Painting Baseboard Heaters
Yes that time-honored tradition of painting old, rusty, crappy, ugly, dinged-up, dirty, dented baseboard heaters is alive and well in America. A house full of baby blue heaters is just a few weeks of hard labor away. I regularly discuss the pros and cons of this liquid rejuvenation with customers that call our toll free number for advice. In fact, I am quite happy to suggest painting as the best option when it is in fact the best solution for the customer.
So lets consider a few realities. Baseboarders aren’t cheap. But they do offer the absolute best solution available anywhere. They are the best looking, offer the best warranty, offer the best fit to all types of baseboard heaters, offer the easiest ordering experience, offer the easiest DIY no-tools installation, offer the best customer service with real baseboard heat experts, and so on. Sometimes however, twenty-odd bucks a foot isn’t economically feasible. So the next best solution is to renew the heaters lease on life by giving them a paint job.
There are a good number of videos on the internet that go step by step on the repainting process. I will not try to one-up these excellent productions. Instead here are the important points that should always be considered when painting baseboard heater covers.
- Type of paint: Latex (water based means easy clean-up and fast drying) or Enamel (oil based) is your choice. Special high-heat paint is not necessary for hot water baseboard heaters.
- Most important thing to remember: Proper surface preparation. The painting part is just the finishing touch. The real work is getting the old steel surfaces ready for paint. If you have any plans for the next few days – cancel them.
- Primer coat: Kids or pets going to walk on these things? If yes, don’t skip out on the primer.
- Longevity: Don’t fool yourself. A paint job will only last about as long as the original factory paint did before it rusted. For bathroom baseboard heaters, it’s often an annual tradition.
- Results: Do expect a big improvement. Don’t expect a major architectural magazine to come knocking on your door wanting to feature your new baby blue baseboard heaters in their next publication.