Disguise Your Furnace and Water Heater | DIY

Ever look at a hot water tank or furnace and think "Gee, this is a good lookin' piece of equipment"?

Although I admire people who can appreciate the aesthetic qualities of industrial grey equipment, it just doesn't float most peoples' boats. The following DIY tips aim to help you make the hot water tank or furnace, in your basement or laundry room gain some style points.

I've organized this article into four different "build" categories, which are completely customizable in terms of matching almost any style and theme currently in your home. Covers that act as curtains, covers that are integrated within your home, standing room dividers and equipment that is decorated-on, directly.

Before you begin, please note that your finished furnace or water tank's future privacy screen or cover will absolutely require at least 30 inches deep by 30 inches wide of space in front of your respective unit's control panel, so as to allow for enough room for a technician to service your appliance. Further, it requires "breathing room" for optimal airflow.

So, to get started, let's look at some custom privacy screens / room dividers that you can easily construct , or purchase outright. The best part about building these is that you can build them in your yard, garage or balcony and bring it to your furnace or hot water tank, once complete (rather than building or tearing down a wall, or drilling into your ceilings.)

Repurposing or building a bi-folding, tri-folding door or room divider:

screens for furnace boiler tanks We strongly recommend planning out your build by at least measuring your chosen materials' heights and lengths. With your measurements, you can then literally draw a plan out to work off of. Once you have your plan drawn out, start construction by building at least two frames out of 2x2's (three frames if your door is going to be tri-folding.)

Once you've built your frames, you can screw hinges into them. Be sure to provide slack for, and compensate for thicker hinges, as they may interfere with the remainder of your materials and design, which you will be filling in the hollow frame in with.

Some materials you can use to build your very own furnace or water tank disguise(s) with can include, but are far from limited to:

  • Old folding closet doors. These won't even require frames - You may wish to simply apply some paint and remove any wheels, as well as any other attachments. You can also apply materials such as stick-on tiles or false brick panels, which you can buy from wayfair.com, any hardware store, many dollar stores, and even amazon.
  • Bamboo or other relatively straight wooden sticks, having identical heights. You will need something to hold them in place, such as wood glue, contact cement, or even twine - Each stick will be affixed, one next to another, between the side panels of your wooden frames. For a frame measuring 20"x100", you will likely require approx 20 "sticks" that are 100" long. An alternative to building frames for such a project can include almost any object that can support your sticks - Examples include broom sticks, mop sticks and thin lamp posts.
  • Practically any old door can be repurposed, provided there are at least a pair of them, and you have at least two hinges per "fold".
  • Old cabinet doors, armoires, wooden chests, fencing, wooden skids, bed slats, or other types of furniture can be dissected in order to construct your folding screen, as long your frame is sturdy and properly measured for the rest of your repurposed materials.
  • A store-bought privacy screen would be cost efficient (but boring!!)
  • Fabrics, blinds, and even artwork can potentially be used in conjunction with your sturdy frames.
  • Office cubicles.

    Repurposing curtains or blinds (We suggest spraying fire retardant spray on your curtains, unless you opt to use welding curtains)

    blinds furnace screen curtains

  • Curtains can be mounted to a track, either at the top of a frame or by screwing them into your ceiling.
  • Blinds can be mounted to a frame or directly screwed into a ceiling.
  • An attractive curtain.
  • Bed sheets.
  • A tarp, which you can also paint with an exterior latex paint. You can also add peel and stick vinyl stickers to this.
  • Hanging beads.

    Building a wall with a an access point / door

    furnace water tank cover wall examples

  • Drywall
  • Plywood
  • Doors (Barn doors, closet doors, cabinets)
  • 2x4s

    Decorating your equipment with vinyl wall stickers

    If you're not bothered by the look of large steel equipment as much as you are by the industrial grey colour they hone:

  • exterior acrylic house paint or an elastomeric paint will allow the tank to expand and contract without chipping or tearing the paint.
  • Buy these online for minimal shipping at aliexpress.com, amazon.com, wayfair.com, ebay.com etc.

    I had a lot of fun writing this article, and I hope that you are more inspired now then you were prior to landing on this page.

    Please feel free to share this with your friends :)

    Smart Home Works is a Canadian owned and operated business. We provide only the highest efficiency heating and cooling equipment to Canadian Homeowners. Please don't hesitate to contact us for any HVAC related concerns!