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How to paint a radiator cover

Updated April 17, 2017

Radiator covers are used to hide radiators. Many people prefer to coordinate their radiator covers with the rest of the room. You can always buy new radiator covers each time you change your decor or paint the room, but this can get expensive. A more economical solution is to change the colour of your existing radiator cover. With all of the paint colour choices available, your options are numerous. Changing the colour of your radiator cover can change the whole look of a room.

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  1. Apply the paint thinner using a rag and allow it to sit for about one to two minutes.

  2. Scrape the softened paint off the radiator cover starting at one corner and working your way across the area. Apply more paint thinner as needed.

  3. Reapply paint thinner with a fresh rag once you have scraped as much paint off as you can. Wipe the paint thinner-soaked rag across the radiator cover area to remove the remaining paint residue.

  4. Apply painter’s tape and newspapers/dust sheets to the surrounding surfaces to protect them from overspray. Tape off each section of your radiator cover, except for one. You will be working with this untaped section first.

  5. Apply the paint primer spray to the first section of the radiator cover. Use side to side sweeping motions, releasing the spray trigger at the end of each side motion. Allow the primer to dry completely.

  6. Apply the oil-based spray paint in the same manner as the primer. Allow the paint to dry. Add a light second coat to the radiator cover, then allow the second coat to dry.

  7. Remove the painter’s tape and newspapers/dust sheet from a second section of the radiator cover. Carefully add new painter’s tape and newspapers to the newly painted section.

  8. Repeat the priming, painting and taping process for the remaining sections.

  9. Remove all the tape and newspapers/dust sheets when you are finished painting and all your paint has dried completely. Replace your radiator cover in its location if necessary.

  10. Tip

    Spray paint and spray primer are often more desirable to use because you can control the thickness a little better than when painting with a brush. Keep your spray can nozzle at least 6 inches away from the radiator cover to avoid paint runs.


    Wear rubber gloves when using the paint thinner. Work in an extremely well-ventilated area.

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Things You'll Need

  • Paint thinner
  • Paint scraper
  • Cloth rags
  • Paint primer spray
  • Oil-based paint spray
  • Painter’s tape
  • Newspapers/dust sheets
  • Rubber gloves

About the Author

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