How to paint behind a radiator

How to paint behind a radiator

Painting interior walls is a time consuming and at times tricky job, especially when you need to paint behind a radiator.  Here is our guide to making it easier.

How to paint behind a radiatorDo I need to paint behind the radiator?

The simple answer is yes!  It will give you a much better, more professional looking finish if you take the time to paint behind a radiator.  It is very easy to see when the paint simply goes around the radiator, or part way behind it.  If you’re going to the trouble of painting a room, you might as well do it properly.

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What is the easiest way to paint behind a radiator?

There are two options when you need to paint behind a radiator; take it off the wall or leave it in place.  Leaving it in place is easier but you will need to make sure there is enough room between the radiator and the wall to paint.  If you choose to remove it from the wall, you will need to drain it first and get some help to move it.

Leaving the radiator in placeHow to paint behind a radiator

If you’re lucky you can leave the radiator in place, this saves a lot of time and effort.   You will need to get a bit creative to get a decent paint job behind it though.  It’s a good idea to cover it in cling film before you paint, so you don’t have to deal with any paint splashes on it afterwards.  Another option is to use a sheet of poster board (most craft shops sell these) between the radiator and the wall.

You will need a different tool as normal paint brushes and rollers won’t fit in the gap.  Smaller paint rollers are available that are designed to fit in small spaces, go for one with a longer handle to make the job easier.  Some are specifically made for painting behind radiators and even have bendy handles for convenience.  Make sure the paint is completely dry before removing the clingfilm.

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How to paint behind a radiatorRemoving the radiator

How to paint behind a radiator

How to paint behind a radiator

If you need to remove the radiator from the wall to paint behind it, you will need some help as they bulky and heavy.  Turn off the heating before you start and let the water cool down.

Place a paint tray or bucket under the radiator to catch the water, with some plastic sheeting underneath for any spills.  You can use old towels but bear in mind the water may be dirty and could stain your flooring.

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First, turn off the thermostatic control valve.  Then remove the plastic cap from the lockshield valve.  Using a spanner, turn the spindle inside clockwise until it is closed (top tip: take note of the number of turns this took, so you can return it to the same pressure when you put it back on the wall afterwards).

You will need to drain the radiator from both sides so put your bucket or tray under the valve you are draining first.  Use one spanner on the body of the valve and another to loosen the nut that joins the radiator to the valve.  Water will now start to flow out.  To remove more water, use your radiator key to open the bleed valve. Once the water has stopped coming out, close the bleed valve and repeat the above process on the other side of the radiator, using the two spanners and then the radiator key.

After you have drained from both sides, loosen the nuts on both sides so you can remove the radiator.  Lift the radiator carefully up and off its brackets, then tilt it into the bucket to remove any remaining water. Now you have removed the radiator, cover the pipes and supports and you can start to paint.  Make sure the wall has dried thoroughly before replacing it.

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Alternatively, you can always get the experts in to ensure you get the perfect finish. Herts Decorators provide high quality and professional decorating services to our clients across Hertfordshire, book a free estimate with our team today!

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George Ryland