the carpenter's daughter with diy radiator cover
Print Recipe

DIY Radiator Cover

Here's how I made a radiator cover for the first time. It’s great for awkward radiators you can’t find a cover for and it’s easily adaptable using my plans in my blogpost.
Prep Time4 hrs
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time2 d
Servings: 1 radiator cover
Author: Vikkie Lee
Cost: £50




  • Firstly, wear a dust mask, ear defenders and goggles and cut all your front panels with a circular saw using a straight edge for accurate cuts. (For my radiator cover, I cut 7 pieces at 15cm wide and 85cm tall for now).
  • Then measure the length of your radiator including the thermostat and add 36mm as this is the thickness of the sides and perhaps 2 to 3cm extra for easy removal later. Then divide it by how many sections you, then round the total up which will give you your horizontal strip length to cut.
  • Now lay out all your pieces in front of your radiator. It should go:1 vertical, 2 horizontals, 1 vertical and so on. Now label which piece is left, middle, right, top and bottom to avoid confusion.
  • Then using a combi square, mark a 30mm line from the top of your vertical pieces for a vent and 100mm at the bottom.
  • Next, go over all the edges except the top and bottom of the vertical panels with a 45 degree chamfer router bit to remove the boxy style edge.
  • Re-lay all your radiator cover pieces, lining up the horizontal strips to the vent lines you created.
  • Now on each join, mark dead centre using a tape measure or combination square and transfer the same line to the opposite strip which will be your vertical pieces. This is for your biscuit join.
  • Take each piece to a flat table, clamp down and make a slot with your biscuit jointer on each of those marks. You may need to test on an offcut to adjust the height of where you want it to cut.
  • Once all your biscuit cuts are done, lay a rag on the floor, then your large clamps and insert glue in to one side of the joins and insert the biscuits.
  • Then add glue in the joining strip's slots and the rest of the cut edge and slot together. Repeat until you have your first half done if making a larger one like me and clamp together. Wipe any excess glue off - especially from the front of your radiator cover. Leave overnight if possible or 3 hours if in rush, but don't put tension on the joins.
  • Then glue and clamp the other section to the newly clamped one - again, if making a double one.
  • Now unclamp and cut your side panels.
  • Lay and line up the side panels on the back of your front section and mark the side with 4 biscuit slots as even as possible.
  • Again, you may need to test on two pieces of scrap wood to see if your side biscuit joins are correct and creates a flush edge. If you, you'll need to adjust the height of your cut.
  • Now make the biscuit cuts on the back of your front piece. The biscuit jointer should be aiming downwards to the floor. And add joins to the slim edge of the panels as you did earlier.
  • Then glue and biscuit as before, but clamp the sides on while making sure the corners are a perfect right angle with a speed square. Do this for as many joins as you can. I used two to three camps per side and leave 3 hours to overnight if possible.
  • Next add a corner bracket at the top back of each vertical strip and side. To do this, mark, predrill the holes and screw on.
  • Now cut your top piece and chamfer the sides and front.
  • Evenly place on the top of your radiator cover and pre drill then screw to the other section of the corner brackets. Tip, it's easier to do this while the hole thing is upside down.
  • Measure and cut your MDF screen with a jigsaw and screw on the back of your radiator cover.
  • Then seal with MDF sealer, leave to dry, then paint. You can find paint recommendations covered in this post.
  • For scribing around a skirting board, also refer to the blog post notes.