Do you have old and rusty baseboard heater covers? Did you know you can give them a major update by spray painting them? I’ve done this twice now in two different apartments and would recommend it every time! It saves so much money! They look like brand new covers once they’re painted too. Here’s how to paint baseboard heater covers.
Whenever I’am working on a design for a home and there are baseboard heaters my first thought is to paint them! I love the idea of keeping what’s there and just making it look better, like these flat panel doors I added molding to.
You can always purchase these baseboard covers that look more modern but the cost adds up and it can turn out to be pretty expensive. So to save cost, painting them is my go to!
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Step 1: Remove Covers
Be sure to turn off your heat. I like to remove the covers and lay them all out outside (weather permitting) and spray them all at once.
First, label your covers. You can number them with a pencil on the inside of the cover or write what room they belong in.
Start by removing the caps at the ends or any corner pieces. The covers are held in with brackets. To remove the cover, simply lift it up and pull out.
Above the cover is a damper. You can remove this part as well but I usually keep it in place and just make sure I tilt it down before painting. I never remove the part that’s attached to the wall its pretty difficult and can cause damage to the wall.
Step 2: Wipe
Wipe your covers to remove any dust or debris. No need to scrub the cover clean, just a quick wipe before sanding is all you need.
After removing the covers, use a vacuum to get any dust that’s been hiding behind there. Unless of course you’re an overachiever and remove your baseboard covers to clean behind it from time to time.
Step 3: Sand
Using a 100 grit sand paper, lightly sand the covers. This will ensure better adhesion of the paint and will also smooth out the any areas that have slight rust on it.
I also used a razor to carefully scrape off paint drips that were on the covers.
If your covers have been painted be sure that its lead free. If you are unsure, take the proper steps to ensure its done properly and safely.
Step 4: Clean
Take a damp rag and clean the baseboard covers well. For my latest project the covers were in pretty good condition so I throughly cleaned them. But for my last covers I sprayed, they were in pretty bad condition.
I scrubbed them with a wire brush to smooth out lots of rusty patches.
While the covers dry after cleaning, prep your area.
Step 5: Prep Area
When spraying the covers inside make sure to wear a mask.
Protect the surrounding area from over spray using a drop cloth or contractor’s paper. I’ve also used pre taped painter’s plastic.
In other instances, I’ve just used a cardboard box against the wall to move along as I spray.
Step 6: Paint
There are a couple options for which paint to use. You can spray it with Rustoleum High Heat spray.
Another option and my preferred spray is Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Paint and Primer. I like the gloss finish on it and that its a paint and primer. You can do a matte finish but gloss is easier to clean.
You can also paint thew covers by hand but I like to spray it to avoid any brush strokes and it goes a lot faster when you spray.
Spray all the covers and let dry. I did two coats and it was enough coverage.
If you’re spraying for long periods of time I highly recommend this Can gun tool. This will save you from you’re hand or finger hurting after lots of time spraying.
I used it when we painted our radiators and it made it so much easier.
Here’s what one of the covers looked like after I cleaned it, right before spraying.
And here it is after spraying. So much better now!
Step 7: Place Covers Back
Wait a few hours, or if you can, a day to place the covers back. This will give the paint some time to cure.
Place your covers and end caps back on and now you have baseboard heaters that look brand new. It makes such a big difference!
Its fairly easy to paint baseboard heater covers, there’s just some prep work that needs to be done. The results and money you save makes it so worth it!
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