How to Make Wooden Baseboard Heater Covers.




This is an instructable about making wooden baseboard heater covers.  We bought an old home and when I refinished the floors in my bedroom the metal ones were all rusted and broken.  Unfortunately I didn't document that process but I recently replaced a rusted metal cover in the bathroom basically using the same process and design.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

I don't know much about woodworking but I'm slowly learning from small projects and reading what others have done.
what you see here is the second cover I've done.  the top is not as nice as the bedroom because the wood was smaller in area and I didn't want to weaken it. For some reason my kids love to stand on the covers in the bedroom and I wasn't going to risk making a pretty but weak cover for the bathroom.

I bought 8" X 1/2" X 10' pine boards at Lowes or Home Depot and used these for the project.

Tools I used are:

A table saw for ripping and cutting the larger boards to size.
A drill, I used a drill press and a hand drill.
I also used a roofing square and combination square to draw my lines and mark my wood for cutting.
Jig saw to cut the vents in the top and sides of the covers.
Tape measure
Hammer and nails
Stain, sand paper and polyurethane to finish the piece.

Step 2: The Radiator to Be Covered

This is the radiator to be covered.  I should have taken a picture of the one that was there but didn't think about it till later.  Mind you we updated the bathroom about 5 years ago and the cover they installed was all rusted and ugly looking.  The contractor that installed the cover must have never imagined replacing it because the only way I was able to get the back plate out was to cut it apart with tin snips into pieces the size of a quarter.  Got some natsty cuts doing that job I tell you.  Snip, move it a quarter inch, snip.  took about an hour or so.

This space is a bit tighter than I had to work with in the bedroom so instead of a six inch wide top,  I  went to a 3.75 inch wide top. The covers will overlap the heater by about a half inch on either side.  I usually make them about 8 inches high.  the final dimensions were roughly 40 inches long, 8 inches high and 3.75 inches wide.

Step 3: The Cut Out Pieces

I cut the pieces to make the "box" that would cover the radiator, made sure they would fit correctly like I wanted then used the drill press and jig saw to finish them. 

The top was simple, I drew a grid in pencil of 1 inch squares ans drilled 1/2 in holes in the top with a drill press.  Now that I know my children don't want to stand on this particular heater I wish I had done something a bit more artistic but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.  The holes let the heat out and that's what they are supposed  to do.

The front I drew a nice design in pencil and then drilled holes large enough to put the blade of the jigsaw in and then cut out the pattern.  The holes are large enough to promote air flow and although I see all the mistakes and miscuts no one else has been impolite enough to point them out to me.  I did hand draw the star in the center on card stock and cut it out to trace on the board so I could make the cut.

Step 4: Finishing the Pieces

I sanded the pieces and then stained them, then I put 5 coats of urethane on them. 

Then I nailed them together and put in place.

I like how the wooden covers look and eventually I'll probably do more for other room in the house.

Workshop Contest

Participated in the
Workshop Contest



    • 1 Hour Challenge

      1 Hour Challenge
    • Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

      Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest
    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge

    9 Discussions


    4 years ago

    These were made for hot water heat. The so I can only speak to that kind of system.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Do you have the hot water baseboard heating? Would it work with that?


    4 years ago

    I wouldn't trust them with electric baseboard heaters.


    5 years ago

    These look very nice. I have those same ugly, beat-up metal radiators in my house, and I never even thought about a solution like this! Quite cool.