Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Repainting Our Baseboard Heaters

Every time we move, the first thing that I'm always a little OCD about is cleaning. (This is thanks in part to both an OCD clean mother and years spent as a maid.) This move, I knew I had my work cut out for me. No nice property management company to send the cleaners in before the next move in. The gentleman who lived here before didn't even get all his furniture out until ten minutes to closing. That doesn't leave a lot of time for washing windows. 

The fluorescent lighting does no favors, either.
But one of the biggest, grossest things I knew I would have to tackle was the bathroom. 20 year old accessories that were very securely held onto the walls by years of dust and bathroom icky-ness and these God-awful baseboard heaters were priority. 

No, I don't need to be reminded about how these particular baseboard heaters (right next to the toilets) got so rusted. *Double Shudder*

I didn't even want to pee or shower until these bad boys were taken care of. Much less let Lizzie anywhere near it. 

We know that we will eventually be tiling both bathrooms, and probably replacing both bathroom baseboard covers with something a little more attractive and rust-proof at that time.  So I wanted to see if I could save the pre-existing ones first. 

After reviewing a lot of different DIY options, here's what I eventually ended up doing. 

First, I taped off the area around the baseboard heater. Then, I had to do the prep work to get rid of much of the rust, and get a smooth finish.

Wearing rubber gloves of course, I used a combination of both sandpaper and wire brushing technique and went to work. Each heater took about an hour. The wire brush was best for the really thick chunks of rust, but sandpaper was best for the small bumps and the final smoothing of it. 

Once everything was smoothed out I applied this Zinsser Bulls Eye Primer, and then used this Rust-Oleum protective enamel. I applied two coats of each.

I plan on giving this same treatment to all the baseboard heaters in the house, though in the future I may skip the primer step. I think the Rust-Oleum would be sufficient. I love the results though! 

Here's one last before/after. As you can see, I also painted the bathroom, but I'll do a full bathroom before/after once we have everything replaced. For now, I'm just glad everything is CLEAN!

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