How to improve the look of tired old radiators

How to improve the look of tired old radiators

Do you think your radiators are strictly functional? Do you feel condemned to stay with the downbeat existing model until the time for replacement comes? You might be surprised at how easy it is to alter the appearance of your old radiators for the better. Here are some tips on how to jazz them up.


A simple coat of paint can turns things around radically. For the best results, you need high-heat paint. You could create an ombré effect or mimic the look of your wallpaper on the surface of the radiator.

Distraction techniques

You could distract the viewer’s attention with a painting or mirror above the radiator. Alternatively, build a window seat around the culprit or create an alcove in a bay window – anything that brings the focus away from the radiator.

Alternatively, you could buy a radiator cover. Often made from light wood, these come in a vast range of colours and designs and can be simply slipped over radiators that are not in use. Remove them when you want to heat the room.

Column radiators are a staple in modern homes today. They offer winning aesthetic appeal, so you will not want to hide them away. You can visit Apollo for a selection of column radiators.

There’s some advice on painting radiators at DIY Doctor.


A cheap solution is to hide your radiator away behind an old-fashioned screen such as those used for fireplaces or hearths. These are pleasant and decorative to look at, and they can supply the perfect foil to your interior decor scheme.

Shelf solution

Don’t want to hide your radiator entirely? You might find that you can develop it into a wider feature. For example, install a floating shelf above the offending radiator that will draw people’s eyes away from it. The size of the shelf will depend on how bulky the radiator is.

Multitasking radiators

Once your radiator is covered, it opens up a world of potential. As its shape is now rectangular and boxy, it could be converted into a platform for a lamp or a side table. You could also use it as a base for a fruit bowl, carafes or small decanters and sculptures.

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