Author Topic: Stripping old radiators  (Read 24749 times)

Offline cl4t

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Stripping old radiators
« on: January 10, 2009, 01:41:56 AM »
Has anyone done this to their old, cracked and overly painted radiators? I am interested in stripping my old radiators and would like to know if there are any recommendations or better yet, where do I start?
-fermented and fried

Offline cookie

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Re: Stripping old radiators
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2009, 12:05:44 PM »
I was wondering how to do this exact thing.  I've gotta get the 38 layers of paint off my radiatiors along with a gross looking pipe in my bathroom.  Unfortunately, I've read up a lot on this subject and I don't think there are any real easy ways to do it.  It's gonna take a lot of chemicals, scraping, and sanding.  Here is a link I found to be helpful.  Let me know how yours goes!  http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/infpai/infstripmetal.html

Offline cl4t

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Re: Stripping old radiators
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2009, 01:06:45 PM »
oh, i had no intention of doing it myself. i have seen some short videos of professionals sandblasting them. but this requires removal and transport to sandblasting location. i am looking for a local professional. i heard of someone down in the dc area who charges $10-$30 a fin (depending on ornamentation). if i find any more information, i'll post it here.
-fermented and fried

Offline Shelby2

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Re: Stripping old radiators
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2009, 06:30:22 PM »
There's a thread at brownstoner that mentions this company http://www.evernumetal.com/home.htm for radiator stripping. 


Offline jhjn

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Re: Stripping old radiators
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2009, 08:26:33 PM »
We stripped all the radiators in our place about 3 yrs ago. We used a company called Stripquick (easily found on 411 or google).  They are based in Staten Island, and they showed up, pulled out the radiators, stripped them, and then re-installed them about a week later.  It wasn't cheap, but their work was good, and the radiators are far more efficient without the 10+ layers of flaking lead paint.

We have had lots of other stripping done in our place with great results, but to get this done the radiators have to come out.  There's no other way to get to the nooks and crannys.

Offline TheMariner

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Re: Stripping old radiators
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2009, 11:56:21 AM »
Has anyone done this to their old, cracked and overly painted radiators? I am interested in stripping my old radiators and would like to know if there are any recommendations or better yet, where do I start?

This is a messy, dirty, and horribly labor intensive job.  Are you currently living in the place, or are you renovating a currently vacant apartment ??   also, is the heat on in them ??

If your radiators currently have heat coming through them (i.e., if they are hot), I wouldn't even consider doing this until the spring, because extra heat will drive the chemicals into the air, and into your lungs and anyone else nearby.  I recently stripped all my radiator covers and windowframes, (not the radiators themselves, thank God), and also the steam return pipes in the bathrooms, and spray painted all of them (came out beautifully, but the job took weeks).  I used a product called Peel-Away, which takes a long time, but is much less toxic than products with methylene chloride (which I also used, and it's much quicker than the PeelAway).  Both of these are available in the paint section at Home Depot, BTW.

How they worked:

PeelAway is a product that you spread on, then cover with some special paper that's included.  You need to trim the paper to the job.  You brush on the peelAway (GENEROUSLY), then cover it with the paper.  You then WAIT ABOUT 2-4 DAYS, then pull/scrape the paper off.  Most of the paint will come off with it.  The longer you wait, the deeper the penetration into the old paint.  You may have to follow up to get the residual bits, or deeper layers.  Once you get most of the initial paint off, you can hit it again with PeelAway, just put it on and wait a few minutes, then get it off with a scraper or steel wool.   You need to wear gloves and you should wear a mask, but it's not too bad.  Anything that's left, you need to get after with a methylene chloride based stripper.  You can get it in a spray can.  It is nasty, vile stuff, but it will clean up anything that's left.  Get a good RESPIRATOR or filter type mask - spend the $25 that it's going to cost for this piece of equipment.  Methylene Chloride is not good to breath, you will get dizzy, light headed, and a little headachy. (see here: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/423.html).  But it will get the last bits off.  ALWAYS wear thick gloves, esp with Methylene chloride strippers.  And not just the thick $5 rubber gloves for heavy duty cleaning.  I'm talking the really thick rubber ones that come up halfway on your elbows.  Wear clothes you intend to throw away after the job, too.  AND W@EAR A SERIOUS AIR FILTRATION MASK, not just a dust mask.  Open ALL of the windows.

If you can't take the time to use the peelaway, use the methylene chloride stripper, but (again), all of the above cautionary notes apply.  It will do the job, but it's nasty, vile stuff.

After you strip it, I suppose you will want to paint it.  MAKE SURE TO USE PAINT THAT TOLERATES HIGH HEAT.  This goes for the steam return lines that everyone has in their bathrooms as well (usually a pipe that's hot in the winter and located in a corner of the bathroom somewhere).  Rustoleum makes a good high heat paint, it's available in 4 colors at Home Depot in spray paint cans.  Again, there's lots of problems using spray paint in your home, cover everything in the entire room, then seal the bottom of the doors with tape while you're painting (it will get under the door and onto the floor just outside the door if you don't).  The high heat spray paint does seem to not fly as far as regular spray paint (which I repainted all my windowframes with).  Wear a respirator with this too.

Hope this advice helps you.  Good luck with the job. 

TheMariner

Offline cl4t

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Re: Stripping old radiators
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2009, 06:11:33 PM »
i got a quote of about $75/hr for sandblasting with evernu and he estimated about 2 1/2 hours for a standard radiator. He also said powder coating was another $200. do i need the powder coat? i actually like the look of clean metal but was wondering if radiators needed a coat of something.
-fermented and fried

Offline TheMariner

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Re: Stripping old radiators
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2009, 07:33:39 AM »
i got a quote of about $75/hr for sandblasting with evernu and he estimated about 2 1/2 hours for a standard radiator. He also said powder coating was another $200. do i need the powder coat? i actually like the look of clean metal but was wondering if radiators needed a coat of something.

I think you do need to have them coated/painted.  Bare metal will eventually oxidize (rust).  Remember that you also have steam (i.e., vaporized water) going through the radiator.  What happens to iron/steel in the presence of water?
Corrosion.  I don't think you can get away with just leaving it unfinished.  What does Evernu say about it?  They almost certainly have a better idea than I do.  FYG, I left one of my windowframes unpainted, but even that one I used some spray shelac to "seal" it.  Good luck, in any case.  - Mariner

Offline NYC Native

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Re: Stripping old radiators
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2009, 08:15:24 PM »
Send it out...If you want to strip it yourself use "Back to nature"...You go weekend warrior!!!
If your radiator is lead based paint you ARE are supposed to hire an EPA firm (NOT), they will cost lots and lots of $$$.  But if you have a DOH violation you don't have many choices :tickedoff:

Oil Based paint is best but you can use engine type (hi temperature) paint but I doubt your radiator will reach such temperatures.  If your radiator produces too much heat and it has the original paint use a light color paint otherwise you'll bake like a turkey (TRY THE VALVE).  Sometimes the radiators are switched from one room to another throughout the years for a number of reasons including error (putting the smaller radiator on the larger ROOM AND VICE VERSA).  :buck2:

Some of the older radiators have wonderful details and can be found in places like Demolition Depot in East Harlem.  If you dare paint them in a Ferrari Red or Jet Black maybe a Jaguar or Bentley factory color...AWESOME!
  :D :D :D :D

If you want to leave them BARE use a polyurethane based spraypaint and it should be OK otherwise they will rust (well most of them)
« Last Edit: January 24, 2009, 08:24:51 PM by NYC Native »
Time is running out!

Offline petersonk01

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Re: Stripping old radiators
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2009, 01:24:29 PM »
I live in Fairfield County, CT - got a quote from these guys - $40 PER SECTION (tough when you have 9 radiators...) BUT they seem to do a super job...see the website for pics of their process
http://www.mmresto.com/


Offline NYC Native

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Re: Stripping old radiators
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2010, 09:23:25 PM »
I'M BACK..REVIVING THE DEAD!!

I'm doing a job that on 34Th Avenue and I decided to peel the 50 or so years worth of paint off the panel / radiators.  You can do it yourself...Not difficult on metal and I decided to use peel away 7 which is about $60+ for the gallon container you see in the 2ND  picture but it's suppose to be "environmentally friendlier".

STEP 1
Scrape any loose paint / using a hand scrapper scrape any lose paint - you can use any cheap metal scraper and if you have a wire brush it will help.  This should not take more than a minute or two




STEP 2
Using the same scraper trowel on the Peel away evenly.  Be generous but no need to make it sloppy, do as if you were doing some spakeling.  The instructions say you can roll it on so if this works for you knock yourself out kids





STEP 3
Place the panel inside a plastic bag and tape it shut.  Place it away for 48 hrs.  For the metal frame you can use the paper sold for it or just use some garbage bags and cover it nicely.




TO BE CONTINUED....
Time is running out!

Offline whoever

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Re: Stripping old radiators
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2010, 12:03:18 AM »
I was told any paint that goes on to metal and stays, is lead based.

Offline cl4t

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Re: Stripping old radiators
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2010, 02:34:40 PM »
well, i decided to do the work myself. didn't use any chemicals, just chipped away at the old paint with a screwdriver, hammer, a wire brush and sandpaper. i didn't get to remove all the layers but i got a lot off and smoothed it for a good old primer and painted with silver enamel paint. here is the final project completed.
-fermented and fried

Offline NYC Native

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Re: Stripping old radiators
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2010, 11:20:27 PM »
well, i decided to do the work myself. didn't use any chemicals, just chipped away at the old paint with a screwdriver, hammer, a wire brush and sandpaper. i didn't get to remove all the layers but i got a lot off and smoothed it for a good old primer and painted with silver enamel paint. here is the final project completed.

Nice Job    :rockon:



I was told any paint that goes on to metal and stays, is lead based.


Most interior and exterior oil-based paint prior to 1950 contain lead but the technology existed that bonded paint to metal.  Lead was used as a pigment in house paint and it is still used widely in lead-acid batteries, fishing weights, and in the manufacture of some plastics and a number of other products including (and obviously) bullets.  So, if you get shot, make sure they test your lead levels in your blood...hehe

Lead is good for technology, not good for your health (long story).  Look, you are not going to get sick by stripping your own paint unless you use a sander in which case you would be expose to lead dust.  If you are scrapping lead based paint grab a bottle of Windex or similar product and wet scrape it.  Then add the peel away or "Back to Nature".  You can always call a licensed company (Gotham Stat Industries,,,hehehe) and give them your hard earned money.  On the other hand, if you have received a violation from the DOH or other eager agency then you should call the pros.  Yes, there is no denying Lead-based paint is the most common source of lead poisoning for children in the nation. That doesn't make your landlord an evil villain it was simply a product (no pun intended) of the times. 

My advise to anyone with concerns is go to the EPA web site,  They will give you the "scare tactics" but it is good education.  If you have children or even pets at home then please, make sure you don't have any chipping paint of surfaces like doors or windows rubbing.  If you have children do take the most cautious approach to paint management.  One of the reason children seem attracted to the lead based chips is supposed to be because the paint somehow tasted semi sweet (Never tried it myself).  If you are in an adult only home...I'm sure you wont reach out and eat the paint chips on the floors (beside Chuckie, liam and Rose)  but everyone else probably won't.

On a last note...lead dust is not like asbestos dust.  Asbestos dust is very aerodynamic and it can float 48 to 72 hrs from a single air flow episode.  Lead in dust is relatively heavy and would not become airborne for long (at least not long unless continuously agitated) using a respirator is always a good idea but using wet methods are your best wet to avoid exposure
Time is running out!

Offline breakdown

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Re: Stripping old radiators
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2010, 04:50:02 PM »
I'd love to see the "To Be Continued..." to that tutorial post! I have used peel away on my 50s metal door buzzer/intercom a couple years ago and on the old metal hamper in the bathroom, it worked great!

But on my to-do list for the past 4 years are the radiators, which look exactly like the ones in this post! Flat panels just like that. For my hamper, I ended up having to paint over it with a nice black satin rustoleum paint, the buzzer I left untreated as stainless steel. How did you finish these panels off???

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Stripping old radiators
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2010, 04:50:02 PM »