house post · Uncategorized

House Post: More Radiators

There are eight cast-iron radiators in this house. They are powered via a steam heat furnace in the basement. They are huge and heavy and I kind of love them. They heat the house up quickly, and bring out a sort of old-house cozy smell and feel as they do. It’s also a moist heat, even in the depth of winter.

However, each of the radiators has its own problems. Some of them have been hideous colors. Some of them are neutral colors, but the paint is peeling badly. All of them are truly, unbelievably heavy.

Previously, we sent out two radiators to be sandblasted and I repainted them.

While I was doing the dining room, I sent out the next three radiators, all in rooms that were now finished. I also unhooked the study radiator to strip wallpaper and paint behind it. So: three radiators refinished, four rooms of painting completely done.


Study radiator: refinished already, but the wall behind it was not yet done.


Upstairs library, needed the wallpaper glue washed, then plastered, then primed, then two coats of paint. Each step was quick; it was the drying time that dragged this out.


It took us an hour and much agony to get these out and into the truck…


…and it took the guy at the granite shed about 2 minutes per radiator to move them over to the sandblasting area, a much further distance than we’d carried them.

They hung out at the granite shed for a few weeks – they do them in their off hours, when they’re not doing granite work – and then a week ago they were ready!


Then painted with primer and two coats of Rustoleum’s high heat paint in silver.



Four radiators still to go, hopefully next summer. Two of them are our largest in the house and we’ll have to hire people to help us get them out. I’ll also have sold the truck by then, hopefully, so it’s going to be a lot more complicated next time around either way.

4 thoughts on “House Post: More Radiators

  1. Ugh I am so familiar with that pain. Our boiler was rusted out when we bought the house, so we had to decide whether to replace it or install HVAC. We chose HVAC – the house had never had it before, but my husband can’t live without AC, and in the hot humid Indiana summers the house was suffering from humidity mold that HVAC took care of. Wish we could’ve kept ours, but man it was hard getting them out! I think we had 15. We gave as many away as we could and scrapped the rest. We got them all out in one piece except one that was over three feet long and four feet tall in the master bedroom. That one we had to sledgehammer and carry down in pieces.


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