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bug 02-10-2009 11:09 AM

Need to paint metal baseboard heat covers
What is the best way to paint my metal baseboard heat covers?
I know to clean, remove a tiny bit of rust on the inside and sand.
What kind of primer and paint should I use, spray or paint with brush or roller?


slickracer 02-10-2009 08:03 PM

I painted a couple a few years ago. I used a paint stripper to take them to the bare metal, primed with Coverstain and then 2 coats of SW Proclassic semi-gloss.

Nestor_Kelebay 02-10-2009 10:08 PM

For iron or steel you're better off using an oil based primer and an oil based top coat.

The reason why is that latex paints are permeable to humidity, and that will allow moisture to penetrate down to the warm metal and allow rust to start growing under the paint.

Go to
Click on:
- the burgundy "Sellers and Specifiers" link (top, right)
- the "PQI Architect Modules" link from the list on the left
- the "Download Now" link for the PDF file entitled "Considerations about paint for metal surfaces".

Read it. Post again if there's something in it you don't understand.

The Paint Quality Institute was established and is funded by the Rohm & Haas Company, who are the largest manufacturer of polymethyl methacrylate (aka: Plexiglas) resins used to make latex paints in North America. The purpose of the Paint Quality Institute is to make painters, paint retailers, paint specifiers and the general public more aware of the benefits of using high quality latex paints.

The PQI "Architect Modules" were put together by the Paint Quality Institute in preparation for a series of seminars conducted to teach architects about latex painta so that they could make better decisions on what kinds of paints to use and where to use them.

bug 02-11-2009 08:03 AM

What if I don't take the paint off? It is the original manufacturer finish just ugly dirty camel color.
In a google search I found you could sand, clean and prime with a metal primer like rustoleum then paint with latex. Is that bad?

ratherbefishin' 02-11-2009 09:29 AM

I tried that once, a long time ago when I didn't know any better, with a couple ceiling AC vents. Primed with rusty metal primer and painted over with latex to match the ceiling. In a few months, rust was bleeding through the paint. The latex was apparently wicking moisture and caused the primer to fail, exactly as Nestor described. Granted, your baseboard covers wouldn't be as prone to condensation as my AC vents, but I'd stick with oil based. If color match with your walls is a concern, take a sample to a paint store and they can match it in an oil based. Yes, you can paint over the factory finish if it's still in good condition. Just clean it with alcohol and lightly sand it so you'll get good adhesion.

bug 02-11-2009 09:53 AM

gotcha, thank you

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