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How to Build a DIY Radiator Cover

by - Monday, September 13, 2010

HandyMan has slowly been making DIY radiator covers for each of the radiators in our house. He's been wanting to make the one for the front entry for a long time - we need somewhere handy to throw down some keys or shopping bags!

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DIY Radiator Cover

Radiators are functional but in some instances you want to cover them up. You could buy a radiator cover kit but building a DIY radiator cover is easy enough that I think this is a project even beginner DIYers can tackle.

Using MDF and the remaining Octoperf wood mesh screen that we used for all the other covers, HandyMan built this cover for this entryway radiator. The construction was very basic. Each of the three sides were constructed independently and then affixed with glue and nails.

I'm not sure if you noticed, but all of our DIY radiator covers have been customized to fit in and suit the different rooms... the one in Chloe's room is a shaker-style to go with the shaker closet doors. The one in the master bedroom is more decorative and has feet and fancy trim. And the one in the dining room has styling similar to the wainscotting.

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For the entry, we embellished the design a bit and came up with not only a radiator cover, but also a place to store mail, keys, and little mittens and boots in the winter time. Our entry is small and severely lacking in storage. We have a tiny triangular-shaped front closet and keep our keys in a box on the window ledge so taking a bit of extra space and adding cubbies to create a DIY radiator cover with storage was one way to make the entry seem more functional and welcoming.

You might be wondering do you lose heat with a radiator cover? The answer is yes, slightly.

The sides and especially the top block the warm air from circulating out into the room. It's important to incorporate room for the air to circulate and escape into your design. This particular DIY radiator cover has a pressboard mesh screen and has a footed design that allows for some circulation.

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HandyMan trimmed out the cubbies to give them a more finished look. He's still deciding whether to build small pull out boxes to house keys and gloves, or if we can find some premade baskets or trays to fit. We might also drill little holes on the inside of the cubbies to allow even more hot air from the rad to circulate. It will be a special treat to pull out warm mittens on a cold winter's day!

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The top has to be notched out to fit around the existing door trim but other than that, the cover is patched and ready for paint and install. Now if I can just resist the urge to dump stuff and allow things to pile up on top!

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16 comments

  1. Nice looking project!

    I love the screen you chose and the MDF will resist the expansion and contraction from the radiator heat. Well done.

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  2. This is a great project! What a difference and so great to have a place to dump keys! Keep the up the good work!

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  3. Your making progress with such a great project.

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  4. This is very good project what are you working int this. Please share updates continue... I would like to know more about this.

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  5. Looks terrific. The cubbies are so smart! You daughter can have her only designated cubby right at her height.

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  6. Genius! I have got to design some sort of landing strip for all of my things (keys, shoes, purse, sunglasses) when I walk in the door. Right now they all end up on the kitchen counter.

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  7. Concord carpenter - good to know we picked the right materials for the job. We just sort of wing it around here.

    My Notting Hill - Chloe loves to put things away so I'm sure we'll find socks and shoes and maybe some of her toys tucked away in those cubbies.

    And Kathleen - I forgot about sunglasses! Maybe now that I have a home for them, I won't keep losing them.

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  8. Anonymous2:12 PM

    You will LOVE having this in your lives. So clever!

    jbhat

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  9. It looks fantastic. I think the little cubby holes along the side are a great idea, although I can definitely see that little wooden boxes would be perfect in there. You could even put a hook on the far left side of the cover to get extra storage.

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  10. Wow! That is going to be great! I am so jealous. I need some rads covered in a bad way.. where did you get the screen? I see the link but did you order directly from them?

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  11. i love the idea of holes in the cubbies to warm up the mittens!!!!!

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  12. Love the rad covers .. and the little cubbies for the front hall .... I need a handyman!!!

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  13. Love this- he sure does some amazing work!

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  14. That is an AWESOME idea!!!

    If we had radiators, I would surely be PINING or WHINING for one of these!

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  15. Hats off to the handyman that built these rad covers! They look great.
    For the DIYers I posted an article on my blog about how to build a simple rad cover.

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