Painting the Heater Covers

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I painted the baseboard heaters’ covers. It was imperative. They were rusty, bumpy, had a horrible old paint (all splotches and scratches and bumps) and well the idea to paint the covers, the same color with the walls, didn’t really agree with me.

Buying new covers was the first thought but will have to wait for a long time, budget wise. Second best option? Paint them! Let me show you how perfect they turned out with a little bit of paint!

I suppose, there are four ways to go about painting the covers:

1. Leave them with their original color. Boring but safe option.

2. Paint them to match the trim (usually white on white). Also a safe option.

3. Paint them with a color that compliments the walls but is not the same color with either the wall or the trim. Unusual option that can either work or not. Not so safe.

4. Paint them to match the walls so they blend better. Err….Well, it sounds like a good idea but in reality, it looks a little strange – perhaps because it abruptly disrupts the trim line:

before rads
Brown against brown, blue against blue and bonus photo (1st from right) how battered are the covers.


Well, we have option no 4 through the whole house so, I resolved to go with safe option no 2 and paint with a semi-gloss white – it’s really muted in reality – every single baseboard heater.

Here is a sum of the befores and afters of the main living room cover (it turned out really, truly smooth!):


Ready for the reveal?


Hello clean and sleek and good_lookin’_like_new, cover!




What do you think? 😀

This is how I got this result:

First, I scraped all the bumps I could with a putty knife (a scalpel would also have been helpful with all the old paint drips…) and then sanded gently. Truth be told, it’s pretty hard to perfectly fix an old bad paint job. Perhaps with a sander for metals it would be easier?

Well, all I had were my sand papers and my hands but, I am quite pleased with the result. [I do suggest you sand very lightly if you just want to change the color and don’t have large old marks to sand off. Many covers come with a slightly protective paint and it is better you preserve that.]

After getting rid of as many bumps as possible, I used a rust inhibitive primer because once sanded, these covers get rusty very fast. Like within a week fast!

I spray painted the grills, which – to be honest – was anticlimactic. Mind you all this is over primer. It must be that I luck spray painting experience because, other people get great results with it. Me, not so much:

Besides the grilles, the rest of the cover had just one coat of *plain* paint.

I did a much better and faster job with this:

Painting the baseboard by TwoPlusCute
Easy, peasy, perfect!

I *wub* this paint! It is self priming, zero VOC, washable and…scrubbable (it’s like they know me)! The best part is this paint applies fluidly and leaves a pretty smooth finish. Like smooth, smooth (I used the craft brush you see in the photo). AND it is mildew resistant. AND it dries fast – wayyyyy faster than the spray paint.

(I feel like they made this paint especially for me.)

This is not an affiliate paragraph, we paid warm cash for it but I came to like this paint very much.

Am I done? No, not yet. I still have to finish the other two baseboard heaters of the living room but, there already is a sweet improvement.

If you have old, battered or downright ugly heater covers and it is not in your budget to buy new covers,


Use any paint and brush you like, just remember to use an anti-rust primer.

It’s easy. 🙂


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2 thoughts on “Painting the Heater Covers

  • July 30, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Wow, painting over them sure did the trick. I will have to remember your tip to use a coat of classic paint along with the spray paint. It looks great. I nominated you for the “8 Photos of Happiness” award. If you are interested in accepting, the instructions is on my latest article, 8 Photos of Happiness

    • October 3, 2015 at 7:34 am

      Oh my, this is so sweet, thank you!
      I am touched. 🙂

      I am still in Greece but I’d love to participate once I return to US.


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