Click to Print

How to Create a Radiator Cover

Follow these steps to create a custom radiator cover and see how this attic is pulled out of the 80s and into the 21st century with style.

This bright and cheery room is a great place to escape with a good book.

Before, this room was a far cry from the rest of the house, which has been updated and is warm and welcoming. The focal point of this space is the custom-built radiator cover. It combines beauty and function by looking like a piece of high-end furniture, while still allowing heat to flow into the room.

Materials and Tools:

4 x 8 sheets of 3/4" birch plywood
poplar boards, 3/4"x 4"x 8'
brass for heater cover
1" to 2" wide molding for front of cover
carpenter's glue
drill bits
Ace Sensations ceiling white paint
utility knife
table saw
miter saw
circular saw
pneumatic nail gun
staple gun
hand saw
jig saw
two paint rollers
two paint brushes


1. Measure the height, width and depth of the radiator. Be sure to include any inflow or outflow pipes while measuring, because the pipes and valves need to be covered, too. Add one inch to the height and depth measurement and two inches to the width measurement to allow for the proper clearance. These dimensions will be the final measurements for the inside of the radiator cover.

2. Cut all of the frame pieces. (You can cut one piece for each side and use it as a template for the rest of the frame pieces.) Mark out the new cover, then use a utility knife and a level to score through the top level of birch plywood to stop it from flaring when you saw it. Cut out the heater cover front using the circular and jig saws.

3. Use the table saw to cut down the poplar for the sides of the radiator cover. Lay out the front panel, making sure all the pieces are flush. The bottom horizontal piece should measure two inches from the floor to allow air to pass from the radiator to the room. Glue the side pieces of the frame and then attach them to the front. Then secure the frame with a staple gun or nail gun.

4. To ensure the cover will fit snuggly against the wall, scribe the profile of the existing baseboard into the new cover on both sides and on the bottom. Use the jig saw to cut out the scribed portion.

5. Use tin snips to cut the screen for the front panel. Cut it one inch wider and longer than the opening. Attach the screen to the frame by stapling it in place every two inches.

6. Cut strips of molding to fit the edges of the screen. Miter the corners. Glue and staple the molding into place.

7. Cut the top panel for the cover, allowing a 3/4-inch overhang all the way around the base. Sand the radiator cover and then prime and paint it, masking off the brass front to protect it.

8. Slide the new cover over the radiator.

Advertisement will not be printed