Covering up your boiler to make your room feel more furnished

We have the oldest, crankiest boiler in the world. But, for as long as it still heats our house safely and (fairly) effectively then I am happy to make do and mend until such time as we have the finances to afford to replace it. However, not only is the boiler old and cranky, it is also very ugly indeed. Years of age have stained it yellow and brown, it is covered in the old stubborn marks of stickers and labels that have decorated it over the years, and it really was such an eyesore in my lovely fresh utility room. So cover it I must!

The original utility room and its old stained boiler
The original utility room and its old stained boiler

I researched online for ideas on how to cover it and although I saw lots of great ideas involved blocking it in, using cool blackboard doors, and hiding it with kitchen cupboards, none of these were going to work for me because of the size, position and shape of the boiler. Where it is restricts me from using a cupboard style covering because we wouldn’t be able to access it for repairs and maintenance. So I came up with an alternative idea I thought would work wonders for us, and could do for you. And not only that, it was so cheap!!!

Shopping List

  • U or L shape shower curtain pole set. I got one from Dunelm Mill for around £15 that came with 3 rods, 2 corner inserts, 2 straight inserts, and 2 wall attachments. I can’t see it on their website (despite only getting it a few weeks ago) so I have used this image here from Argos instead where they are selling something very similar (but including a shower curtain too) for around £25. I would recommend trying out Home Bargains or B&M as I think this is exactly the sort of thing they would stock. For this project I used 2 rods, 1 corner insert and the 2 wall brackets.
    U Shaped Adaptable Shower Rail Set
    U Shaped Adaptable Shower Rail Set. For this project I used 2 poles, the wall brackets and one corner insert

     

  • 2 wall plugs and 3 screws. I used normal 5mm wall plugs rather than big heavy duty plasterboard ones because the weight of the pole is so very light. However, you should choose the wall plugs and screws that suit the wall you are hanging this on to.
  • One curtain to the width and length required. I got a dunelm curtain in the sale for £10. What a bargain! I bought a curtain in a nice light fabric so that heat from the boiler did not become trapped behind it. Also, the lighter the curtain, the less stress on the pole.

 

Equipment

  • Saw
  • Drill with suitable drill bit for the screws/wall plugs you are using
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver (to fit the screws you have chosen to use)
  • Probably a step ladder if your boiler is wall mounted as high as mine

 

How To

  • Measure the width and depth of your boiler so you know how long to cut your poles down to. I needed one pole at 35cm, and one at 50cm. Remember to add on some breathing space so your curtain is not pulled tight against the boiler, I allowed for a few extra centimetres on each pole.

    Measuring up the boiler
    I measure out from the wall with the back door on it (31cm), and then out from the wall on the right (43cm)
  • Using the saw, cut the 2 poles to the required length. I cut mine to 35cm and 50cm. Then connect them using the corner shaped insert, and push the two wall brackets on to either end until you have a nice neat L-shaped pole.
  • Hold the pole up to the wall round the boiler and using your pencil, mark the points where your screws will go through. Each wall bracket on my pole had 3 screw holes, so I had 3 marks made on each wall.

    Marking your pilot holes
    I made 3 marks on each wall where the screws would go and used a 5mm drill bit to create pilot holes
  • Using the appropriate drill bit for your chosen screws and plugs, drill a pilot hole into the wall where you have made your marks.
  • Insert your wall plugs into the pilot holes.
  • Now, take the wall brackets back off your pole and screw the them into position.

    Brackets on the wall
    After I inserted the wall plugs into the pilot holes, I used my screwdriver to attach the wall brackets to the wall
  • Thread your curtain onto the pole (I used an eyelet curtain to save any faffing with pencil pleats and to avoid the need for curtain rings.)
  • Push your pole, holding the curtain, into the wall brackets.
Bye bye ugly boiler
I slid the curtain onto the pole, and pushed the curtain pole into the wall brackets

 

And, voila, all done! It looks so much better than before, don’t you think?!?!

Before and After:

 

 

Additional Note:

Not while hanging this curtain, but when I was hanging the door curtain, I drilled into the wall to make pilot holes for wall brackets and drilled straight into the electrics. Be careful! There will be a lot of plumbing and electrics around your boiler, especially if it is situated in a utility room or kitchen. We use a stud finder device we got on Amazon for around £20 to detect for electrics and pipes etc before we drill any holes in the wall now. I’m not convinced it is 100% accurate, but I do think it is better than using nothing at all!

For this project:

Our stud finder detected something behind the wall to the left of the boiler, so we used no more nails and glued a block of wood to the wall into which we then made our pilot holes and attached our curtain pole. Just sand the wood down on each side, paint it on the visible sides the same colour as your walls, and then glue into place following the product instructions. Ensure your screws are long enough to go through the block of wood and just into the wall but not all the way through the plasterboard. Arguably its not as neat as going straight into the wall itself, but the curtain covers it up anyway, and its a whole lot safer than burning your house down or electrocuting yourself!

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