Project Focus: Renovating Rusty Radiators

It’s not until the heating goes on for winter that most people notice the ugly rust patches and general state of their radiators. Fear not: there’s still time to repair and repaint as long as the right materials are used. All the tips here have been supplied by Rustins, who make very good products, but obviously have a vested interest in providing the tips… other products are also available.

De-rust first
Rust on radiators is quite common, caused by corrosive water in the system. It’s easily resolved – strip the surface back to bare metal using Rustins Strypit paint and varnish stripper, clean thoroughly, then prime the metal with Rustins Red Oxide Metal Primer to completely seal the surface. Once dry, simply apply Rustins Radiator Enamel.

Paint it right
Don’t even think about using ordinary paints on radiators: heat resistance, odour and yellowing are just three of the potential problems they present.

Rustins Radiator Enamel is specially formulated for central heating (not free-standing oil-filled electric radiators) and has all the right attributes – it’s heat resistant, low odour and does not yellow with heat.

Paint it onto the cold radiator, then turn up the heat to help it dry. It’s available in gloss and satin finishes.

Paint and go
Alternatively, Rustins Quick-drying Radiator Enamel is a quick-drying, water based option with similar properties and is touch dry in just 30 minutes.

Incidentally, it’s also perfect for touching up white household appliances such as fridges and washing machines.

Nice prices
All of Rustins’ specialist metal finishes are available from good DIY stores. Prices for 250ml tins are around £3.75 for Red Oxide Metal Primer, £5.45 for Radiator Enamel and £5.45 for Quick-drying Radiator Enamel.

Full details of each product are on



Adam is the Publisher of Copse Magazine and owner of Sailfin. He spends his time hosting and making websites for other people, copywriting, and publishing white label content for other companies alongside Copse Magazine, his creative outlet. He has two children and lives in Kent in the South East of the UK.