How to Get Rust Off Baseboard Heaters

Baseboard heaters can quickly develop rust if the paint protecting them becomes chipped or if they are located in a humid room.
Once rust begins forming, it will only continue to spread. Rust can spread very quickly, especially if there is other damage. The sooner you remove rust and repaint your baseboard heaters, the better a chance you have of only having to repair them instead of replacing them. .

Step 1

Remove the baseboard cover so you can more easily work on it. You should be able to pop the cover off the baseboard heater.

Step 2

Sand the rust away with a medium-grain sandpaper until you reach the base metal below.

Step 3

Wipe down the baseboard cover with a damp cloth to remove any paint flecks or sandpaper residue. Dry the baseboard cover immediately with a dry cloth.

Step 4

Spray an oil-based primer onto the baseboard cover and allow the primer to dry according to the directions on the can.

Step 5

Apply at least one coat of oil-based spray paint. If needed, allow the paint to dry according to the package directions and apply a second coat.

Things You Will Need

  • Medium-grain sandpaper
  • Cloths
  • Oil-based spray primer
  • Oil-based spray paint


  • For baseboard heaters in areas where humidity and moisture might be an ongoing problem, add a splash guard to protect your baseboard heater.

About the Author

Cricket Webber began writing for fun as a young adult and started writing professionally in 2010. She is based in the deep South. Webber specializes in articles on greener living. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in education from Converse College.