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Old 01-20-2009, 05:47 PM   #1
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Question Painting Hot Steam Pipes & Radiators (In the Winter)

What do you guys do when painting old occupied apartments in the winter that have exposed steam risers and steam radiators?

How long do you tell the tenant/owner they have to keep the heat off?

Ya, optimal is at least 24 hours. 48 hours is probably better. It's cold in NY now and that's not going to happen. Putting off the painting on the metal and coming back when it's warmer is not an option on this job.

I've done it before without waiting a proper amount of time before turning the heat back on. The paint makes a pretty foul smell when the heat comes up; but it seems to hold up pretty well in the end.

Usually I use Rustoleum heavy metal primer (because I usually have that on hand), and Rustoleum or BM if I'm buying--or whatever oil I have on hand if it matches the desired color.

Years ago, I used aluminum paint all the time; but information has come out that metallic paints are not as energy efficient as a non-metalics, so I'm getting more calls for non-metallic colors.

BTW, out of curiousity I just checked and Rustoleum is rated to 200 degrees F but steam is 212. In my experience, steam pipes and rads usually need repainting in a few years.

I never really thought about using high heat paint, but I might as well ask now. Does anybody use it? If so, what kind? What's it cost? How's it old up compared to regular oil, etc.?


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Old 01-21-2009, 02:04 AM   #2
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I use regular oil gloss/satin or eggshell. Have painted them hot and cold without any problems. The heat just makes it a bit more prone to runs if you don't keep an eye on it but that's short lived because it dries pdq.

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Old 01-21-2009, 06:46 AM   #3
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Always used S/W super paint. No problems. If it has oil on it, prime first.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikerboy View Post
Always used S/W super paint. No problems. If it has oil on it, prime first.
Hi biker,

I've been skeptical about using these "new" latex paints that are supposed to be good for metal. That would go a long way to solve the problem of the paint curing before the heat came back on though.

This may be a good time to try these metal rated latexes though. There are some bare metal areas on the steel pipe and cast iron radiators. Some minor rust. I'm figuring on priming everything.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomBrooklyn View Post
Hi biker,

I've been skeptical about using these "new" latex paints that are supposed to be good for metal. That would go a long way to solve the problem of the paint curing before the heat came back on though.

This may be a good time to try these metal rated latexes though. There are some bare metal areas on the steel pipe and cast iron radiators. Some minor rust. I'm figuring on priming everything.
Not talking about using DTM products. Just whatever we happen to be using on the trim or wall to make it match. Most of these units have so many layers of old paint that it is not a problem. ( I don't ever think I've seen a "new" radiator.)
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Most of these units have so many layers of old paint that it is not a problem. ( I don't ever think I've seen a "new" radiator.)
Ya, but a lot of radiators have bare spots. Some radiators are flat on top and people put things on them and the paint gets rubbed off on top, plus on some raised parts and edges on the front etc. (The rads I'm doing now are flat on top.) Those spots are usually rusted too.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomBrooklyn View Post
Ya, but a lot of radiators have bare spots. Some radiators are flat on top and people put things on them and the paint gets rubbed off on top, plus on some raised parts and edges on the front etc. (The rads I'm doing now are flat on top.) Those spots are usually rusted too.
You'll find that the ones that are rusted on top are usually caused by the h/o drying clothes on them. In extreme cases like that I use a radiator enamel but I try to avoid that stuff if I can because it's not easy to work with.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikerboy View Post
Not talking about using DTM products. Just whatever we happen to be using on the trim or wall to make it match. Most of these units have so many layers of old paint that it is not a problem. ( I don't ever think I've seen a "new" radiator.)
Same here.

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