush to clean the interior surfaces of the radiator. Better tools and more time might yield a result I can accept, so I’m going to try that.

Radiator paint removal detail But I’m also going to research sandblasting to see if I can find someone who would haul away, clean, repaint, and return this radiator and a couple others as well. (The sunroom radiator is awkwardly long and has moderately peeling paint. I know I can’t let that situation continue indefinitely with a child and a dog in the house.)

With a limited number of hours and dollars invested in the radiator now, I think it is a good time to evaluate my approach. To get the radiator satisfactorily clean and repainted on my own will require getting some new wire brushes and spending some more time scrubbing the metal myself. Depending on what I find out about the cost of sandblasting, I may find it more appealing to outsource this job to someone else so I can focus on other parts of the bedroom project.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

jm August 10, 2006 at 8:27 am

We’re definitely having ours sandblasted. I learned the cost/benefit analysis of stripping radiators in an old apartment. One of those things that is worth every penny.


stuccohouse August 10, 2006 at 9:38 am

Try a baby bottle brush for the inside areas. They fit in that space nicely.


Josh August 10, 2006 at 10:19 am

Good idea on the bottle brush. Thanks! My sandblasting research has turned up a few possibilities, but so far none want to deal with getting radiators out of my house. So far, the incalculable pain in the neck (and back) of transporting the radiators is throwing off my cost/benefit analysis. The research continues…


Nora August 10, 2006 at 8:06 pm

We had our sandblasted and electrostat painted. By the time you calculated cost of stripper, other materials and a whole heck of a lot of time (that I have very little of) for not a perfect finish. I discounted them and made little slides (1/4″ luan with heavy duty felt on one side. One was placed under each leg so that I could slide it on the hardware floor with out damage. I then called in a few favors (payback for painting, sewing and hanging wallpaper) from the big, burly boys. Hauled the 11 very heavy and big uglies out and came back with wonderful beauties. Best dollar I have ever spent. Try looking up folks who do headstones. I got my done at a place that creates our loved ones last statements. They have forks and winches so there was no heavy lifting. The place that painted was just down the street. Call autobody places – they can point you in the direct of sandblasters that are not listed in the yellow pages.
As to moving the raditors. They just do not have good hand holds. Get a couple of heavy straps and place them under the rad and then get 4 guys and lift standing up. Worked like a dream 3 guys and one gal moved 550 lbs without any any injuries. Good luck.


Josh August 21, 2006 at 3:04 pm

Great information! Thanks, Nora.


Nadja September 6, 2006 at 4:10 pm

I feel like a lazy schmuck- I really took a lazy way out, but it seems to have worked. We have a respirator that works for asbestos and lead paint, etc, and I wore that while I scraped the peeling and chipping lead paint on our bedroom radiator. I disposed of ths chips. Then I taped newspaper all around it and used two coats of spraypaint. The scraping didn’t get all the paint off, but it did a pretty decent job on the part you actually see (top and front). The mess of draining, disconnecting, and hauling made that the easiest and cheapest solution for me. The spray paint went on nicely (the metallic hammered look goes really well) and seals up the lead paint. I’ll take pics tonite and post on my page. I guess it depends on how prominent the radiators are in your rooms- and how smooth you need your finish to be.


Josh September 7, 2006 at 10:10 pm

Your technique is tantalizing, Nadja, but there was no avoiding pulling the radiator for me. I needed it moved in order to rip out the wall behind it. I haven’t done anything with the radiator in weeks, so I need to get back to it. Thanks for the tips!


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