How long after painting a radiator can you turn it on?

So you’ve just finished giving your radiator a nice new lick of paint and now you want to know how long to wait before turning it back on. Well there is no direct answer to this and it will depend on the paint you have used, something we will get into in a little more detail below.

You need to wait until the paint is fully dry before turning the radiator back on. 24 hours will give any paint enough time to dry. I recommend turning the radiator on at a low heat for the first day before gradually increasing the heat.

Different Paints, Different Drying Times

All you really need to do is wait for the paint to be fully dry, but this can vary wildly depending on what paint you have chosen. I will go through some of the more popular radiator paints below and give you the drying times.

Hammerite Radiator Paint

Specially formulated to provide a heat resistant brilliant white finish on any water-filled household radiator and hot water pipes.

Drying Time – 16 Hours

Hammerite Radiator Enamel

Hammerite Radiator Enamel Gloss is a heat resistant high gloss finish for water-filled radiators and hot water pipes. Easy to use.

Drying Time – 2 Hours

Hammerite Ultima

While not a dedicated radiator paint it does work well. This is the paint I used in my Can you paint a radiator with Hammerite? article.

Drying Time – 4 Hours

Ronseal One Coat Radiator Paint

One coat is all you need to protect and brighten your radiators. This One Coat Radiator Paint protects against everyday scuffs and scrapes and is heat resistant and durable.

Drying Time – 24 Hours

Rustins Quick Drying Radiator Paint

Formulated with a special non-yellowing, acrylic emulsion and high-quality white pigment (titanium dioxide) to produce a brilliant white finish that will not yellow on hot radiators.

Drying Time – 4 Hours

No Nonsense Radiator Spray Paint

High quality, quick-drying radiator paint that is heat-resistant to 130°C and offers a tough & durable finish.

Drying Time – 24 Hours

Wilko Quick Dry Radiator Enamel

Wilko Quick Dry Radiator Enamel Gloss Paint 500ml provides a tough, heat resistant finish for radiators and wood.

Drying Time – 4 Hours

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Sam Wood

Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!

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