‘Easiest’ steps for a ‘even finish’ when painting behind radiators

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Painting a wall may seem like an easy job, however, when you reach the radiator this is where things can get a little tricky. Don’t fear as painting behind a radiator is not actually as hard as it may seem. To carry out this task Britons don’t need special decorations skills – just a little care and attention will halve the time to achieve professional results. DIY experts at Victoria Plum have shared their top tips to make the task easier. 

They said: “Painting behind your radiator can seem like a pretty tricky job. However, we’ve come up with the perfect solution to ensure you’ll get the job done in no time at all. By following these easiest steps, you can do a high quality job without too much hassle at all.”

Using a normal paint brush or roller makes it pretty much impossible to get behind the radiator to create a professional finish. 

Even with a thinner roller, the experts noted that households will find it difficult to reach right down to the lower parts of the wall. Instead, this means they’ll have to get a little creative and make their own tool, although the good news is it doesn’t require much work.

The pros said: “Follow these steps to make a simple homemade decorating tool, allowing you to paint those hard-to-reach areas behind any radiator in your home. You only need 3 items.”

Items you will need

1. Narrow piece of wood

The experts noted a piece of floor edging, beading or bamboo is “ideal”. Essentially, anything that is strong, slim and offers a degree of flexibility will be great to use. It’s not something you have to spend much money on, if any.

2. A sponge

A bathroom sponge is fine and just about the right size, so you can cut it up into large enough pieces.

3. A stapler and scissors 

The idea is to make a painting tool with the sponge that slides down behind the radiator so you can create a “smooth finish” on the wall. 

How to construct the painting tool and paint behind the radiator

If it’s a large sponge, cut it down into four to 5cm square rectangular pieces, so it is small enough to fit into the gap without having to squeeze it in. 

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Bear in mind that the smaller the piece, the longer it will take to paint the wall, but also make sure it isn’t oversized or it won’t fit into the gap.

Use the stapler to attach the sponge onto the end of the wood. You will probably need around three to four staples to secure it in place. 

Ensure the staples are flat against the wood, as when you apply the sponge to the wall it could scrape against the surface which wouldn’t produce the best of finishes. The staples can be easily tapped into place to make them flat if needed.

After that you can simply dip the tool into the paint, drain it off a little and start to use it on the wall. The DIY pros said: “It makes the job much easier to complete and will enable you to apply an even and professional finish in the space right behind the radiator.”

Before you start to paint behind the wall, it’s a good idea to cover the radiator before you get to work. At some point you are likely to touch the top or side of the radiator, so covering it up will ensure you don’t have any frustrating accidents.

The same also applies to the pipe area, as the wall behind them can be even trickier to reach. Use parcel tape or similar to wrap around the piping before you start to paint the wall.

It might seem obvious, but before painting make sure to switch off the radiator and then allow it to cool. This is to avoid unnecessary burns, or paint blistering.

Depending on radiator positioning and purpose, it is usually best to start at the top and work your way around the sides of the radiator.

Less is more when it comes to loading up the painting tool as this will reduce dropping paint and getting it on the back of the radiator itself.

If there is not enough space to fit the tool behind the radiator, you can take the radiator off the wall to paint it – but for those who plan to do this, it is best to call in the professionals.

Simon Morris, Marketing Manager of The Radiator Company said: “It’s simple for a plumber to temporarily remove a radiator. They’ll make sure that it’s emptied without draining the entire system, or flooding the house.

“Once the radiator is away from the wall, make sure it’s placed on a blanket or something that will protect it from being scratched, then prepare and paint the wall. 

“When everything is dry, it’s a case of the plumber quickly rehanging and refilling the radiator.”

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