Give your property a new lease of life with coloured radiators

By : Nick Marr

Often overlooked or considered ugly, radiators are a common feature in most UK homes. But instead of hiding them behind the sofa or old fashioned radiator covers, there’s a new home design trend which celebrates this humble piece of heating equipment. Interior magazines are now full of brightly coloured radiators, making them a real feature as opposed to something we should hide in shame. From pastel pinks to bright primaries, muted greys to classic creams, painting your radiators will help you create a fresh new look without having to spend a fortune.

Every home has its own personality, just like the people who live inside it. Although using bold colours isn’t always a smart move if you’re putting your house on the market (that old rule that neutral is best still applies if you want a quick sale) it’s a great way to add a touch of style and individuality to your new or existing home. If you’re concerned about how to do it without making the room look tacky, Belgravia estate agent, Best Gapp suggests approaching the bold new look with a little caution- “Coloured radiators work best if the rest of the walls are plain- colour and pattern combined can be a little challenging on the eyes.”

It’s easy enough to do it yourself- radiator paints are available in most DIY shops and come in a huge range of colours and finishes.  As with any home improvement project, it’s essential that you do your preparation if you want a professional look. Make sure the radiator is switched off and cool before you start as a hot surface is likely to make the paint crack, and clean and dust thoroughly first.  If you can’t find a product that’s specifically marketed as being for radiators,  those suitable for wood and metal will also work well- look for eggshell, satin or gloss for a smooth, crack free look. Start with the edges first, using a small paintbrush about two inches wide and always work in small sections. Once the edges and underneath are finished you can move on to the main part of the radiator using a larger brush or roller.  Use large, sweeping brush strokes and concentrate on one area at a time, making sure each section is carefully blended. Leave it to dry, then apply a second coat if necessary.  For those who are less than confident with a paintbrush and have a little money to spend, Marylebone estate agent, Kubie Gold Associates , recommends having a ready-made version installed instead. “There are lots of great radiator companies around who will paint and install your new radiator with minimal fuss and mess- perfect for anyone who loves the look but lacks the time or confidence to do it themselves.”

Dove greys, creams and even black are all popular with people looking for an elegant, sophisticated look,  but candy pastels are also great if you’re looking for a kitsch, retro feel. Bold primaries also work well, particularly in children’s rooms- see it as a focal point of the room and match it to pictures, curtains and other accessories for a really coordinated look.

Denhan Guaranteed Rent concludes, “A coloured radiator is a really modern way to update your home. Remember that it’s best to stick with neutrals if you want to sell up, but if you’re just moving in you can be as bold as you like.”