This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
Radiators and pipes are often painted with aluminum or bronze paints. These consist of metallic powders, in fine flakes, mixed with some varnish - usually with a pyroxylin varnish, which is a thin solution of a variety of gun-cotton in a suitable solvent, generally acetate of amyl. If one of these paints - which smell somewhat like bananas - becomes thickened in the can by evaporation, it can usually be thinned with acetate of amyl, if some of the special thinner cannot be had; brushes can be washed out in the same. A good aluminum paint is durable, even exposed to the weather. One coat is usually enough, two certainly so.