That’s like humans having a city called “Liver Pool.”
Firstly, I have every intention of making radiator covers for all the radiators so it's not really an aesthetic issue. My main concerns are the presence of lead paint, some radiators with surface rust, and a loss of efficiency from many layers of paint. I could get them blasted only, but the level of surface rust that some of them already have leads me to believe that would be a long term issue with my steam boiler. Apparently pin-holes can form from rust leading to a leaking radiator...
The price for blasting and coating 7 radiators is averaging 4k here in NYC with pickup and delivery. It's something we can technically afford, but I'm wondering if there are issues I'm not aware of or if I'm overly concerned and should just hose off the 30+ years of gunk and cover them up.
Edit: Thanks for all the input everyone. I'm going to forgo the stripping and put that money toward a new grill :-)
Here's my plan if it helps anyone out there: I decided the to clean them off real well with a degreaser. I'll PPE up and remove any loose bits and do some light sanding on the bare metal. I picked up a few cans of Krylon 600 degree high heat flat black paint to hit them with. I thought about using regular spray paint or high performance enamel but it's rated up to 200F. Steam heaters can definitely hit north of 212F and since I don't know the pressure limit of my system it seemed safer to go with the high heat paint. Also, the flat black will help them disappear behind the openings in the radiator covers. I'll leave them outside for a week to off gas. After the get reinstalled (with their new floor valves) I'll leave all the windows open for a day while the heat is on to let them off gas more. I'm gonna do this a few times before the fall when it gets to cold to open the windows!
Which implies that while he was in the can Phil Leotardo got really into rastafarianism. Shah of Iran, Rastafarianism, and Italian--he really is Mr. Worldwide.