Choosing paint for heating pipes in an apartment


The vari­ety of paints and var­nish­es on the con­struc­tion mar­ket is now so wide that some­times even spe­cial­ists are at a loss before choos­ing: how to paint heat­ing pipes. No one is inter­est­ed in reg­u­lar­ly repaint­ing and tint­ing the pipelines in the apart­ment, there­fore, the require­ments for the dura­bil­i­ty of the coat­ing come first.

Prop­er­ly select­ed paint will not only pro­tect the met­al from cor­ro­sion and empha­size the style of the room, but will also last a long time with­out crack­ing and retain­ing the orig­i­nal col­or. Fol­low­ing the rec­om­men­da­tions of pro­fes­sion­als, you can quick­ly and effi­cient­ly paint pipes with your own hands.

paint material requirements

Before pro­ceed­ing with the choice of paint for heat­ing pipes, it is nec­es­sary to decide what func­tions the coat­ing should per­form. The main task is, of course, the pro­tec­tion of the met­al from exter­nal cor­ro­sion. Recent­ly, in order to give the ele­ments of the heat­ing sys­tem a dec­o­ra­tive look, even plas­tic pipelines and heat­ing devices already cov­ered with a pro­tec­tive lay­er are being paint­ed. In this case, you can use paint with­out anti-cor­ro­sion prop­er­ties.

Before paint­ing cen­tral heat­ing pipes in an apart­ment, it is nec­es­sary to take into account such an impor­tant fac­tor as smell. It refers not just to dis­com­fort dur­ing work. A sharp per­sis­tent aro­ma indi­cates the pres­ence of tox­ic sub­stances in the com­po­si­tion of the mate­r­i­al and can be dan­ger­ous to human health at high con­cen­tra­tions. Due to the fact that it is dif­fi­cult to pro­vide ide­al ven­ti­la­tion of the room, it is worth giv­ing pref­er­ence to odor­less paints.

To ensure that the applied coat­ing does not fade and does not crack over time, it is nec­es­sary to take into account the oper­at­ing con­di­tions. Since the tem­per­a­ture in the heat­ing sys­tem is ele­vat­ed and usu­al­ly fluc­tu­ates between 40 and 80 ° C, the paint must be resis­tant to such heat­ing. For peri­od­ic clean­ing of pipes from dust and oth­er house­hold con­t­a­m­i­nants, resis­tance to abra­sion and aggres­sive media is impor­tant.

Based on the fore­go­ing, paint for heat­ing pipes should have the fol­low­ing prop­er­ties:

  • the abil­i­ty to with­stand tem­per­a­ture extremes and heat­ing up to 90 ° C;
  • abra­sion resis­tance;
  • resis­tance to aggres­sive envi­ron­ments;
  • good adhe­sion to the appro­pri­ate sub­strate;
  • the pos­si­bil­i­ty of apply­ing direct­ly to rust;
  • smell and safe­ty for human health;
  • suit­able col­or range.


Paint selection

To obtain the best effect, you should choose paints marked “for radi­a­tors” or sim­i­lar. In this case, resis­tance to ele­vat­ed tem­per­a­tures and col­or reten­tion are guar­an­teed. Of the inex­pen­sive options, PF-115 enam­el cor­re­sponds to most of the list­ed require­ments. Heat-resis­tant sil­i­con-based enam­el KO-168 also gives good results. It is bet­ter to refuse oil paints, since their col­or inevitably fades over time, the applied coat­ing dries for a long time and stinks notice­ably all this time.

Impor­tant! To pro­tect met­al sur­faces from envi­ron­men­tal influ­ences, the com­po­si­tion of the paint must nec­es­sar­i­ly con­tain a cor­ro­sion inhibitor. When using a dec­o­ra­tive coat­ing of pipes with­out this addi­tive, it is nec­es­sary to first apply a lay­er of a spe­cial primer for radi­a­tors. Lead-red lead primer num­ber 81 is con­sid­ered the most suit­able.

Paints suit­able for heat­ing pipes are divid­ed into 3 types:

  • alkyd enam­els;
  • acrylic enam­els;
  • water-dis­per­sion com­po­si­tions.

Alkyd enam­els are quite com­mon due to the most afford­able cost. This is where their ben­e­fits end. Alkyd enam­el is the most smelly of the above list of paints, even after dry­ing for some time it gives a char­ac­ter­is­tic unpleas­ant odor when the heat­ing sys­tem is oper­at­ing, and slight­ly fades over time. The change in col­or is espe­cial­ly notice­able in the case of col­or­ing in white, for the rest this fea­ture can be ignored. The peri­od of com­plete dry­ing is 24 hours, after 4 — 6 hours it is no longer sticky.

Acrylic enam­els are based on organ­ic sol­vents, so there is a spe­cif­ic smell when work­ing with them, but it is notice­ably less than that of the pre­vi­ous type. These paints have a very wide range of col­ors, dry in 1 hour, but in most cas­es require pre­lim­i­nary prim­ing of met­al sur­faces. Acrylic paints are glossy and mat­te. The for­mer shine beau­ti­ful­ly, while the lat­ter hide the irreg­u­lar­i­ties of the paint­ed sur­face well. At the same time, the orig­i­nal bright­ness of the col­or is pre­served.

Water-dis­per­sion paints are con­sid­ered the safest for health. At the same time, they are not infe­ri­or to the rest in terms of dura­bil­i­ty and beau­ty of the coat­ing. These are quick-dry­ing, odor­less paints. It is only nec­es­sary to check the pres­ence of a spe­cial mark on the bank, indi­cat­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of using it for heat­ing appli­ances.


The most pop­u­lar now paints of the fol­low­ing brands:

  • Heitz­cor­per­lak;
  • Radi­a­tor Paint;
  • Ele­ment­farg Alkyd;
  • Millertemp;
  • Mipa­term 600;
  • Radi­a­tor;
  • Prim­ing enam­el UNIPOL;
  • Enam­el VD-AK-1179;
  • Enam­el GF-0119.

As for col­or, it all depends on the fea­tures of the inte­ri­or, light­ing and aes­thet­ic taste of the own­ers. In addi­tion to the stan­dard spec­trum, you can use metal­lic paints for gold, sil­ver, chrome, bronze, com­bine dif­fer­ent col­ors or apply pat­terns. From the point of view of heat engi­neer­ing, dark shades are prefer­able, as they con­tribute to bet­ter heat trans­fer.

Pipe painting instructions

In order for the result to be pleas­ing and the paint­ing work not to be redone, spend­ing extra mon­ey and time, it is nec­es­sary to adhere to the tech­nol­o­gy and fol­low the rec­om­men­da­tions of spe­cial­ists. The qual­i­ty of sur­face pre­treat­ment often has a greater impact on the dura­bil­i­ty and aes­thet­ics of a coat­ing than the choice of paint.

Preparatory work

First of all, you need to take care of the pro­tec­tion of the floor, walls and sur­round­ing objects. For this, old news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines, oil­cloth or con­struc­tion film are suit­able. No mat­ter how care­ful­ly you try to do every­thing care­ful­ly, the paint can still drip or splat­ter in the most inap­pro­pri­ate place. There­fore, it is bet­ter to play it safe, so as not to think lat­er, than to remove paint stains.

On a note! Per­son­al pro­tec­tive equip­ment is use­ful for work: gloves, a hat, work clothes that you don’t mind get­ting dirty. If you use scent­ed paint, you will also need a res­pi­ra­tor.

Before paint­ing, the sur­face of the pipes must be cleaned of dust, dirt and old paint. If the pre­vi­ous­ly applied lay­ers of paint are thin enough, hold well and do not crack, then you can leave them and get by with just clean­ing with sand­pa­per. Espe­cial­ly care­ful­ly you need to process places with rust. White spir­it or any slight­ly alka­line solu­tion does a good job of degreas­ing the sur­face.


You can get rid of old paint in the fol­low­ing ways:

  • With the help of a spe­cial solu­tion for rins­ing.

A gel-like liq­uid is applied to the sur­face and wrapped with a film. After a short peri­od of time, the old coat­ing soft­ens and is eas­i­ly removed with a spat­u­la, scraper or wire brush. Paint remover has a pun­gent odor and con­tains aggres­sive tox­ic sub­stances, so you need to work with extreme cau­tion.

  • With a blow­torch.

The paint heats up and comes off eas­i­ly with a spat­u­la or sim­i­lar tool. Can only be used for out­door work.

  • With the help of a build­ing hair dry­er.

Due to heat­ing, the old coat­ing eas­i­ly lags behind and is cleaned off with any sharp object. This method is sim­i­lar to the pre­vi­ous one, only sim­pler and safer, it can be used in any room. Due to the abil­i­ty of the met­al to quick­ly give off heat, it is not always pos­si­ble to warm it up well, so in some cas­es the use of a hair dry­er will be inef­fec­tive.

  • Using a drill or grinder with a noz­zle in the form of a met­al brush.

The old paint is peeled off quite quick­ly, but in hard-to-reach places the brush is pow­er­less, it is nec­es­sary to use a nar­row spat­u­la, knife or chis­el.

How best to remove paint from pipes and radi­a­tors depends on the avail­abil­i­ty of the right tool and sub­jec­tive indi­vid­ual pref­er­ences. But in any case, the old cracked coat­ing must be removed so that the new one fits well and lasts a long time. Then the sur­face is degreased, wiped with a damp cloth and dried.

After com­plete clean­ing of all accu­mu­lat­ed lay­ers or when deal­ing with a new met­al sur­face with­out a coat­ing, an anti-cor­ro­sion primer should be applied if there are no spe­cial pro­tec­tive com­po­nents in the paint com­po­si­tion. In some cas­es, the abil­i­ty of the primer to improve adhe­sion to the sub­strate is impor­tant. If a 3 in 1 type paint is used, con­tain­ing a rust con­vert­er, primer and col­or pig­ments, then you can imme­di­ate­ly start apply­ing it with­out pri­or prepa­ra­tion.

Impor­tant! Regard­less of the type of paint and var­nish mate­r­i­al, work must be car­ried out in a well-ven­ti­lat­ed area. Vapors of any paint con­tain sub­stances that are bet­ter not to inhale unnec­es­sar­i­ly. There­fore, it is rec­om­mend­ed to ensure that pets, chil­dren and oth­er fam­i­ly mem­bers are not present dur­ing stain­ing.


Paint application

There are sev­er­al meth­ods to paint pipes:

  • tas­sel;
  • roller;
  • Spray can;
  • Spray gun or spray gun.

Apply­ing paint with a brush is the most com­mon and afford­able option. In this case, spe­cial skills are not required. It is enough just to take a good brush and, pick­ing up a small amount of paint on the tip, even­ly, slow­ly, smear it over the sur­face. It is nec­es­sary to strive to make the lay­er as thin as pos­si­ble. This will give uni­form cov­er­age and no smudges. If the paint is translu­cent, it is bet­ter to paint again lat­er than to apply one thick lay­er.

Advice! In cheap brush­es, the bris­tles often fall out. There­fore, it is not worth sav­ing on their cost. How­ev­er, even high-qual­i­ty spec­i­mens some­times leave hairs. If nec­es­sary, the vil­li can be removed with a nee­dle.

It is very con­ve­nient to paint pipes and bat­ter­ies with a spe­cial radi­a­tor brush. It has a long han­dle and a curved shape that makes it easy to cov­er all hard-to-reach areas.

With the help of small diam­e­ter foam rollers, it is con­ve­nient to paint an open pipeline in the pres­ence of free space around. They are also suit­able for the front sur­face of heat­ing devices. Crafts­men even make spe­cial devices from two rollers, which allow not only to ensure even appli­ca­tion, but also to com­plete the work very quick­ly.

Some­times sim­ple wash­cloths are used for smooth pipes, allow­ing you to apply a neat thin lay­er on all sides. The gloves, of course, will be dirty, but the paint­ing will be com­plet­ed in no time.

Work­ing with a spray can is the most con­ve­nient and fastest. It must be shak­en for a minute and can be sprayed onto the pre­pared sur­face. Per­form­ing smooth zigzag move­ments, grad­u­al­ly cov­er the required area. It is impor­tant to main­tain the dis­tance rec­om­mend­ed by the man­u­fac­tur­er and not linger for a long time in one place.

Aerosol cans give a nice dec­o­ra­tive fin­ish, but are expen­sive and don’t cov­er hard-to-reach areas well. In this regard, they are usu­al­ly applied on a well-primed base or after a prepara­to­ry back­ground coat of paint.

A pro­fes­sion­al spray gun is rarely used in every­day life, but if a lot of paint­ing work is expect­ed, then it is worth acquir­ing this device. The sprayer allows you to quick­ly apply even lay­ers with min­i­mal paint con­sump­tion and has spe­cial noz­zles for the con­ve­nience of work­ing with sur­faces of the most intri­cate shapes.


Helpful Hints

Do-it-your­self work with the best result will help the advice of experts on how best to paint heat­ing pipes:

  • When remov­ing the old lay­er of paint, it is impor­tant not to over­do it, mak­ing efforts so as not to dam­age the pipe con­nec­tions.
  • It is nec­es­sary to open the paint remover con­tain­er very care­ful­ly, hold­ing the bot­tle with the neck away from you, so as not to inhale tox­ic fumes. Work with this caus­tic sub­stance can only be car­ried out if the room is well ven­ti­lat­ed.
  • If it is pos­si­ble to dis­man­tle the heaters, this will great­ly facil­i­tate the stain­ing process. Radi­a­tors can be tak­en out­side and paint­ed in the fresh air, turn­ing them in a con­ve­nient direc­tion.
  • Paint­ing pipes and radi­a­tors is best done with the heat­ing sys­tem turned off. Oth­er­wise, the paint will lie uneven­ly on hot sur­faces, there may be stains, swellings, spots and stripes.
  • If it is nec­es­sary to per­form work dur­ing the heat­ing sea­son, then you can get out of the sit­u­a­tion by clos­ing the valves on the bat­ter­ies and wait­ing for them to cool com­plete­ly. At the same time, it will notice­ably get cold­er in the room, and only radi­a­tors will be paint­ed well, since the pipes will still remain hot.
  • You need to paint from top to bot­tom with gen­tle move­ments, slow­ly.
  • You should strive to paint the sur­face from all sides, and not just from the front. Oth­er­wise, the remain­ing parts will rust, and unpaint­ed places are always notice­able, although not at first sight.


When choos­ing a paint for heat­ing pipes, it is very impor­tant to pay atten­tion to its resis­tance to heat and oth­er oper­a­tional fea­tures. The use of high-qual­i­ty paints and var­nish­es will ensure safe­ty for health dur­ing work and the dura­bil­i­ty of the applied coat­ing.

Care­ful prepa­ra­tion of the sur­face for paint­ing is the key to the qual­i­ty of the future coat­ing. A heater paint­ed in accor­dance with all the rules will be reli­ably pro­tect­ed from cor­ro­sion and will retain an attrac­tive appear­ance for a long time.


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