how do you remove paint from a house radiator?

the radiator is an old fashion steam radiator that can't be removed from the room. It is made of cast iron.

NachoMahma8 years ago
. Cover the floor and nearby walls with plastic sheets. Use paint remover/stripper. Most strippers are pretty nasty, so wear PPE (chemical gloves, goggles, &c) and make sure the room is well ventilated.
An Excerpt from here.

The techniques availablerange from physical processes, such as wire brushing and grit blasting,to flame cleaning and chemical methods. The selection of an appropriatetechnique depends upon how much paint failure and corrosion has occurred,the fineness of the surface detailing, and the type of new protective coatingto be applied. Local environmental regulations may restrict the optionsfor cleaning and paint removal methods, as well as the disposal of materials.

Many of these techniques are potentially dangerous and should be carriedout only by experienced and qualified workers using proper eye protection,protective clothing, and other workplace safety conditions. Before selectinga process, test panels should be prepared on the iron to be cleaned todetermine the relative effectiveness of various techniques. The cleaningprocess will most likely expose additional coating defects, cracks, andcorrosion that have not been obvious before.

There are a number of techniques that can be used to remove paint andcorrosion from cast iron:

Hand scraping, chipping, and wire brushing are the most common and leastexpensive methods of removing paint and light rust from cast iron. However, they do not remove all corrosion or paint as effectivelyas other methods. Experienced craftsmen should carry out the work to reducethe likelihood that surfaces may be scored or fragile detail damaged.

Low-pressure grit blasting (commonly called abrasive cleaning or sandblasting)is often the most effective approach to removing excessive paint buildupor substantial corrosion. Grit blasting is fast, thorough, and economical,and it allows the iron to be cleaned in place. The aggregate can be ironslag or sand; copper slag should not be used on iron because of the potentialfor electrolytic reactions. Some sharpness in the aggregate is beneficialin that it gives the metal surface a "tooth" that will resultin better paint adhesion. The use of a very sharp or hard aggregate and/orexcessively high pressure (over 100 pounds per square inch) is unnecessaryand should be avoided. Adjacent materials, such as brick, stone, wood,and glass, must be protected to prevent damage. Some local building codesand environmental authorities prohibit or limit dry sandblasting becauseof the problem of airborne dust.

Wet sandblasting is more problematic than dry sandblasting for cleaningcast iron because the water will cause instantaneous surface rusting andwill penetrate deep into open joints. Therefore, it is generally not consideredan effective technique. Wet sandblasting reduces the amount of airbornedust when removing a heavy paint buildup, but disposal of effluent containinglead or other toxic substances is restricted by environmental regulationsin most areas.

Flame cleaning of rust from metal with a special multi-flame head oxyacetylenetorch requires specially skilled operators, and is expensive and potentiallydangerous. However, it can be very effective on lightly to moderately corrodediron. Wire brushing is usually necessary to finish the surface after flamecleaning.

Chemical rust removal, by acid pickling, is an effective method of removingrust from iron elements that can be easily removed and taken to a shopfor submerging in vats of dilute phosphoric or sulfuric acid. This methoddoes not damage the surface of iron, providing that the iron is neutralizedto pH level 7 after cleaning. Other chemical rust removal agents includeammonium citrate, oxalic acid, or hydrochloric acid-based products.

Chemical paint removal using alkaline compounds, such as methylene chlorideor potassium hydroxide, can be an effective alternative to abrasive blastingfor removal of heavy paint buildup. These agents are often availableas slow-acting gels or pastes. Because they can cause burns, protectiveclothing and eye protection must be worn. Chemicals applied to a non-watertightfacade can seep through crevices and holes, resulting in damage to thebuilding's interior finishes and corrosion to the backside of the ironcomponents. If not thoroughly neutralized, residual traces of cleaningcompounds on the surface of the iron can cause paint failures in the future. For these reasons, field application of alkaline paint removersand acidic cleaners is not generally recommended.

Following any of these methods of cleaning and paint removal, the newlycleaned iron should be painted immediately with a corrosion-inhibiting primerbefore new rust begins to form. This time period may vary from minutesto hours depending on environmental conditions. If priming is delayed,any surface rust that has developed should be removed with a clean wirebrush just before priming, because the rust prevents good bonding betweenthe primer and the cast-iron surface and prevents the primer from completelyfilling the pores of the metal.