How to Build a Wooden Radiator Cover

A wooden radiator cover can protect the radiator and also add warmth to the room’s atmosphere. When building a wooden radiator cover, you need to keep in mind the fact that you cannot completely cover the radiator and that the heat needs to get out from the front and the sides of the cover.

You Will Need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Wood (plywood or MDF)
  • Reciprocating or table saw
  • Drill
  • Nails or screws
  • Primer and paint

Step 1 – Establish the Size of the Cover

The front cover for the radiator should be 4 inches higher and wider than the radiator so that the wood will not touch the heater. Note the height and the width of your radiator, and figure out the size of the front cover. To figure out the width for the side panels of the radiator cover, measure the depth of the radiator and add 2 more inches. The height of the side panels should be the same as the height of the front piece. Finally, the top piece will have the width of the front piece, plus 1 inch, and the width of the side pieces, plus half an inch.

Step 2 – Choose the Wood

The least expensive boards you can choose for a radiator cover are plywood or medium density fiberboard (MDF). Plywood is easier to work with and doesn’t necessarily require painting. MDF boards are heavy, not as appealing as plywood, and more difficult to paint, but they are inexpensive.

Step 3 – Cut the Pieces for the Front

Mark a wooden board to the sizes that you have established in Step 1. Use a reciprocating saw to cut the front cover for the radiator. If you are less experienced with cutting wood, rent a table saw.

Step 4 – Cut the Side and Top Pieces

Cut 2 equal side panels using measurements from Step 1. Mark a wood board with the measurements of the top piece, and cut it, making sure to follow a straight line. The top piece is not necessary, so cut it only if you are planning to install drapes or other pieces of furniture on top of the heater.

Step 5 – Drill Holes

The radiator needs to be vented, so drill a few larger holes in the front, the side and top pieces. Drill the holes in a straight line or in a pattern of your choice.

Step 6 – Paint the Wood

Prime the wood with two coats of primer, and after the pieces are dry, apply paint.

Step 7 – Assemble the Pieces

Once the pieces are dry, assemble them using small nails and a hammer for plywood. If your cover is made of MDF, use self drilling screws.

Step 8 – Install Legs for the Cover

Cut 4 triangles of wood, which will act as legs for the radiator cover. The height of the triangles is the space between the radiator cover and the floor. Alternatively, use 4 ready-made furniture legs. Nail the legs to the corners of the 2 side panel bottoms. Adjust the legs as needed.