What colour should cast iron radiators be?

Often the most enjoyable aspect of decorating your home is choosing the colour scheme. Colour is an important part of interior design and the choices you make can influence your mood and outlook when you inhabit spaces.

While you might be able to change wall and soft furnishing colours on a whim, your home fixtures and fittings are likely to be around for the long term. That means you need to think carefully before selecting colours for certain items in your home – including traditional cast iron radiators

In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about radiator colour and how to select the right radiator colour for your home.

What colour should cast iron radiators be?

In its raw state, cast iron is a deep grey slate colour. If you want to choose a colour close to the natural shade of cast iron, we would recommend gunmetal grey.

cast iron radiator colours

Traditional cast iron radiator colours have been enduringly popular throughout history. There are many reasons this might be the case:

  • Some colours are more effective at conducting heat than others. For example, black or darker colours are more efficient than lighter colours. Matt paint finishes are also more effective than glossy or metallic finishes. However, the difference in heat output is negligible, so we don’t think you should allow this factor to influence your final decision.
  • Some colours offer a low maintenance solution that will be easier to care for and less likely to show marks and scuffs. Darker colours and satin finishes will be easier to care for than light colours like cream or white. If you’re shopping for a high-traffic area of your home, we recommend picking a darker colour like gunmetal grey, which is a satin finish.
  • The style of the radiator might influence your colour choice. For example, an iconic four-column cast iron radiator looks particularly stylish in satin black, while ornate radiators look incredibly impressive in antique bronze.

Pro tip: You should only order the base-coat finish if you have arranged to have your radiators professionally painted in a custom colour.

How are cast iron radiators painted?

Our cast iron radiators are spray painted in one of our three professional painting booths to ensure an even, full-coverage finish. We use both 2 pack and cellulose based paints which offer a superior, deeper sheen and a more durable finish.

All of our radiators are painted with a base coat finish before the coloured top coat is applied. This helps to ensure excellent paint adhesion and ensures that the texture of the cast iron can really shine through.

cast iron radiator colours

Can I paint my cast iron radiator myself?

We wouldn’t recommend painting your radiators at home with a paint brush and a tin of any old paint. Remember that radiators heat up and cool down repeatedly, so if you paint them with the wrong type of paint, this is going to very quickly crack and flake away.

You can pay to have your radiators professionally spray painted any colour in a paint booth. This is the only instance when we would recommend ordering the radiators with a base coat only.

Customers often ask us if they can save money by choosing the base coat-only finish – after all, they do look very similar to the matt black radiators. While they might look a similar colour, the base-coat is not designed to be a finished top coat. It is designed to act as a key for our finished top coats to adhere better to.

Until we apply the top coat, the base coat feels rough to the touch, making it unsuitable for your interiors. A radiator that only has a base coat is more likely to attract scuffs and marks that will make the radiator look very unattractive. It will also be very difficult to clean the rough surface of the radiator until there is a top coat applied.

Once you know the colour you want, the next step is to choose the right size for your space. We recently shared our thoughts on how to choose the right radiator size for your home.

Keep In Touch

Sign up to our mailing list for the latest news, offers and Rad inspiration. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Shop Securely

Contact Us

Cast Iron Radiator Centre
(a Division of Mossmead Ltd)
241 Torrington Avenue
(Corner of Padstow Road)
Coventry, West Midlands
0800 294 8603 / 024 7630 3999
Contact Form
facebook twitter instagram facebook Google My Business