Here’s the situation: your baseboard covers are old and rusted and you don’t really want to spend the big $$ to get a whole new unit installed, or perhaps maybe you want to try a new color to match your perfect shade of cerulean blue walls or that woven kilim rug you bought from that street vendor in Istanbul who insisted that his rugs were the best rugs in all of the world.
Anyway, for some reason or another you’re looking for a quick DIY fix for your baseboard radiator covers and your considering channeling your inner Picasso by slapping a coat of paint on them. Why not, right?
The problem is that baseboard heater covers, unlike the rest of the paintable surfaces in your room, are made of metal that is probably rusted and scuffed up over time.
So while your brand new paint job might look fine right away, and you might even get a few complements on your color choice and superior creative ingenuity, it’s only a matter of time before the paint starts chipping off or the rust starts to eat its way through the paint–leaving you right back where you started: with rusty old baseboard covers. Only now your old rusty cover has chipped paint and the rusted panels are even worse for wear because the rust has spread itself, eating away at the panels and causing them to disintegrate.
Galvanizing puts a layer of zinc over clean rust-free steel, causing the steel to resist oxidization and rusting incredibly well–meaning your covers will last long than your affinity for royal velvet drapery just like the Beverly Hills Hotel and that floral wallpaper (which, on second thought is quite busy).
If you’re looking for a quick-fix and are not too concerned with rust then go ahead and paint away, your covers will look great and refreshed–most paint looks great when it first goes on, no? But if you’re looking for a long term solution that will stand that test of time, then a new cover is definitely in order.