Painting a steam radiator

My house, mid-20s vintage, is steam heated (boiler was "modernized" mid-70s). We're redoing a room and I've wirebrushed the ancient flaky paint off the radiator. Wondering what's the best repainting solution. Want it to be same color as the baseboard and trim, which are painted with an off-white semigloss latex. I need to prime the bare metal (not rusty), but with oil or water based primer? And can the cover coat be the same latex as the trim paint? Any issues re wintertime hot radiator coils and paint adhesion or odors? I know there are hi-temp "barbecue grill" paints but they're gloss enamels and little color choice.
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Chuck Reti
Detroit MI
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Latex will fall off from the heat. Check wit the paint store for an industrial paint. Probably enamal.
candice
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Our house is about the same vintage, also with steam radiators of two different kinds. On several we have used a glossy enamel "rustoleum" type of paint. On another we used a latex. In every case we first stripped the old paint off before applying the new paint, and have had NO trouble with the paint coming off -- except the one time we did NOT strip the old paint off. Currently our choice is enamel or oil base paint. I do not think primer is probably necessary on cast iron. (We have not used it.) The paint will smell pretty bad when the heat is first applied, but that goes away after the baking process completes. I have found that paint stores NEVER know what to suggest, and that just about any good quality paint seems to work. These are just my own opinions based on our experiences, just a few hours before we go out to buy some paint for yet another radiator. Keep in mind that a steam radiator probably does not get much up to 200 F even though low pressure steam would be 212 F. The thermal mass of the big old radiators is quite large compared to the heat energy delivered to them. (These opinions about temperature may be wrong. I have only touched, never tried to measure, radiator temp.) --Phil
Chuck Reti wrote:

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Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
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wrote:

How did you strip the paint off?
Sue(tm) Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!
sue at interport dot net
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We use a chemical stripper which is very similar to zip strip. I apply it, then scrape with a putty knife, use steel wool, apply some more and steel wool some more. The one I just finished yesterday had some brown paint against the metal. It took a little more effort to remove than places where there was also a top coat of white paint. I have no idea whether any of it is lead paint. Unless sanding or heat is used (and the heat gun does not work on metal surfaces), the lead problem should be minimal. I set the radiators on a piece of 1/4 inch plywood with several drop cloths underneath, and IN the room (these radiators are hundreds of pounds and I am only strong enough to disconnect them and move them out from their positions. --Phil
Curly Sue wrote:

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Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
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wrote:

Thanks for the reply. Did you know that you can get inexpensive lead test kits in the paint department (of, for example, Home Depot)?
Sue(tm) Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!
sue at interport dot net
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wrote:

It may have been, given its age. Having considered that possibility, I wore gloves & mask, brushed on a plywood sheet outdoors (no edibles growing anywhere, no watershed issues). Swept up what I could and will dispose of properly at hazmat dropoff on recycling day. Just trying to be Mr. Environmentally correct :-). Hazards aside, would a lead coat, mostly all removed, affect what should go on next?
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Chuck Reti
Detroit MI
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wrote:

the
If you already have it loose and out of the house (and most of the crud off), I'd take it somewhere and have it shotblasted and electrostatic powder painted, and NEVER have to mess with it again. Shops that do that can probably also clean out the inside, which should make it work better.
aem sends...
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