The Best Paints To Give Your Radiators A New Lease of Life

Give your radiators a fresh start with our handpicked selection of compatible radiator paints.
Tried & Tested: See Our Testing ↓
Written & Tested By: Edward Bailey | Updated:
Best Radiator Paint
Edward Bailey/DIY Works
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Compared to standard paints, radiator paint is specifically designed to resist temperatures of up to 130°C. This makes them suitable for all types of central heating radiators and pipes around your home. Although you can attempt to use other types of paint, from our experience, paint that’s specifically designed for radiators is worth the added investment.

To assist you in selecting a radiator paint, our handpicked selection lists top-performing paints, chosen based on our first-hand experience painting a variety of radiators and pipes. Our testing and up-to-date research further ensure the quality of our recommendations.

Hammerite REG500 Radiator Paint
Best Overall: Hammerite REG500 Radiator Paint
Rustins Quick Dry Radiator Paint
Best Fast Drying: Rustins Quick Dry Radiator Enamel
Ronseal One Coat Radiator Paint
Best All-Rounder: Ronseal Stays White Radiator Paint
Hammerite Radiator Enamel Aerosol
Best Spray: Hammerite Radiator Enamel Aerosol
Rust-Oleum Radiator Spray Paint
Best Value: Rust-Oleum Radiator Spray Paint
Plasti-Kote Radiator Satin Spray Paint
Best Value Runner-Up: Plasti-Kote Radiator Satin Spray Paint

How The DIY Works Team Tests & Rates The Radiators Paints

As we own multiple properties (Airbnb’s and rentals), we’ve been able to test out a number of paints on radiators.

For example, below are the before and after results from where we painted a blue radiator back to white during a recent renovation. Luckily, we didn’t need to use a paint stripper but instead, we applied three coats of paint onto the radiator. As you can see from the results, the finish looks flawless and it could easily be mistaken for a new radiator.

It’s important to note that for most radiator painting projects, you would normally only need one or two coats (if it’s a similar colour). However, as the radiator was a dark, deep blue colour, it required an extra coat.

best paint for radiator

Edward Bailey/DIY Works
best paint for radiators

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

To keep up our commitment to testing and reviewing radiator paints (for this article), we have tested the latest range of radiator paints that can be brushed or sprayed onto the radiator (as shown in the images below). Both provided great results during our testing and are rated highly in our roundup above.

best radiator spray paint

Edward Bailey/DIY Works
best radiator paint uk

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

As well as our testing and experience of using a range of radiator paints, we also based our recommendations on the latest research and several factors. Some of the factors we considered included the quality and finish of the paint, time it takes to dry, durability, ability to resist yellowing, odour output, heat resistance, ease of application and value.

The Best Radiator Paints

At DIY Works, our content is 100% independent and we would never recommend a product that we wouldn't use ourselves (read our editorial standards and how we test products).

1. Best Overall: Hammerite REG500 Radiator Paint

(How We Review →)

By far the most popular radiator paint in the UK is by the reputable Hammerite brand. It’s been specially formulated to provide unbeatable heat-resistant protection and can be used on all types of water-filled radiators and hot pipes.

Pros
  • Prevents the formation of rust
  • Long lasting and non-yellowing finish
  • Low odour output
  • Provides hard wearing protection
  • Touch dry in 4 to 6 hours
Cons
  • Most expensive paint within our roundup

Although more expensive than most of the alternatives, the Hammerite formula is the best radiator paint on the market that provides excellent coverage. Not only does it produce a high quality, durable finish but it also outputs minor odour, which makes the application far more enjoyable.

2. Best Fast Drying: Rustins Quick Dry Radiator Enamel

(How We Review →)

Another popular radiator paint is the Rustins Enamel, which is the fastest drying option within this article. According to the brand, it’s touch dry in just 30 minutes and it can even be used on white appliances if required.

Pros
  • Fast drying water based formula
  • Doesn’t yellow once applied correctly
  • Heat resistant and produces minimal odour
  • Suitable for all water filled radiators
  • Brushes can be cleaned in water after use
  • Low odour output during application
Cons
  • During our testing, we found that it required plenty of preparation beforehand as the paint itself is quite thin

To conclude, the Rustin radiator enamel is a high quality and fast drying formula that does exactly what it says on the tin. Although it’s a small 250 ml tin, it goes a long way and you are able to provide multiple coats to one or two radiators.

3. Best All-Rounder: Ronseal Stays White Radiator Paint

(How We Review →)

Ronseal is another highly reputable brand that pproducesa variety of paints in the UK. Their radiator paint in particular is a premium option that’s guaranteed to stay white and only requires a single coat.

Pros
  • Low odour output
  • 13 m2 coverage per litre
  • Brilliant white finish that stays white
  • Only requires a single coat
  • Touch dry in 1 hour and completely dry within 24 hours
Cons
  • Relatively expensive when compared to the alternatives

To conclude, the Ronseal Stays White Radiator Paint is an excellent all-round option that won’t disappoint. It isn’t the cheapest but the brand guarantee that it will remain white and provide long lasting results for years.

4. Best Spray: Hammerite Radiator Enamel Aerosol

(How We Review →)

Another radiator paint by the Hammerite brand is their aerosol alternative, which produces a heat-resistant finish. In terms of the application, the aerosol provides quick and easy coverage, which the brand states produces low odour.

Pros
  • Tough enamel finish that provides long lasting protection
  • Resists yellowing
  • Low odour output
  • Produces a smooth satin white finish
  • Touch to dry in 4 to 6 hours
  • Suitable for radiators and hot water pipes
Cons
  • Most expensive radiator spray paint within our roundup

When compared to alternative aerosols, the Hammerite formula is the most expensive option. However, it’s the ultimate spray-on radiator paint that leaves a great finish and is much easier to apply than the brushed alternative.

5. Best Value: Rust-Oleum Radiator Spray Paint

(How We Review →)

Rust-Oleum is another reputable brand that produces a range of paints and this radiator paint is a highly rated option. It’s an ultra-tough, fast-drying heat resistant paint that has the added bonus of being washable and moisture resistant.

Pros
  • Satin white finish that stays white
  • Prevents the build-up of rust
  • Moisture resistant
  • 400 ml aerosol (2 m2 coverage)
  • Touch dry within 1 hour
Cons
  • During our testing, we found that it produced a strong odour when compared to other radiator paints

The Radiator Enamel by Rust-Oleum is a high quality yet affordable spray paint that can also be used on a range of other metal surfaces. The only drawback is that it does produce a strong odour, which may be an issue for some people.

6. Best Value Runner-Up: Plasti-Kote Radiator Satin Spray Paint

(How We Review →)

One of the cheapest radiator paints that’s actually worth buying is by the Plasti-Kote brand. It’s an enamel spray paint that’s completely heat resistant and provides a durable, professional finish on any type of radiator.

Pros
  • Resists heat up to 100°C
  • Quick and easy to apply
  • Available in gloss or satin finishes
  • Twist and lock mechanism
  • Non-yellowing formulation
  • Provides protection for up to 5 years
Cons
  • We found that it had a very strong odour output during application

Overall, the Plasti-Kote is an excellent all-round radiator spray paint that won’t disappoint. It’s affordable, easy to apply and according to the brand, it will last at least 5 years if applied correctly.

Conclusion

Over time, radiators can begin to flake or discolour, which can ruin the overall appearance of the room. However, rather than replacing the radiator, you can provide it with a new lease of life with one of the recommendations above.

All of the radiator paints listed within our roundup are suitable for water-filled radiators and other metal surfaces. However, to avoid disappointment, we strongly recommend waiting at least 24 hours before turning the radiators on because this gives the paint enough time to fully dry and provide a high-quality finish upon the radiator.

If you require further information regarding any of our radiator paint recommendations, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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