Cast iron radiators are very prone to rusting. But you can easily deal with it through sandblasting. Sandblasting is a process by which a machine, called sandblaster, is used to jet a steam of air and sand toward a surface to clean it of dirt, rust, and old paint. Sandblasting a radiator is a do-it-yourself task. But because it is quite meticulous and challenging, only the experienced Dyers should do this. Here is a guideline.
- Detach the radiator. Carefully disconnect the radiator, then bring it to the location where you intend to sandblast. Sandblasting should particularly be done outdoors or anywhere well-ventilated.
- Put on your safety clothes and gears. The sand will fly in all directions, so you need to completely protect yourself. Foremost, you need to wear goggles, dust mask, and gloves. If possible, wear painter’s suit as well to protect your entire body. If it is not available, you can instead use a hooded long-sleeved top and a pair of pants.
- Operate the sandblaster. Begin sandblasting by prepping up the sandblaster. When the sandblaster is ready, stand at least six to eight inches from the radiator and aim at it with your sandblaster. Make sure to move your sandblaster from one side to the other side until you cover the entire surface.
- Reach the tight areas. The hard to reach areas must also be sandblasted, so remember to direct the sandblaster’s nozzle at these areas. This will be pretty difficult, depending on how tight the areas are. Regardless, this should be meticulously done.
- Go over the sandblasted areas once more. To further remove the rust, dirt, and old paint, shoot the sand down to the radiator once again. You should increase the pressure or the temperature at this time. A temperature of around 200° F is helpful, but remember to base the temperature on the condition of your radiator. Again, make sure to move the nozzle from one side to the other. Stopping at one spot at any one time might cause surface damages.
- Clean the radiator. As soon as you are done sandblasting, remove the dust, sand, and paint flakes from the radiator’s surface. Make sure to clean it completely. Once done, your radiator should be rust- and dirt-free.
- Repaint your radiator. First, you need to apply primer to your radiator, giving the paint a good surface to hold. When the primer is already dry, you can begin the painting job. Remember to use paint that is appropriate for a radiator. Generally, metallic paints are a no-no. Also, read and follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions carefully, especially if this is your first repainting a radiator. After painting, let the radiator dry completely, then install it back to its place.
Remember that sandblasting is a time-consuming and messy task, so make sure you are very well prepared for this. Allow at least a day or two to complete this, depending on how rusty and dirty your radiator is. If in case you can’t complete this on time, better have a pro do it than keep it in the garage waiting.