Step 7: Finish the cover's top

finishing the radiator cover's top
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Place the cover's top upside down on a tarp. Turn the assembled cover onto it. Center the cover with the back edges flush; there should be a ½-inch overhang around the sides and the front. Mark the inside perimeter of the cover onto the top.

Cut three 1x scraps to fit in a loose U-shape inside the lines. Glue and screw the pieces to the underside of the top. Caulk all seams, fill the nail and screw holes with wood putty, sand, and paint the cover's exterior. Once it's dry, use a staple gun to attach the screening to the inside of the cover. Cut a piece of sheet metal to fit behind the radiator to help reflect heat into the room. Then place the cover over the radiator.
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    Tools List

    • drill
      Drill/driver,
      with ½-inch spade bit and countersink bit
    • circular saw
      Circular saw
    • hand clamps
      Clamps
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw
    • miterbox with saw
      Miter box and handsaw
    • metal cutting snips
      Tin snips
    • staple gun
      Staple gun
    • scribe
      Scribe,
      to contour box around baseboards

    Shopping List

    1. 3/4-INCH MDF

    Measure the front, sides and top of your radiator to determine how much you need.



    2. SCREEN

    Comes in 3-by-3 foot sheets. Get enough to cover the front opening and two side openings.



    3. SHEET METAL

    Slides behind the radiator to reflect heat outward.



    4. 3/4-INCH MOLDING

    to give a finished appearance to the screen openings.



    5. 1 5/8-INCH COARSE DRYWALL SCREWS

    to fasten the cover's sides and front.



    6. 1/2-INCH STAPLES

    to attach the screen to the cover.



    7. WOOD GLUE

    to attach molding.



    8. 4d FINISH NAILS

    for fastening the molding.



    9. 1x SCRAP

    to make cleats that hold the cover's top in place.



    10. FEET

    Check woodworking catalogs for furniture feet in metal or wood. You may need longer screws than the ones provided with the feet in order to fasten them through the thick MDF.