I'm looking for recommendations for going about making my bathroom electric baseboard heater more presentable (and, of course, maintaining its safety). I'm including pictures of the fixture, showing the rust spots. As you know the bathroom location leaves it susceptible to a lot of moisture. In fact, I installed the current heater years ago as a replacement of the former baseboard heater which had also rusted. I want to pretty this one up and need instructions for dealing with the rust first and then the right kind of paint to use in this high temperature location that will also better protect the surfaces from further rusting.enter image description here

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First, that looks like a common Cadet heater that costs about $50, so don't sink $200 worth of labor-of-love treating it.

Second, it's high-temp, but not that high-temp - it's designed to have a relatively huge heating element with low heat per inch, so you won't burn yourself on it if you touch it. These things are in homes with children after all.

So ordinary rattle-can spray paint should work fine, you don't need to use grill or stove or brake caliper paint. (in case you want a bright red heater lol). An alternate option if you have a Maker Space available to you with a big powdercoat curing oven is, powder coat. That is how it was painted from the factory. Since part of powdercoating is curing it in a 475F oven, obviously the coating doesn't have a problem with heat.

If you really, really want to brush and roller it, you can't use a "latex" paint because the heat will damage it. You need to use an alkyd paint. The messy ones involving thinner and NOT being able to clean brushes in the sink. (This is exactly what is in "rattle can" spray paint, but obviously that doesn't bother you there because you don't thin it or use brushes). They now make waterborne alkyds which are supposedly best of both worlds, but I doubt their durability. We shall see.

  • Ok, great info! Good to know about the temp factor. What about treating the existing rust? Do you think it is possible to fix it so it never rusts again? Commented May 31, 2020 at 23:02
  • @Nicknamednick Not for less than the cost of a Cadet heater. You'd be really talking about media blast and then coating with industrial paints. Bare minimum a makerspace membership and a bunch of paint kit. You could buy the heater 4-5 times over for that lol. Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 2:17

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