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A Guide to Trads' Radiator Painting Service

A traditional cast iron radiator completed in a deep, lustrous colour and finish can become the focal point of a room. At Trads we know that high-quality radiators can transform a home renovation project. We also know that you may have a very particular colour in mind for your radiator. That’s why we offer the most comprehensive radiator painting service in the industry. Find out everything you need to know about this service with our complete guide to Trads’ Radiator Painting Service.

Posted: Monday, September 6, 2021

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How does Trads paint radiators? 

Trads uses a unique dual-painting method to achieve the exceptional finish for which we are known. 

When we receive an order, we select the required radiator sections and transfer them to our dedicated paint shop in Lincolnshire. Once at the paint shop, the radiator sections will receive their first layer of paint (or first round of polishing if that is part of the desired finish). 

Once this first layer of paint (or polish) is dry, the radiator sections are then put through a rigorous, high pressure testing process. We test every section at a pressure that is well beyond that of the normal water pressure found in UK homes.

Following this round of testing, the radiator sections are then sent back to the paint shop. 

They then receive a second layer of paint courtesy of our spray team. The final round of painting and polishing is carried out to produce a high-quality finish. 

By following this method, we create beautiful yet highly practical and functional cast iron radiators that will last for decades. 

What colours can Trads paint a radiator? 

This is generally the first question asked by a customer when they are enquiring about Trads’ radiator painting service. 

You might find the answer pleasantly surprising (especially if you’ve got a particular colour in mind) - 10,000. Yes, that’s correct, Trads can paint your new cast iron radiator in any one of 10,000 colours. So, if you’re looking to achieve a particular colour, it’s almost certain that Trads can achieve this for you. 

However, if those 10,000 colours are not quite what you’re looking for, Trads also offers a paint-matching service. Provide a wet sample of the colour you want and our expert in-house team will match it. 

We are also able to provide a variety of painted finishes including:

  • Metallic.
  • Semi-gloss.
  • Full-gloss.
  • Satin.
  • Hand-gilded.

We have invested in a specially-built paint shop so that we are able to offer the most comprehensive radiator painting service in the UK. 

If you’d like to inquire about a particular colour for your radiator, speak to one of our expert team now on 01400 318445 or use our email contact form

Can Trads paint my radiator with brand name paints? 

Perhaps you’re a fan of Farrow & Ball paints, Little Green paints or maybe you prefer C. Roberson & Co’s wonderful liquid metal paints? Either way, if you have a brand of paint that you’d like to use on your Trads cast iron radiator, we can facilitate it. 

You can view the complete range of Farrow & Ball paints that we can apply to your radiator here

We realise that colours don’t always look the same in real life as they do on a computer screen, so we also offer you the option of being able to receive up to six swatches through the post so you can see what our colours look like ‘in the flesh’.

What finishes does Trads offer? 

As well as painting your radiator, Trads can also apply a variety of finishes such as Polished, Patina and Hand Gilded finishes. These finishes are ideal for showing off the intricate detailing of your radiators. They can highlight raised elements and provide a layer of added depth to a radiator’s overall aesthetic. 

We realise, however, that it’s not always clear what the difference is between each type of finish, so we’ve provided further information below. 

Polished finishes

Polished finishes are amongst the most popular finishes at Trads. They really bring radiators to life - especially decorative radiators that have lots of detail. But there isn’t just one type of polished finish. We’ve detailed the most popular polished finishes below.

Hand Burnished

A hand burnished finish is achieved using a high degree of polishing using fine ceramic abrasives. The radiator is then buffed with a stitched polishing mop. This takes a considerable amount of time and is done by hand by our craftsmen in Lincolnshire. 

Although it’s labour intensive, we’re sure you’ll agree that it’s worth it, as it produces a radiator that is bursting with character. It’s the sort of finish that’ll make your radiator the centrepiece of a room.

Highlight Polish

A highlight polish involves each section of your radiator being first painted in the colour of your choice (highlight polishes work best when you select a dark colour such as black). Once painted, the radiator is then subjected to a delicate polish using a fine abrasive wheel. 

The craftsman will deliberately target the raised elements of the radiator’s design in order to highlight them. As with hand burnishing, highlighting polishing is a labour-intensive process, but one which delivers fantastic results.

A highlight polish is ideal if you want your radiator to have a beautifully authentic aged look and feel about it. 

Satin Polish

During a satin polish, a Trads radiator undergoes a ceramic abrasive process. However, in contrast to a hand burnished finish (which also involves a ceramic abrasive process), the final polishing process is changed to give a subtle sheen and a wonderful antiquated quality. The satin polish process is completed with an optional lacquer, protecting the finish and ensuring no maintenance to the finish is ever required. 

Patina finishes

Patina finishes make radiators look slightly weathered and aged. They are the ideal finish if you want to give your radiator an antique or retro look. As with polished finishes, there are several different types of patina finish. We’ve detailed some of the most popular ones below. 

Antiqued French Grey

If you want a radiator that adds a touch of rustic French farmhouse decor to your home, then the antiqued french grey finish is the perfect choice. French grey is a grey/green finish that characterfully flits between the two colours as the light in your home changes throughout the day. It is a warm and cosy finish which will give your Trads radiators a quality patina.

Vintage Copper

Offering a warm brown tone, our vintage copper finish is done by hand by our in-house craftsmen, creating a finish that sparkles with a copper lustre combined with darker tones within the recessed areas of your radiator. It’s a very interesting finish which will make your radiator a focal point of any room.

Hand gilded finishes

Gilding involves the application of a very fine layer of gold to the radiator’s surface. As you can imagine, it creates an elegant yet ornate look which will compliment a luxurious interior decor. At Trads we offer a number of different hand gilded finishes, the most popular of which we have detailed below. 

Gold Leaf Aged Black

The Gold Leaf Aged Black finish incorporates a hand gilded finish which has then been treated to create a light patina. This gives this finish its unique ‘black’ element, which makes it stand apart from other types of hand gilded finish. Because of the nature of this finish, no two gold leaf aged black radiators are the same.

Gold Leaf Italian Aged Red

This finish uses red gold leaf, which as the name suggests will provide a red hue to the gold leaf finish of your radiator. It’s also aged so that it features an elegant patina. This is a particularly ‘bright’ finish, so it’s the ideal choice if you want your new radiator to make an impact. 

Can I have my Trads radiator left ‘raw’?

Yes. Although many people want their radiators to be painted in a beautiful colour of their choice, we know that some people equally love a raw, ‘unfinished’ look to their radiators. 

If you’re one of those latter people, then choose Trads’ bare metal finish. This is a finish in which all of the manufacturing marks such as Casting Chaplets are left visible. This finish gives radiators an industrial, yet modern look. 

Trads’ bare metal finish does include an optional clear lacquer top coat. This ensures that the radiator is protected from corrosion and retains its pristine look for years. 

What do customers think of Trads’ radiator painting service? 

At Trads we are always listening to, and learning from, customer feedback. We actively use your reviews and insights to shape and improve our radiator painting service. Thanks to this approach we regularly receive brilliant five star reviews of this service. 

Here’s what one recent customer had to say about our painting service:

“I’ve purchased cast iron radiators from Trads multiple times now and the main reasons I keep going back to this company are the incredibly high quality of the products and the fantastic customer service. Each radiator I’ve received has been tailor made to my wants and when I required specific paint colours from particular brands this was no problem for the team. Delivery was prompt and I’m now the owner of efficient, sturdy and attractive radiators that have completely transformed the look of my house. Thank you, Trads!” - Mrs Kate Frankish.

That’s just one of many positive reviews that our painting service has received. 

If you’d like to discuss your radiator painting requirements in more detail, one of our expert team will be happy to help. Simply call 01400 318445 or use our email contact form.

Cast Iron Radiator Painting Inspiration

If you’re not too sure what kind of colour or finish would work well in your home, take a look at some brilliant examples which have been sent in by our customers. 

As you can see, whether you want a brilliant, bold eye-catching colour or a more understated hand burnished finish a Trads cast iron radiator will look amazing no matter what option you go for!

Time for a new custom painted cast iron radiator? 


If you’ve decided that the time is right for a new custom-painted cast iron radiator for your home, speak to Trads today. We’ll be happy to help and answer any questions no matter how simple or complex. Simply call our expert team on 01400 318445 or use our email contact form now.

Shop Trads cast iron radiators now

Have you recently purchased a Trads cast iron radiator? We love seeing our radiators in homes and sharing them on our Instagram page - tag us in your photos to be featured!

Find more cast iron radiator advice and information on the Trads blog

Your Complete Guide to Decorative Radiators | How Many Radiators Do I Need? | How to Fit a New Radiator to Your Central Heating System  

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