We just bought an old house that has metal covers over the radiators. They are in rough shape so I want to sand and paint them. I'm wondering if I should use sandpaper or steel wool and also what kind of paint to use. I'm not sure if I have to use the high-heat paint since it's only the covers I'm painting and not the radiator itself. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks.
I would scrape all the loose and peeling paint, then hit it with a wire brush, then scrape some more (if it is peeling really badly) then sand with sandpaper trying to remove as much rust as you can.
you will have to prime with a rust inhibiting primer. I dont think the heat is as much of a problem as the type of metal you are painting - is it steel or galvanized? if it is galvanized you have to use acrylic paints or it will most definitely peel more quickly.
if it is steel you should probably get a spray can of rust inhibiting primer - it will cover the perforated metal better and you will not have to clean a brush with thinners.
I would go with an acrylic top coat. with the new VOC regulations that will take affect nationally in 2011 why put a material on that will not be available in a few years.