How to Paint Radiator Pipes

Updated March 29, 2018

Many old houses and apartments are heated by radiators. Along with the radiator itself, many homes have radiator piping that is out in the open and can be somewhat unsightly. Painting radiator pipes can make these somewhat unattractive, utilitarian pieces of your home more attractive. Because of the high-temperatures that radiators reach you can't use just any sort of paint.

Wipe down the surface of your radiator pipes using a damp sponge. Make sure any dust or debris is removed from the surface of the pipe. Allow the pipes to dry.

Prime the radiator pipes, using an ordinary oil-based primer and covering the entire pipe from top to bottom.

Dip the paintbrush into the enamel-based paint and begin to coat the pipe, beginning at the very top of the pipe and then working your way down to the base. Take special care to get into any little grooves and crevices using a smaller paintbrush. Allow the paint to dry.

Apply a second coat of paint to the pipes and allow the paint to dry.


Never use latex-based paint on any metal that is going to conduct heat. The paint will soften and can melt. Always paint radiator pipes during a season where the radiators are not on. You don't want the paint to get heated immediately after application, so applying the paint in the spring or the summer will allow it to be completely and thoroughly dry by the time that the heat turns on.

Things You'll Need

  • Sponge
  • Water
  • Paintbrushes of varying sizes.
  • Oil-based primer
  • Enamel paint
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About the Author

Ashley Friedman graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Social Sciences. She has experience writing copy for the websites of creative professionals, and regularly contributes to several blogs covering popular culture, travel, food, and social action.