How to Paint Rusted Baseboard Radiator Covers

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Paint Rusted Baseboard Radiator Covers
Paint Rusted Baseboard Radiator Covers (Image: Sophie)

Rusty baseboard heater covers are unsightly and dangerous. Little ones crawling on the floor can put their hands on them and get cut or transfer the rust to their mouths. And the longer you don't repair them, the harder it will be when you do. Plan this project for a nice sunny weekend and spend some time outdoors.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Degreaser cleaner
  • Rags
  • Rust inhibitor primer
  • Rust inhibitor paint
  • Paint brushes

Take the baseboard covers off of the heater and place them on some saw horses or a flat surface outside or in a well ventilated garage. The covers have a top and bottom lip on them that is placed on hooks on the heater. Lift the covers up and pull out and it will be released from the top hook. Then go down with the cover and it will come right off the bottom hook.

Sand the covers with a fine-grit sandpaper to remove all of the rust. Use the sandpaper to rough up any paint that did not have rust on it too. Wipe off the sanding dust with a rag.

Wash the baseboard covers with a degreasing cleaner and rinse off well. Dry the baseboards with a clean, soft rag and then let them sit to ensure they are fully dry before you start painting.

Paint the baseboards with a rust inhibitor primer. Use a paint brush instead of a spray can because the brush will get the paint into the small crevices left from the rust better. Allow the primer to dry according to the manufacturer's directions.

Paint with a rust inhibitor paint. You will want two coats of paint with proper drying time in between. Allow them to dry and reinstall them on the heaters.

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