Friday, October 18, 2019

Radiator Love & Ductwork

With fall coming on fast, this past month I knew I had to get my radiators ready to install! All summer I have been slowly working away on them. The definitely needed a little love!

 This one was by far in the worst shape! (This one is also one of the smallest ones and goes in parent's bedroom.) It took a full day of scraping and brushing with wire brushes to remove all the flaky paint.

Oh those details!!

 I did a bunch of research on what to paint radiators and how to clean up these beauties. From what I gathered (and shifted!), wire brushing followed by a good rinse and a through towel dry was the preferred method. I tried using a wire brush attached to a drill was unable to control it to my satisfaction. So I used a variety wire brushes by hand and called it good. 

I then sprayed them with oil based primer for metal. Only two of the eight radiators to be installed were scraped down and primed. All the others had paint in quite good condition.

 After research I decided to go with my favorite Sherwin Williams trim paint, Pro Classic Alkyd Interior Enamel. There was quite a bit of feed back online about oil based paints/automotive/metal paints off gasses once the radiators warmed up. And since I knew we were going to be installing and using the radiators right away, I didn't want to have off gassing issues. 
Plus, most the radiators were already painted with interior paint and it seemed to be hold up fine!

And here they are with a fresh coat of trim paint! Thank goodness for brothers with spray guns! Or I might have been at it all year!

 The Alkyd Enamel goes on really nice with a spray gun and one coat did the trick. Now they are ready to install! 

That also meant we were ready for the next step. In order to install the hydronic pipes we had to first take out all the old duct work. A job we were not looking forward to!
Since we were worried about allergen getting everywhere we covered everything in plastic sheeting. Looks a bit spooky!

We then carefully detached sections of the duct work sealing the ends with plastic before taking them outside. It was quite a pile!

So much more room now! 
After all the ducts were out, we vacuumed and mopped the floors. And I am happy to say, I did not have any allergy attacks during or after the project! So I guess we did something right! (Of course, I wore a respirator and goggles while taking the ducts down and as soon as we were done cleaning up I took a shower.)

 Now we are finally ready to start installing the hydronics! This weekend we are hoping to at lest get part of it in. Winter is not that far off!

I am really excited about the little thin radiator that goes under the bathroom floor! In-floor heating 1920s style!


  1. I love radiator heat! So healthy compared to forced air! I had radiators years ago and painted them but there was no Google back then or internet so I just used the wall paint I had and never detached them nor did I have a spray painter. You did a beautiful job!

    1. It is the best!! The two radiators that are currently functioning off the hot water heater right now, I painted with a brush. No way was I taking them out again! And all the radiators that I have are vintage and have layers of wall paint, but they still do their job!! I think what makes them crack and peal is too many layers and latex over oil paint. Or no one used a good primer!
      Thanks for commenting!