How to Paint a Wooden Radiator Cover

Sometimes when decorating your home, it’s the little details that really make a difference. 

One detail that can go a long way in transforming the feel of any room is the colour of your radiator covers. From a minimalistic white or grey, to a warming orange or brown, the colour of your radiator cover can be used to add a pop of something new to the room, or tie the entire colour scheme together. 

In this article, we will talk you through some of our top radiator cover painting ideas, and how you can implement them in your home. No matter if you’ve just bought new covers, or if you’re upcycling an old favourite.

a painted radiator

Why Paint a Radiator Cover?

There are a multitude of reasons to change up the way your radiator cover looks. The most obvious reason is due to redecorating or renovating in your space. 

Whether it be a full-blown makeover, or just adding a splash of colour to brighten the room, an item like a radiator cover has a lot of potential in all living spaces.

Step-By-Step Painting Guide

If it’s your first or even tenth time painting radiator covers, knowing where to start can be difficult. Below, we have laid out our step-by-step guide for getting the best finish on your radiator covers.

What You’ll Need

It is always good practice to gather all your materials before you start any task. For the task of painting your radiator covers, you will need:

  • Dust sheets, to protect your working area
  • Sandpaper, for sanding and preparing your cover
  • A water or oil-based primer
  • Heat safe paint
  • Brushes or sponges to paint with

Setting Up Your Station

It is important that before starting any of this work, you set up an area for you to operate in. Painting anything can get messy, but due to the peculiar shapes and designs of radiator covers this is much more likely. 

A good way to keep mess minimal for this project is to work completely outside. The only downfall to this is that this project may take a few days in total to complete, so be sure that your supplies are stored safely away from any damage that the weather can cause.

You may also want to consider the use of a dust sheet to catch any dust or paint that falls on the floor in your work area. This will help you avoid leaving any mess after you’ve finished.

Preparing The Radiator Cover: Sanding

Though not completely necessary, a first step you can take when painting your radiator cover is sanding the cover down. 

This step is used to serve multiple purposes. Firstly, you can use this step to remove any existing paint from your radiator cover, this will give you a fresh base to work from. Alternatively, this step can be used to get rid of any imperfections on the surface of your radiator cover. This will give you an even working surface and will provide a better-finished product.

During this step, it’s important to be aware of your safety. We recommend wearing an air-filtered mask and potentially some form of eye protection depending on the severity of the surface you are working with.

Preparing The Radiator Cover: Priming

To properly prime your radiator cover, it’s critical to know what your cover is made from and how your primer will affect it.

If your radiator cover is metal, your best option is to use an oil-based primer. The main reason for this is that if you use water-based primer, you run the risk of your radiator cover rusting. 

If your radiator cover is made of MDF, avoid using water-based primers. Instead, using an oil-based primer will be much more effective as less of the primer will be absorbed and lost in the wood.

If your radiator cover is made from real wood, you can use both oil and water-based primers. However, it is advised that you use an oil-based primer for a better finish.

Make sure that whichever primer you use, you give the cover plenty of time to dry between coats and before painting your colour.

Radiator Paint Colours

Though it may not seem that important to some, the colour you paint your radiator cover can make a huge difference to the overall look of your space.

Whether you want a simplistic white to add some light back into the room, or perhaps a warm red to add a pop of something different, there are many ways to paint your radiator cover to elevate your space. Here are some on-trend colours for 2024 to try!

Painting Your Radiator Cover

When you come to painting the colour you’ve picked out for your cover, the most essential thing is that you use heat-resistant paint. 

Due to the radiator cover being in such proximity to the heat from the radiator, there is a very high chance that the paint will get hot. Using heat-resistant paint will help you to avoid your paint getting damaged from utilising your radiator.

Once you have chosen the perfect paint for your radiator cover, it’s time to get painting. It is good practice to paint 2 to 3 coats on your radiator cover to be sure that you have a good finish. If you don’t do this, you risk the overall look of the project being patchy. 

You should also keep in mind while painting that radiator-safe paint is enamel, meaning it is much harder to clean up any paint spillages. Additionally, any brush or sponge you use will be much harder to clean. To properly clean this type of paint off of your surfaces, you will need to use paint thinner.

Our Range of Radiator Covers

If you’re on the market for a new radiator cover, Big Furniture Warehouse can help. With a huge stock of living room furniture, as well as our own radiator covers, we have a piece of furniture perfect for any home. 

Not sure where to start? Contact our team of experts today to find out more about our extensive range of furnishings.

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