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Metal, MDF, and damp - our 3rd and final look at household paint...

Our third blog on paint (well we all need to do some touching up at some point...) looks at some of the more specialists tasks, the jobs that may be done less often but can be required for any home none the less.  

First of all radiators, they'll go for many years barely noticed, assuming they're doing the job required of them. But in time they may need a tidy up, or you want to get adventurous with the colour.

Metal paint

One of the best options for radiators is metal paint due to its heat-resistant qualities. You should expect to pay around £12 to £50 for a litre of metal paint. Metal radiator paint has excellent heat-resistant qualities so it will protect the radiator regardless of higher temperatures. Some metal paints can also be applied over rust, so there is no need to remove minor rusting before painting. But, metal paint can be hard to apply as it's usually quite thick, and it's nearly impossible to remove from your paintbrush.

Heat-resistant Paint

Heat-resistant paint is ideal for metal radiators as you would expect, they can withstand temperatures up to 750 degrees. The average price for heat-resistant paint is about £16 to £25 per litre. The big advantage of a heat-resistant paint is that even at a radiators hottest temperature the paint can withstand any damage. The majority of heat-resistant paints are also able to prevent rusting. The smell of heat-resistant paint can be quite strong so it makes the application a little harder, and the room will need to be ventilated. You may also have to apply two coats as heat-resistant paint tends to be runny.

Spray paint

One of the most practical ways to paint a radiator is by using spray paint, which costs around £6 to £8 per bottle. Using spray paint on your radiators should ensure that the finish is long-lasting and can withstand damage. It also offers extensive heat-resistance up to 750 degrees. Spray painting can be a messy process though, to avoid getting paint on your walls, you will need to remove your radiator, which may be too much for many of us.

How about paint for MDF? perhaps the kid's furniture or some cabinet doors. 

According to the expert advice we have, for any furnishings made of medium-density fibreboard (MDF) wood, you will need to find the right paint to ensure that it's long-lasting, safe and secure.

Oil-based paint

We've been advised that oil-based paint is the preferred choice for MDF applications. The cost of oil-based paint is usually around £10 to £25 per litre. The main advantage of oil-based MDF paint is that it is extremely durable, and can protect the MDF from any scrapes. They can be hard to apply though, and they're smelly, so you will need to make sure that the room is ventilated properly.

Acrylic MDF paint

A popular alternative is acrylic MDF paint, which can be used as a primer and a topcoat. Acrylic paint tends to cost around £5 to £15 per litre. The main advantage of choosing an acrylic-based MDF paint is that it dries much quicker, and it's very easy to clean as its water-based. Acrylic or latex paint may be more expensive as you will have to buy more to achieve full coverage.

Need to paint over varnish?

If you have any varnished wood, perhaps bannisters or furniture, and it's starting to wear away, then it is possible to paint over it if you use one of the following types of paint. We would always recommend rubbing down as much as possible, ideally to remove all of the old varnishes, and there are solutions to help with this process but that's too technical for us today, perhaps another time.

Chalk paint

Chalk paint is a decorative paint which has a matte finish and is normally used on furniture. The average cost of chalk paint is around £20 to £60 per litre. Chalk paint is perfect for any DIY as it is easy to apply, and it also hides any imperfections very well, so your varnished furnishings could look brand new. It also dries very quickly and there's no need for a primer either, so the whole job may not take too long. The problem with chalk paint is that it is quite thick so it can leave brush marks, so invest in quality brushes and give it a trial to ensure you're happy with results first.

And finally, what about the best paint for damp walls, sometimes you have to live with them...

Always take professional advice with penetrating damp or mould, and click here for some further information, but if it's not too severe, or a risk to health, one of those things we sometimes have to live with for some properties, then you can use the following paint types to help combat the problem.

Damp-proof paint

Ideal for damp walls, as it is normally used as a primer to trap moisture and prevent damp from damaging your walls. Damp-proof tends to cost around £15 to £20 per litre. The main advantage of damp-proof paint is that it reduces the resurfacing of damp, as it acts as a barrier to prevent moisture from entering the walls. Damp-proof paint is easy to apply and maintain and should help save time and money. However, if too much damp-proof paint is applied, then this can cause the surface to become wet, which will prevent it from protecting your walls.

Anti-condensation paint

Anti-condensation paint acts as a type of insulation for your walls, protecting it against damp and any other damage caused by moisture build-up. It generally costs around £16 to £25 per litre, it can prevent all moisture problems including mould, discolouration, and staining. If you choose a water-based product then it will also be very easy to clean and maintain. It requires at least two coats and can be quite difficult to apply so it might not be the best job for big projects, best for one wall or one room.

So there we are, our final blog on paint, we hope it's useful and at least arms you with enough knowledge to ask the right questions in the DIY store. And please ensure you seek personal, expert advice if you're really not sure what paint is going to be absolutely right for that big project.

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