How to Paint a Baseboard Heater: Step by Step Guide

Baseboard heaters are certainly ugly as well as helpful. This can make your house decoration fade in many ways. But painting them can be your best solution possible.

Do you know how to paint a baseboard heater the right way? You can try spray painting quickly. But this will require taking them off from the wall first. This seems an incredible hassle for the most. Also, how you should paint them depends on the type of baseboard heater you’re dealing with.

how to paint a baseboard heater
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Well, I’ve done the research and found out some essential but crucial things that everyone should know while painting their baseboard heaters.

Why Should You Paint a Baseboard Heater?

Before we jump into the fundamental tips, a question should pop up in your mind. You must know how a painted baseboard can make a difference. This will encourage you to do your job wisely and significantly.

The main reason for painting your baseboard would be to get rid of the rust. We can’t disagree that baseboard heaters are boxy, ugly, and easy to rust. Painting the heaters can cover all the imperfections and make its appearance much decent to look at.

You can apply some rust-inhibiting metal paint of your favorite color over the baseboard heater. This will look much better so will your home.

The entire procedure will take around 2 hours. More specifically, it can stand 2 hours 10 minutes altogether. This would cost approximately $30 to purchase all these materials and tools for painting. Painting your baseboard heater at home by yourself will save a good amount of money and time.

Still, you can get professional like finishing with your baseboard. All you need to maintain is calmness and patience.

How to Paint a Baseboard Heater – 4 Easy Steps

First of all, you would need to gather some tools and materials. Make sure you’ve collected them all together.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need:

  • Clean cloth
  • Cleaning bucket
  • Steel wool / fine-grit sandpaper
  • Paint Brushes
  • Painting tape
  • Clean Metal Primer                    
  • Metal paint

Before starting with the painting method, you must identify what your baseboard radiator type is. There are basically two different types of baseboards used at home. One is the electric baseboard heater, and the other one is forced.

If you have no idea about the baseboard heater type, check on their power supplying system. The electric one would include a fuse box. At the same time, the forced one would consist of an oil or gas-fired boiler.

However, these days, people mostly install the electric baseboard heater for better performance. If you’re carrying the electric one, turn off the power system from its fuse box. Else, you’ll carry possibilities of hitting by shocks.

Now, you are all set to start with the painting procedure. Here I’ll mention some easy steps to complete the painting job easily.

Paint Your Baseboard Heater Step by Step:

Step 1: 

The first step for painting is preparing the surface. This one needs you to use some good steel wool pad/ sponge. You can also use Fine-grit sandpaper for sanding the surface. This will get you relief from the rusts and uneven faults on the surface.

Step 2:

Now, you need to use the cleaning bucket and clean cloth to wipe off the existing trash. Again, check out if the surface has got any unevenness left or not. A clean and flawless surface is a must before starting priming it. Also, you can apply the painting tape all around the targeted surface. This will keep you safe from making any probable mess during priming and painting.

Step 3: 

This time, you can move on with the priming step. You should garb a good brand of metal primer and start coating on the surface. Usually, one coat of primer is enough before painting any exterior. But you should not apply more than two coats here. Don’t forget to dry it out thoroughly before moving on with painting.

Step 4:

The next thing here would be applying paint on the baseboard heater. Here which color you should use will ultimately depend on your chance and decoration plan. However, grab the painting brushes and your favorite metal paint. Apparently, two coats of metal paint stand enough for the baseboard heater.

Well, these are the ultimate steps to paint a baseboard heater easily in a few moments. You don’t need to be any professional to complete the job. If you want knowledge in more detail, have a check on any online videos.

What kind of Paint Should You Use on Baseboard Heaters?

According to the expert suggestions, you should always go for oil-based paints. These are equally good and heat resistant for both forced and electric heaters. The type of heater you’re holding will make a significant impact on the color type.

Although the regular metal paints can work well if you know how much to apply according to the surface type, if you’re ready to spend some extra bucks, you can go for semi-gloss/ high gloss paint.

The paint’s heat-resisting power is the factor that will lead to your choice. Fortunately, these days almost all paint manufacturing companies offer at least 200 ºF heat-resisting power.

For a better opinion, you can directly talk to the paint brand you’ll be purchasing from.

Do You Paint Heating Baseboards The Same Color as Walls?

The ultimate goal of painting a baseboard heater is to make it look good. For that, you must have a good idea of color combinations. What color you should choose will entirely depend on the floor and wall color.

Experts suggest that you should match the heating baseboard color with the wall. But you should not really paint the baseboard as the wall. This will make it baseboard blended in with the wall.

Although some suggest if your baseboards are at the same height as radiators, try to paint them in the same color. This might look better in the sense of interior designers. On the other hand, if your baseboard is shorter in height, you can paint it in the same color as your home wall.

However, you’ve got plenty of color options available in the market. You can make a design and pick the one that suits your taste of decoration.

Can You Spray Paint Baseboards?

Spray paint is the most accessible and most handy thing to choose. The only thing your baseboard painting process will require is to detach this and take it outside or painting. With spray paint, you hold a higher risk of ruining the walls of your house.

However, spray paint still seems to be the leading choice for many. If you’re thinking of using spray paint at home, don’t forget to nicely mask the walls and floors. Also, it would help if you moved all the furniture around the baseboard before you start painting.

You can find some good brands offering high-temperature resistant spray paint. You can grab your favorite color and start painting.

While you paint, remember you should start from one side to another without giving any pause. Also, you should have at least 12 inches distance from the baseboard while painting. About two coats of spray paint are enough to get a shiner surface at the end.

Tips to Paint Baseboard Heater:

Here are some basic tips and suggestions that you should follow while painting your baseboard heater. The following tips are going to give you the shiniest surface:

  • If you are using Latex, use soapy water to clean that up. Latex is easier to remove, so that you can cut off extra hassles here.
  • If you’re using oil-based paint, you would need to paint thinner for cleaning the surface.
  • While you are sanding the surface, don’t forget to wear hand gloves and masks. This will keep you safer.
  • Keep your priming brush in a zipped bag. In this way, you can keep the bushes away from the air. If the meeting is soft enough, you can use the same one for painting too.

Read Next: Tips on Painting Chrome Grill

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to paint a baseboard heater?

Yes, it’s safe to paint the baseboard heater. But if you’re painting an electric one, don’t forget to disconnect the electric power supply from the fuse box.

Is it cheaper to paint baseboards or replace them?

Of course, painting is way too cheaper than replacing the entire baseboard heater. The tools and materials will cost around $300 only. You can easily save some bucks by painting it yourself.

What kind of brush do you use for baseboards?

The size of your paintbrush will depend on the baseboard size. But approximately a 2 or 2.5-inch angled brush is good enough for painting the entire surface easily.


Painting your baseboard heater can change your house decoration game. Also, the rusty and discounted baseboard heaters might kill your impression of the guests. This article has mentioned all the easy steps and tips on painting a baseboard heater. Just follow the lead and get an excellent result here.