Designing Radiator Covers That Enhance Your Decor

Leslie A.M.

The tried and true way to make your radiator more attractive is by painting your radiator. But if you want more pizzazz or you're bored with looking at the metal scroll hissing steam at you, then making a radiator cover can be a welcome project.

Here are three ideas for radiator covers that can heat up your old house.

  1. Making a Radiator Cover: Shelve It

    One of the easiest and most traditional radiator covers is to build a wooden case around it. The radiator recesses into the background when it is covered like this. Make sure you leave a one inch clearance all the way around the radiator for adequate air flow. Radiator covers offer a tempting place to sit, so they need to be sturdy. Be sure to frame and block the box for stability, and drill it into studs in the wall. Ideally, you would want a hinged top, to allow access to the radiator and any controls. The front panel should be a screen placed two inches above the floor to allow air in. Use a decorative metal screen for the front this will allow for heat to radiate out as well as improve air flow. A decorative metal screen can be ordered through your local home store. Use screws or even your staple gun to staple the screen in place inside the front frame.

  2. Designing Radiator Covers That Re-Purpose Old Materials

    The shelf or box look can be taken a step further by re-using a discarded piece of furniture that can serve as a screen. It can extend beyond the length of the radiator to become a feature that is greater than the radiator. You can really use anything as a radiator cover as long as it allows air in and out--it doesn't have to be metal either. A wooden screen or a headboard featuring slatted wood can be the base for a shelf created over your radiator. Remove the panels from an old door and set it on its side, or add a metal screen to an old wooden screen door for a rustic base to your shelf. Old cabinet doors set side-by-side with pretty metal screen insets can also act to conceal the radiator.

    You can make the shelf-top yourself or purchase a ready-made shelf that matches your room.

  3. Radiator Covers with Whimsy

    A splash of the unexpected is a welcome touch in most homes. Consider using a fireplace screen as a pretty barricade in front of your radiator. You can consider painting a radiator in a child's room or family room like a colorful snake, or a wound up flower stem.

    Be creative and make your radiator covers work for you.


About the Author

Leslie A.M. Smith is a freelance writer and public relations consultant with almost 20 years experience.

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