Painting the Bedroom Radiator!

Renovating an old house eats your weekends. Always. I speak for myself, but I think it’s kind of universally true. There’s always a to-do list a mile long and more projects than you can reasonably be expected to complete. Then at the end of the weekend, the to-do list is still a mile long and it’s hard to feel like you’ve made much forward momentum even though somehow you felt so busy the whole time. That’s just how it is.

The big project of this weekend: a reset. Not a mental or physical one, because who has the time, but a house reset. With the bedroom renovation wrapping up and remaining wreckage (YES. STILL.) from the summer/fall exterior project (not quite finished, but the rest will have to wait until the weather improves in the spring), every single space in the house is crying out for some attention. Everything is filthy. Everything is out of order. Tools and supplies are all over the place. Before I dive into anything else, I’ve promised myself that I’ll put everything away, mop the floors, and feel less like a crazy person. It’s honestly possible that this process will go on for weeks—that’s the extent of it! So bad. But it’s starting to feel better.

ANYWAY, I did manage to do one real renovation thing that wasn’t just cleaning and sorting and tossing junk and carrying IKEA bags full of tools and stuff down to the basement.

I painted the bedroom radiator! And it looks so…handsome. Mmmmmm, mmmm.

Going back in time, this picture is from the very first night in the house, coming up on four years ago! Look at that sweet baby. We were all feeling very confused and disoriented, sleeping on an air mattress on the second floor—which had no working electricity or plumbing at the time—in a house where the last major thing to happen was the previous owner dying in the bathroom downstairs. Welcome home! We thought for sure we were all going to get murdered, either by an intruder or a ghost.

This is neither here nor there, but Mekko’s adopt-a-versary was this Saturday! Five whole years of Mekko! Where does the time go? I love that girl so much. She’s been such a champ through all the changes our lives have seen together, including renovating this house. Easy breezy beautiful perfection of a dog.

It wasn’t until I started working in earnest on the bedroom that I ever really paid too much attention to the condition of the radiator, which was less than stellar. I think because the second floor of the house was a separate apartment, the whole floor seems to have gotten a lot more attention than anything downstairs—most of the walls seem to have been sloppily repainted many times over the year, floors were (somewhat poorly) refinished at some point, that kind of thing. Over the course of time, it looks like this radiator has been painted a few different times, but I think they were always using the wall paint which is generally NOT a good plan. Regular wall paint might be OK for a while, but it isn’t made to bond with metal so after some time it all starts flaking.

In this case, much of the paint was not well-adhered and could be pretty easily chipped off with a collection of scrapers and picks and steel wool and the like, right down to the bare case iron! Which is very cool, in theory. I spent several hours over the course of a few days doing just that before I realized that I could probably spend the rest of my life manually scraping this thing. I tried some Peel Away paint remover on one fin as a test, which didn’t work super well and was a mess to clean up, and then I just said…NOPE. Enough of this. Sometimes you have to aim for perfection but then accept something less in the interest of not being stuck on one thing forever.

Enter, Valspar latex enamel*! After I felt confident that I’d scraped off what was clearly lifting and peeling from the original radiator, I used a dryer vent brush to clean between all the fins and stuff and then wiped everything I could down with some TSP substitute. Then, paint time! I LOVE this paint**. I used in on the radiator in the living room too without really knowing how it would perform, and it’s been FLAWLESS. No chipping, no peeling, dries very quickly and very hard, and can frequently be wiped down with a damp cloth to clean off dust. Since it’s interior/exterior, this is also what I plan to begin using on the exterior of my window sashes. It seems to perform very similarly to oil-based paint, but dries WAY faster and is easier to work with and clean up and more environmentally friendly than oil paint and all that good stuff.

*Consulting the can (just now, haha), they recommend this paint over primed metal—oops! Most of the radiator was still painted already so I’m just going to go with calling that the primer. It seems to have adhered perfectly to the bare metal, but it’s only been a couple days so who knows. I’d be really surprised if it peels. In any case, there are specific metal primers that are readily available that couldn’t have hurt.

**I have hot water radiators that never get THAT hot, so I know from past experience that I don’t need paints that are made specifically for high-heat applications. Steam radiators tend to get hotter and some hot water systems heat up more than this one, so if you’re in doubt it’s probably wise to use a high-heat paint. You should be able to find both spray paints and regular canned paints for this. Spray paint is great for radiators, but I’m too sloppy to do the proper prep to avoid overspray on walls/moldings/windows/floors/my body.

(Also I didn’t notice that my iPhone camera lens had some schmutz on it, so forgive the dramatic airbrush effect).

Ugh, this is so hard to photograph, but after my first coat I noticed there were some inner nooks and crannies that I couldn’t seem to really reach with a brush but you could still see when looking at the radiator. Especially going from white to black, this kind of thing can make the whole project look kind of sloppy.

The answer turned out to basically be finger-painting! Fun! For those inner crevices, you don’t have to worry so much about getting perfect coverage—just good enough that the old paint isn’t visible. I used to have this kind of painter’s mitt thing that works well for things like this, but I’m not sure I would have been able to reach the really tight spaces with it.

Then I followed up with a second coat with the brush, and that was pretty much it!

Isn’t that just gorgeous?! You might think that all of the details would get lost in the black paint, but it’s really the opposite. Especially because of the gloss factor, the details are now so beautiful and clear! I also LOVE how the black looks combined with the wall and trim colors. It’s all just making me very happy.

Radiators work best when they’re sitting nice and level, which doesn’t always agree with the floors in an old house! I love vintage glass furniture coasters to prop things like this up. You have to be careful not to break them as you’re putting them in because the weight of the radiator can obviously easily break the edges and stuff, but once they’re in they hold the weight just fine. I tend to find these around junk shops and antique stores, and usually they’re not more than a couple bucks a piece.

That’s it! I need to pick up some escutcheons for where the supply and return pipes go into the floor, but otherwise I’m calling it done! MAYBE someday I’ll be feeling really flush and decide to have the radiators sandblasted and powdercoated, but in the meantime I’m more than satisfied with how this looks and happy that I don’t have to worry about the paint continuing to flake off all over the place.

And look, I remembered I have a big rug! It’s not what I picture in here long-term and the size is a little weird (an 8×10 would be ideal, and this is like 7.5’x12′), but having something down immediately makes the room feel much more complete. Rug hoarding for the win!

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

Follow me everywhere

Archives: 2010-2022

Popular Categories

This blog uses affiliate links. Sponsored posts are always identified clearly in the body of the post text and by using the “sponsored post” tag.

Leave a Comment


  1. 1.30.17

    Get a load of all those curlicues! Beautiful! They don’t make ’em like that anymore. The glossy black is perfect.
    Bravo on the paint job and on getting your fingers out of the radiator’s innards.

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, you! :)

  2. 1.30.17
    Adrien said:

    The radiator looks like a million bucks!

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Adrien!

  3. 1.30.17
    Noelle said:

    It really does look great! I used those glass furniture things to put under the legs of our cast iron tub to more evenly distribute the weight on the new tile floor (and help to not crack the tiles). And they look pretty too!

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Man, that’s a ton of weight! Good to know they hold up!

  4. 1.30.17
    Liz said:

    I’ve never been so jealous of a radiator/rug/floor shot before

    • 1.30.17
      southern gal said:



    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Thanks guys! :)

  5. 1.30.17
    Nadine said:

    Amazing how the black brought out all that detail.
    It looks great. I hope your sleeping on your new room.
    Thank you for ANOTHER POST!

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      No prob! I’m trying to get (back?) into a better blogging habit!

  6. 1.30.17
    Sally said:

    Wow! I’d never really noticed all the beautiful detailing on old cast-iron radiators before. The black makes it really stand out. In all the new york apartments I’ve rented over the years radiators were crusty, painted-over eye atrocities, but this cleaned up so beautifully. It’s even changed my opinion about radiator covers. I used to get covers made to order, even in rentals, but if I ever encounter radiators again, I’m going to restore them and let their beauty stand alone.

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Thanks Sally, that’s fun to hear! Radiators vary a lot in their detailing (older ones tend to be more ornate than later styles), but I think they’re pretty beautiful regardless! Especially nicely restored or even just with a new paint job like I did here.

  7. 1.30.17
    doorot said:


    Love it :) People throw cast iron radiators out on the streets here in Belgium, a crying shame. They are so so pretty!

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Yes, that’s fairly common here, too! Of course if the local salvage shop gets ahold of them, they then try to turn around and sell then for hundreds of dollars. It’s really too bad! I think there’s an impression out there that radiators are fussy or inefficient and a different type of system (like forced air) would be more efficient and comfortable, but it’s not true! It’s possible someday I’ll be in a position to add a forced air A/C system (at least for the upstairs, which gets so hot in the summer and I hate window units!), but I can’t imagine wanting to scrap my hot water radiators altogether! I love the way they look and they work so incredibly well.

    • 2.4.17
      Beth said:

      Don’t get rid of the radiators. They’re not just pretty: I think radiators provide more even heat as well, especially in an older home with poor insulation. With forced air it gets really cold and drafty when the heat kicks off. The radiators continue to radiate heat.

      Question: how did you put the furniture coasters under the radiator? Did you have to disconnect the radiator to do that, or just tilt it and hope for the best?

    • 2.16.17
      Daniel said:

      I wouldn’t dream of getting rid of my radiators! They’re beautiful and work exceptionally well. :)

      In this case, I was able to just kinda lift up and tip back the whole radiator enough to sneak the coasters in, but this radiator (and a few others in my house) are plumbed with PEX for anything that’s not visible—the iron supply and return pipes coming up through the floor reduce to a 1″ PEX line right below the floor. Since PEX is kinda flexible, the radiators can be maneuvered a little more than normal, but most radiators in my experience can be moved small amounts (especially up and down) without issue—the weight is what gets you! Definitely not a one person job—take it from the guy who did it alone! :)

  8. 1.30.17
    Martha Solomon said:

    The first paragraph of this post came at the perfect time! I feel this way about my house and Mondays are the worst…even with a few things crossed off the list over the weekend, I realize what a long way I still have to go. It’s just the way it is when you love old houses:)

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Right?! I think that Sunday night/Monday morning feeling of disappointment or whatever just comes with the territory.

  9. 1.30.17
    Florian said:

    I was going to cuss you out so hard! Still no big reveal! You’re such a tease! But then I’m all like, Hello Mister! That’s a sexy radiator, that is… Yeah, get your hand all up in there! Alright, so I had one, two, many drinks too many, but still, look at the coasters on that one! Also, have I ever told you, I think it’s so cute when American’s use the word Schmutz? Schmutz, adorable…

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Haha! I’m sorry!! Wider shots to come!

      (yay, yiddish!)

  10. 1.30.17
    Kerry said:

    I’ve never found a radiator gorgeous: until now. And I grew up with them! Love what you did, looking forward to see more of your room. Enjoy!

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Kerry! I love that!

  11. 1.30.17
    Aparnaa said:

    Goodness me, I wish my radiators looked that lovely. They’re so lovely I actually used the phrase “goodness me.”

  12. 1.30.17
    Bonnie said:

    The radiator is gorgeous, but I think I like the glass furniture coasters best of all. I have a few oak ones. I didn’t even know they came in glass — probably I’ve seen them and thought they were salt cellars or something. I’ll know better next time!
    It’s always lovely to see one of the dogs!

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Yeah, I wonder how many sets I passed up before even knowing what they were! I also see them commonly in brown or green glass—I have a couple green ones that I love! Etsy and eBay have a lot of if you don’t run into any locally.

  13. 1.30.17
    Jessica said:

    Doing that whole house tidy will do woooonders for your mental health, so good on ya. And black radiator is making that room really look eleghant! Getting it all set up must be moments away! Looking forward to see what you do in here and to you getting to enjoy some fruits of your labours very soon. Muah!

    (did you win the laundry makeover? I voted, but now I can’t tell)

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Thank you, Jessica! The whole house clean-up is definitely good, and definitely making me confront just how much crap I have! Put another way, how many wonderful things I have that I have no actual place or plan for! It’s kind of amazing what I can accumulate over the course of a few years.

      I don’t know about the laundry makeover! I don’t think they’ve announced it. There were some serious issues with voting that I think they have to figure out—hopefully they’ll be able to get it resolved!

    • 2.2.17
      Jessica said:

      You won – woohoooo! And here’s to some main floor plumbing! I do keep thinking about your kitchen. I know you have a vision and I look forward to hearing/seeing what you do in there, as well as the vindication of using the og main floor tub.

    • 2.16.17
      Daniel said:

      Eeeeew, yay!! I’m working on a post about the kitchen now! Anything that involves sketch-up takes me forever.

  14. 1.30.17
    Tracy Bacholzky said:

    Love your radiator post, as I have them throughout my 1901 Victorian in Almont, Mi. Wondering what is happening with the Bluestone Cottage next door.

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      I’ll post about it soon!

  15. 1.30.17
    Cindi M said:


    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Cindi!

  16. 1.30.17
    Judi said:

    Oh GOSH I miss our old Brooklyn cast iron rads. Thank you for the eye candy.

    How do you think this paint would work on cabinets? I did our kitchen in Ben Moore Advance, but the darker colors don’t hold up as well. I tried Valspar Optimus on our island but don’t love the satin finish as much as I would with a true enamel. Could this be the HG oil based replacement? What do you think?

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      I think the paint would probably be great on cabinets! It does come in different sheens, but I don’t think it can be tinted which might be a deal-breaker. Not totally sure about the tinting part. Benjamin Moore recently released a line called Aura Grand Entrance which is a water-based enamel that is marketed basically as an oil-based replacement. I’ve used it, and it’s very nice! That one can definitely be tinted to whatever you want.

      If you’re having difficulty getting the smooth finish, have you tried an additive like Floetrol? I’ve used that for various things a few times in the past, and it really does help achieve a very nice finish.

    • 1.31.17
      Judi said:

      Yeah, I was looking at the Valspar product and it seemed to come in white and…black. Admittedly my two faves but my lower kitchen cabs are Midnight Dream (Soot +1).

      So forgive the additional question, but do you think the new Aura Grand Entrance (which I was curious about when it was announced) is BM’s attempt to solve the problems they had with Advance? Again, I love the durability of the lighter colors in the Advance line, but as my contractor said when he was painting our front door ”“ and as I said when I was painting our kitchen cabinets ”“ never has a paint taken this long to dry. No matter how well it levels, it’s not worth it.

      I was considering trying Floetrol with the Optimus but…the satin just lacks that certain oil-based-y gloss….

      Thanks for all the help!

  17. 1.30.17

    The details on the radiator are so impressive. I cannot believe it’s not sand blasted. Thanks for posting. You remind me the details are awesome.

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Annie! I was really pleasantly surprised by how well the details show even with the accumulation of a few layers of paint! :)

  18. 1.30.17
    Devyn said:

    Yay for the smaller projects!!! This looks fabulous!
    It is amazing how even common items could have so much detail in the days of yore. Our 1910 apartment had very similar radiators originally (some of our neighbors still do), but they were replaced with streamline rads in the 30’s. Efficient, but not so pretty.

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Isn’t it nuts? Victorians were so insane. I love it. It’s certainly a huge contrast with the aluminum baseboard radiators of today, which it turns out are actually less efficient than these much older counterparts! Even though my house pre-dates radiators so these aren’t original-original, I feel so lucky to have these still intact and working away. :)

  19. 1.30.17
    Jeanna said:

    They are so pretty, aren’t they :) The black really makes them shine :)

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Jeanna!

  20. 1.31.17
    Karen said:

    Were you concerned when scraping off the old paint, that it could have been lead? I have to do the same thing but am a bit nervous that the rads in this 1929 Sears mail order house was painted over the years with lead paint. If possibly so, I don’t relish the thought of breathing the lead dust.

    Yours looks just gorgeous!

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Karen, yes—at least the innermost layer(s) of paint are almost certainly lead-based. Another reason I stopped trying to get too crazy with all the picking and scraping! Here are basically your options, as far as I know:

      1. Similar to here, scrape off what’s loose, wash down, and give everything a fresh coat of paint. This is the “encapsulation” strategy, which is perfectly permissible for dealing with potential lead hazards. When you’re scraping, try to spritz areas with a spray bottle (the water will help contain the dust and prevent it from becoming airborne), and wet and wipe up chips afterward. Vacuum area with a HEPA-filter equipped vacuum.
      2. You can have the radiators sand-blasted for you, which should remove all the paint down to the bare cast iron. From there you can have them powder-coated (often the sandblasting place also does this), or paint or varnish them yourself at home to save some money.
      3. You can have the radiators dipped, meaning they literally get submerged in a big tank of chemicals that strips off the paint. I think this is kind of the gold standard because sandblasting can cause minor damage to the details and make the ornate areas less pronounced. Again, from there, powdercoat or paint.
      4. You can chemically strip them yourself, which I did some research on and it sounds horrible, but basically you create a big chemical bath outdoors and do the dipping process yourself, more or less.

      Obviously only the first option allows you to do work on the radiator without draining the system, disconnecting it, and moving it out of the house (all huge pains!) and is the least expensive. A little precaution when working with lead-based paint goes a long way, you just want to familiarize yourself with lead-safe reno practices before starting. :)

  21. 1.31.17
    Daniel Kennedy said:

    I love the outcome. Gloss black is definitely attractive on it!

    In the future, if you’re trying to take basically any kind of paint or coating off of something, try automotive Brake Fluid. I’ve used it to take powdercoating off of rims. We use it in the radio control world to remove paint from plastic bodies. The stuff is great.

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Huh, I’ve never heard that one before! I’ll give it a shot next time!

  22. 1.31.17
    Erica W. said:

    Oh, congrats on Mekko’s adopt-a-versary! That sweet face! More dog photos, please!

    I have steam radiators in my place and I shimmed some of them up because they were un-level and then they started banging and clanking — they were filling up with water. The oil/radiator guys came and said steam ones have to be pitched downward (towards the pipe) in order to function properly. I scraped some of mine and I had one sandblasted at a shop — no appreciable difference in looks or function (obv scraping was much cheaper). Your radiator looks great!

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      More dogs—noted! They’ve been slacking on their modeling careers.

      I didn’t know that about steam radiators—thank you for sharing! Steam seems a little more finicky in general than hot water. Good to know! Can you imagine a forced air system getting fixed by just slanting something in a slightly different direction? I love how rudimentary but effective these systems are.

      That’s interesting that you don’t notice a big difference in the sandblasted one vs. the others! I thought for sure I’d save up and get the radiators sandblasted/powdercoated someday, but this one is actually in the worst condition of almost any of them…and now it looks like this! Now that I know it can clean up like this without a ton of work, I doubt I’ll ever deal with the sandblasting hassle and expense. This is good enough for me!

    • 1.31.17
      Adrien said:

      Having had both hot water systems and steam systems (both ancient and brand new), I can vouch for the fact that a hot water system delivers heat in a far more pleasant manner overall!

      As you mentioned, the heater never gets that hot. In both cases they’re pretty complex systems that have to be perfectly balanced, and I never *quite* understood how the heating system was able to figure out how hot to keep the water since there’s actually a thermostat on the *outside* of the building a lot of times (though I imagine there are variants to that). They make no noise, ever. They radiate, and they’re cozy.

      For a number of reasons, steam systems are prevalent here in New York City.

      There are a number of steam plants that has been providing steam to buildings from downtown to 96th street since the 19th century. It’s, apparently, a pretty efficient way to move energy around, – and somewhat counter-intuitively, is also used for air conditioning (though the science of that is a bit beyond my grasp – something to do with differences in temperature rather than the temperature of the steam).

      My previous (5th-floor-walkup-rat-infested-shitbox) apartment just had a number of steam pipes than ran from floor to ceiling (and up to the apartment above and so forth). They got *extremely* hot. There was one in the tiny NYC bathroom that was kind of in the way of getting in/out of the shower, so that led to a few unpleasant experiences when I wasn’t paying enough attention.

      I though I escaped that by moving into a brand new construction, but alas, the through-the-wall A/C and heating unit is a monstrosity of a machine that was obviously designed by a sadist. And they’re everywhere here! A thermostat controls a valve that lets the steam into a coil that runs atop the unit. To provide enough heat, a jet-engine-loud fan turns on to force air through the unit and warm up the room.

      We also have a steam system at work (I work in an old office building in Midtown that was built in the 1920’s). Every time the system turns on, it sounds like someone is hitting the pipes with a sledgehammer for about a minute before the radiator starts hissing. Let’s call it quaint.

      You have me longing for my old hot water radiators.

    • 1.31.17
      Adrien said:

      Accurate for the steam radiators needing to be slightly slanted. As the steam travels through, some of it condensates.

  23. 1.31.17
    Stephanie Zell said:

    Can I please tell you how much I love your work! I also love how much you have been posting lately. I have an old (1892) house in Atlanta that needs help, but I don’t have radiators and the like. Nor do I actually fix up anything ;) I still absolutley love reading how you fix yours up. I like seeing your sense of style as well. It meshes fairly well with mine, though I’m a bit less minimal. I even “built” my back bookshelf just like the one you have in your downstairs. Anyways, just wanted to say I’m a fan.

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Thank you, Stephanie! That’s so kind! Your place looks great, too!! I’m gonna come steal your falcon chair.

  24. 1.31.17
    kate said:

    Ooh, what is the gray that you used for the walls in this room? I suppose I could start searching backwards to find it, but I figured I’d ask first anyway.

    • 1.31.17
      Daniel said:

      Benjamin Moore’s Oil Cloth, matte! It’s a beautiful green/grey. :)

  25. 1.31.17
    Jodi said:

    Oooooh! It looks fantastic!

  26. 1.31.17
    jana said:

    good god that’s gorgeous! i can’t wait to see the whole bedroom.

  27. 1.31.17
    Liz said:

    Your radiators look amazing! You’re starting to convert me (and have me longing) to use black paint. It really does show off the details of the radiator so much more than that awful flat white paint.

  28. 1.31.17
    Sterling said:

    Has it really been five years? Good lord. Mekko is still in a three-way tie for my favorite internet dog (with Linus and Fritz, of course). Those furniture coasters are everything. I did not know those were a thing and now I have a new item to obsessively hunt for…thanks a lot.

  29. 1.31.17
    greta said:

    I always love the way your after pictures look so serene and neat!

  30. 1.31.17
    Laura C said:

    These little glimpses are amazing – can’t wait to see the finished room!

  31. 1.31.17
    Anna said:

    Woah, it looks awesome! Great job. The black paint really brings out the detail.

    ALSO, did you win the laundry room update challenge? I can’t find the winner on Angie’s website :(

  32. 1.31.17
    Lynn Colorado said:

    Your photos of this radiator, how striking it looks between the windows and paint and trim….truly bee-yoo-tee-ful. Simply LOVE it. Well done.

  33. 1.31.17
    Marcus said:

    Having at least one sanctuary in the chaos is so important… and what a sanctuary you have! Reducing the chaos is good too ;) keep it up!

  34. 2.1.17
    Sara L. said:

    Love that radiator! Can’t believe the detail on that thing. And I love your description of your first night in your house. I think the first night in any new place is always very disorienting. Our first night in our current house, we didn’t have our furniture yet, and had to steam clean all the carpeting because it was disgusting, so our little 18 month old son slept in his playpen while his father and I curled up in one just-purchased blanket in the hallway on the still damp floors. Fun!

  35. 2.1.17
    greta said:

    Just checked Angie’s list!!! Congratulations and special thanks to your Mom.

    • 2.2.17
      Adrien said:

      * I got super invested in your Angie’s List contest and was initially kind of devastated… but.. YEEAAAAHH! (Good things happen to good people!)

    • 2.2.17
      Daniel said:

      YEAHHHHHHH is right! Thank you for the votes!! *big hugs!*

    • 2.2.17
      Daniel said:

      AHHHHHHHH! Thank you for letting me know!! MAN, MN readers are just the fucking best. I’m so excited!

  36. 2.2.17

    Ooh! It looks fab. Well worth all the effort you put into it. And I hadn’t seen those glass furniture coasters before – very cool!

  37. 2.2.17
    Annemiek den Hollander said:

    Awesome! Love the radiator and how the details seem to be accentuated by the dark paint. Who would’ve thought a radiator could look this pretty.

  38. 2.3.17
    Caroline said:

    Gorgeous indeed! Valspar Enamel never disappoints! ….Quick question(s)– what kind of TSP substitute do you use, and why do you use TSP substitute instead of regular TSP? Thanks!

    • 2.16.17
      Daniel said:

      Good question! TSP substitute is more environmentally friendly and readily available than real TSP, and it’s what I already had around. I’ve been using it for years and it seems to work well! I use either a powdered or concentrated liquid formula from any hardware store, just follow package instructions for dilution and whatnot. :)

  39. 2.4.17
    Robin in Umbria said:

    Daniel, Your radiator looks fantastic! So glamorous. Such a nice contrast against your newly painted walls. Love it, with all the intricate details. I am beyond THRILLED you won the contest with your laundry makeover. Congratulations! Certainly deserved!
    (the voting seemed to be going a bit strangely?!)
    (Can’t wait to see what exciting things you do with your winnings…we renovators know…)

    • 2.16.17
      Daniel said:

      Thank you, Robin! It was hugely flattering and exciting to win the laundry contest! Manhattan Nest readers blow me away. They did have some technical issues with the voting but they were able to get it resolved and generate a fair result.

      And yeah, those winnings are going STRAIGHT down the drain…literally…because this guy needs some plumbing done! Luckily I can’t imagine anything much more exciting than that. :)

  40. 2.6.17
    John said:

    Love the transformation! The gloss black really shows off the intricate details of the metal. When I paint little nooks and crannies, I sometimes use an artists oil paint brush with a long thin handle. The extended reach and thin handle makes those areas so much more accessible. And a fan brush can sneak past narrow slots and then, with a twist of the wrist, cover a wide area behind. :)

    • 2.16.17
      Daniel said:

      Ah, great idea! Thanks John!

  41. 2.7.17
    Colleen Prendergast said:

    In a world of increasingly crappy news, the aftershots of that radiator have brought me a measure of calm. Thank you for that.

    Also – when are you going to reveal the transformation of the Hell House renovation you were doing? :-)

    • 2.16.17
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Colleen. I think a lot of us are searching for anything to give us some calm right now—I’m glad the radiator did that a little for ya! It’s insanity out there.

      Soon! Soon!

  42. 2.8.17
    kmkat said:

    That radiator looks fantastic! Love it. And we those glass furniture coasters when I was a kid in the 1950s. Too bad I have no idea what happened to them.

  43. 2.9.17
    Mucky said:

    We just moved into a historic house (1894), and are living with contractors ATM so I feel your pain about only living in sections of your home. We still have the exposed pipes to the ceiling with two of our radiators and they drive me crazy. I’m so jealous your pantry & closet projects allowed you to remove the pipes and shuffle the radiators!!

    I just spent the majority of my morning with a vacuum and a dryer lint brush trying to clean between the fins, so I’d be scared of painting it black if you asked me earlier. But it looks SO GOOD you’re making me re-think everything. And the glass coasters are genius!!! Never have seen those before. Behind my covers are ugly and awful shims to level the rads.

    Thanks for the inspirational blog posts, gives hope to me and my old house.

    • 2.16.17
      Daniel said:

      Aw, thanks, Mucky! Congrats on the new house! It sounds like a very exciting project!

      Depending on how extensive the renovation is, you may be able to lose those exposed radiator pipes! It can take a lot of head-scratching to figure out a new path that makes sense, but if you’re down to the studs anywhere (or don’t mind a little demo to open up a bay), you may be able to conceal them by going up a wall (or through a closet) and across a ceiling to get where you need to go. I’ve done that in a couple places in my house, and it has the added effect of throwing off a little radiant floor heat where the pipes are running between first floor ceilings and second floor floors. :)

  44. 2.11.17
    may said:

    Hi Daniel! After a couple of years of waiting breathlessly for your updates on ‘crazy-can’t-believe-he’s-going-to-do-that’ projects, I’m finally leaving you a note to tell you how much I love your flair for life and courage to follow your vision. Every single one of your post makes me want to pack a bag, drop on your door and hope you’ll just sigh and hand me a hammer =]

    • 2.16.17
      Daniel said:

      Aw, that’s so kind, May! Thank you!

      (And yeah, come on by! I organized the tools yesterday so you can have your pick of hammer!)

  45. 2.12.17
    Barb said:

    The radiator does look awesome. But what have you done for me lately, as they say. Almost 2 weeks and still the radiator. No one would mind a few shorter posts once in a while. Please.