Monday, December 10, 2007

Advice for People Who Are Painting a Room

If you're thinking of painting over the vents, please don't. It becomes a pain for whoever is going to paint the room the next time. It's not difficult to remove the vents before painting; it's certainly easier than removing them after they've been painted over. It's even easier to put masking tape around the edges, though you can't then be as cavalier with the roller. Actually, it's easier to remove the vents — two screws, pull, and you're done.

If you really want the vent covers to be the same color as the wall, remove them first, paint them separately, let them (and the walls) dry, and then replace them. It's more work, sure, but you won't then have painted the damned things to the wall. The better option is still not to paint them, so the next person doesn't have to buy replacements.

This has been your grumpy homeowner's rant for the day.


Julie said...

Ha! I'll have to remember this when I paint! Sorry for your troubles, though. =( I bet the room(s) look smashing (in a good way), all painted!

Mike Marsh said...

My Dad showed me the easy way to deal with the painted-over vent cover. The wrong way to deal with it is to get this extremely toxic and evil paint-stripping gunk, which creates nasty vapors and can give you a chemical burn. The right way is to clean the register with denatured alcohol, and while the latex paint is still tacky sand it down as much as you feasibly can. You want to get rid of whatever paint comes off easily, and otherwise make it a smooth finish. Then get some automotive spray paint in the color of your choosing, and spray on thin coats, letting it dry (under a minute) between coats until the color is solid. You get a much cleaner coating than with latex paint, though you won't be able to match the color exactly to the wall. In my case, the registers are white and the walls are pale green. Pictures are coming once the stool moulding is in place.

Julie said...

I hope to never have to paint my vents, which are white. But if I run into an occasion where vents must be painted, I will remember (I hope) denatured alcohol. I'll definitely remember to reference your blog!

Mike Marsh said...

As long as the paint is a thin coat, you should be able to spray-paint right on top of it. White is a good color for vents, though.