I don’t know why I put off painting our baseboard heaters. It was on my to-do list for four years but didn’t get done until just days before we listed the townhouse for sale. Why did we live with the drab griege metal for so long? Why did none of you stage an intervention? In the end it was a really simple project, although it was as tedious a job as I imagined:
- Turn off the heat
- Pin up any curtains with giant safety pins to keep them out of the way
- Tape off the wall and floor with painter’s tape
- Lightly sand the metal with fine grit sandpaper
- Wipe down the heaters with a damp cloth to remove any dust, let dry
- Apply a thin coat of Tremclad Metal Primer (I used white), using a small paintbrush.
- Let the primer dry overnight
- Applied two thin coats of Tremclad Metal Paint (I used semi-gloss white).
Our baseboard heater covers were incredibly difficult to remove and some parts were fixed so I opted to paint them in place with a brush instead of using spray paint. I had to be careful about painting the parts we flip open when they are in use and this took some extra time and fussing. With heaters that are easily removed, a metal spray paint could make light work of this job.
I tried a different method for the half bathroom heater: metal primer followed by the same latex paint we used for the walls and that seemed to work just as well, although the semi-gloss paint proved easier to clean and dust.
I painted the heaters in the office, guest bedroom, master bedroom, master ensuite, hallway, dining room, and living room. My before & after photos are sloppy, and in some cases non-existent, because I was hurrying to get the house ready for sale in only a few days. Hopefully you can get the idea from these glimpses. It will be fun, like a spot-the-difference game. Or maybe more like Where’s Waldo. Ready?
Remember when I showed you photographs of the framed enamel art? You could see the beige heaters behind the teak and tweed chair.
Now they blend right in, mostly hiding behind the sheers but the piece that always peeked out is no longer an eyesore!
When I showed off my newly minted table, the baseboard heaters ruined the shot.
But now . . .
I even photographed the velvet chair in the same spot, because I didn’t think twice about the heaters.
The guest bedroom photos were always ruined by a long row of beige, to the right.
Happily, when I photographed the bedroom swap, the heaters were already white.
The photos from the listing show just how long the baseboard heaters are. They were terribly noticeable when they were beige.
The office (with no sheers to hide them), showed off the heaters rather clearly.
But in the real estate listing photos, you can barely see them!
My post about the townhouse being sold has many more real estate photos that plainly show off the freshly painted baseboard heaters. I’m so happy I finally painted them – I only wish I had done it years ago!
Note: we do not have electric baseboard heaters. Our heating system
was converted to radiant heat from electric heat. Our baseboard heaters
are never hot to the touch. We have only one remaining electric baseboard heater, in the main bathroom. It was painted before we moved in and we’ve experienced no problems so far – even though, unlike the others, it does get very hot to the touch. I’m pretty sure electric baseboard heaters can be painted, but I really can’t speak from much experience.
Anyone care to weigh in?