Terry thought that the radiator would be more efficient without 80 years of paint. So she started peeling. In the winter when the radiator is on the paint becomes soft. It comes off rather easy but also is tedious. She used an exacto knife which works great. It gets into the detail easy and you can sometimes just peel off the paint. She tried the "Peel Away" remover and found that it was more trouble that it was worth in cost and labor. With the Peel Away product you need to use water to neutralize it. So just imagne water all over your hard wood floor or carpet. Yep, what a mess. And in addition to the mess if you do not cover every inch of the remover it becomes harder than PLASTER. Try getting that off those old radiators!!!! So then she tried the normal paint remover stuff. That was fun too! She found that she had paint and remover all over the wall, the curtains (should have taken them down, too lazy) and the carpet even though she did cover the carpet. And all over me. So after trying three different ways she will continue with the exacto knife. She also will use a heat gun (tried a heat gun on a door - GREAT JOB). You can also remove the radiators from your home and hope that they will fit when you try to put them back in and have them sandblasted. Oh by the way when you have them sandblasted make sure there are no pits or holes in the cast iron when done.
She used regular craft paint in a bronze/gold color as this was the original color of the radiators when new. To apply she used a sponge and a small paint brush. She used her radiators this winter and the paint does not smell nor is it peeling off from the heat. Someone asked her what, how and when she did her radiators as they used the engine paint that is recommended. Due to the smell they had to pull them out of the house until spring. You can just imagine how cold their house was that winter (BURR). Please do come again as Terry should be adding/changing this page.
Lately Terry has been asked for a specific kind of paint to use. She just went to a hobby store and bought paint that could be used on metal. It is a water base and soap and water is used for clean-up. The water base paint will not rust the radiator, but if primer/paint is not used as soon as possible the bare metal will start to show rust. There are paints out there that have rust restrictors, although she has not used them, but she does not see why these would also not work.