How to make a radiator cover

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How to make a radiator cover

You will need:

  • A flat-pack radiator cover kit
  • An electric screwdriver
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • A roller
  • A paintbrush with tray
  • Fake gold leaf
  • Soft artist brushes
  • Gilding size

Radiators are a necessary evil. Although essential to the heating of your home, they are generally ugly little things found in annoying or awkward positions.

When Andrea Maflin came to renovate the Our Home hallway, she certainly wasn't going to let a pesky radiator ruin her streamlined and sophisticated design. Instead, she used her expertise to rustle up this stylish radiator cover and talked us through the process.

Time to complete the job: 2 hours
Approximate budget: £25

  • Choose a radiator cover kit

    Choose a radiator cover kit

    Visit your local DIY store and select a flat-pack radiator cover kit that will complement the scheme of your room. The Our Home team went for a modern-looking design but kits are available in a variety of styles ranging from ethnic to classical. If you're feeling ambitious, you could even buy all the components separately and construct your own cover.

  • Construct your radiator cover

    Construct your radiator cover

    Carefully follow the instructions that accompany your flat-pack and construct your radiator cover. It's important to read the instructions even if you're a regular DIYer as different brands have their own quirks of assembly.

  • Prime and paint

    Prime and paint

    Once your radiator cover is fully assembled, give the wood a good coating with primer. When this has dried, start adding thin coats of paint rather than just one heavy one. Remember, you are trying to minimize the impact of your radiator so paint it the same colour as your walls or woodwork.

  • Get ready to gild

    Get ready to gild

    Gold leaf gilding is a great way to add detail to your radiator cover. If your cover has some small scooped-out sections that you would like to gild, gently paint over them with a couple of layers of gilding size. As this is likely to be quite intricate, use a soft artist's brush.

  • Add the gold leaf

    Add the gold leaf

    Take your fake gold metal leaf and press the gold side against the area you want to gild. Use your fingers to gently press it into the recess so that the leaf makes contact with the glue. Then gently but firmly pull away the waxy backing. Continue until the whole area is covered.

  • Polish the edges

    Polish the edges

    You'll probably be left with rough edges to your gilding, so take a clean blusher brush and rotate it over the gilded area to dislodge any stray bits of gold leaf. You should be left with lovely sharp edges to your gold leaf detail.