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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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