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Top Tips for Decorating and Disguising Radiators

Created: 23/03/2020

When trying to update your home you can sometimes look at the radiators with its peeling and faded paint with reluctance. You can sometimes get away with just sanding it down and repainting it the brilliant white colour that it was supposed to be, but nowadays interior designers and DIYers are trying new ways to brighten up the radiator to ‘warm up the room’ a bit more.

Whether this is by painting it a wacky colour or trying to disguise it, there are many ways for it to be more than just a white rectangle in the middle of the wall. These tips come from bloggers and decorating experts that suggest a new way of looking at your radiator and will leave you wanting to contact your local handyman to help with the process.


Painting Radiators

brightly coloured radiator

One way to brighten up your radiator is to just give it a new lick of paint. Whether you want to bring it back to life with a classic bright white or you want to jazz it up by painting it a completely new colour, this can help make your radiators look newer. One trend that we’ve seen recently, is to paint your radiator the same colour as the wall it’s mounted on. That way, it will melt into the wall and will stand out less.

Here is a step-by-step guide of how to prep and paint your radiator:

Before you start, make sure your radiator is nice and clean by wiping it down with a damp cloth or sponge. You should also use a mild detergent like washing up liquid to get rid of any tough stains. This will be important if you want to paint the radiator white.

Once you have cleaned the radiator, dry it off so that it is ready for sanding. It is at this point that you can call a handyman service to decorate the radiator if you’re not confident at doing it yourself.

However, if you want to complete a little DIY, carry on reading.

Using both a high and low grit sandpaper, begin to sand down the radiator, taking care of any flakes of paint or rust you may find. Make sure you have a nice even surface.

Now, dust down the radiator with another damp cloth or sponge, making sure all the debris is gone and leave to dry.

When painting a radiator, make sure to use a metal primer or specialist radiator primer to protect the radiator from any rust. It will also give the paint something good to stick to, leaving it with a better coat. You can find primers in paint or spray form. With a tin of primer, use a standard paintbrush. Don’t forget to shake the tin of paint before opening. Now, wait for the primer to dry.

Once dry, you can now paint your radiator the colour you want. With a different paintbrush apply the paint evenly, making sure not to overload the brush.

A good tip when painting a radiator is to paint in the same direction as the grooves, starting at one side of the radiator and travelling evenly to the other.

Your radiator may need a second coat, depending on the colour you have gone for. Make sure your first coat is dry before you start on the next coat. And that’s it, you can now prep and paint a radiator!


Magnetic radiator covers

An easier way of jazzing up your radiator was recommended to us by blogger A Few Favourite Things. “Magnetic radiator covers are a great way to make a feature of the radiator in a room. With a variety of styles available from giant crayons for a playroom, lego style bricks for a children's bedroom or even a block colour for injecting colour into a room you're not able to decorate”.

This is a great, easy fix if you’re not intending to get messy with sanding and painting radiators and they are easy to find online. You can also switch it up easily if you want several different designs.


Wooden Radiator Covers

A good way to disguise a radiator is to cover them, that way they can be disguised as sideboards or a small hall table. Lauren from Scrapbook Blog, suggests that this is a great way to disguise your radiator. You can either buy one or make it yourself.

“After wanting to buy a wooden radiator cover for ages but not finding one to fit our awkwardly sized radiator under a window, my husband made one from MDF sheets. It wasn’t half as tricky as we thought, and we were able to make it to the bespoke size!”


Custom Made Covers

photo credit: Yorkshire Wonders Bespoke radiator covers

Photo Credit: Yorkshire Wonders

One way to get around an awkwardly shaped radiator is to go to a company that makes bespoke radiator covers. Lifestyle blogger, Yorkshire Wonders got in touch with us about her own custom-made radiators at Wolds Wood.  “As well as blogging, my husband and I run a company making radiator covers. We can make any size up to ten-foot-wide and we ship them all over the world (but mainly the UK). We make lots of pretty and unusual designs and because we make everything to order they can be completely personalised and take into consideration that really low windowsill or a door too close by. They can be then painted to make a statement or painted the same colour as the walls to blend in”.

Going to a company like theirs can really put a stamp on your house, and make the piece personalised and special.


If you’ve got radiators that need a bit of love, why not try some of these great tips for decorating and disguising them. Or, if you’d rather a professional handle it, check out Handywork Solutions where we can get a local handyman to take a look at them for you.


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