Our central A/C has been installed along with our new gas furnace and as part of the project, we decided to have our ducts cleaned once we saw how dirty they were. This is one of those things that you don’t really think about doing. It is also surprisingly expensive and when you can’t really enjoy looking at the benefits on a daily basis it is certainly not the first thing I wanted to spend money on. But, trust me, if you actually have the opportunity to see the inside of your ducts you will want to get them cleaned!
They scrubbed our register covers as part of the duct cleaning so this was as good as time as any to give them a little facelift. Ever since we moved in, it has been bugging me how dirty and even a little rusty they were. Along with almost everything else in the house, they were also mismatched throughout the house. Again, my Type A personality can only take that for so long before I have to do something about it :).
I contemplated replacing them, but ours are really good quality and the ones you can buy at a Home Depot or Lowes aren’t as heavy and as good of quality. We had to replace one since it was broken and the difference in quality is very noticeable. And, even though they aren’t overly expensive, when you have over 20 registers to replace covers for, it can get expensive quickly. So, I decided to spray paint them, which is a more budget friendly update (about $10 for 3 cans of spray paint). This took such little time and the majority of the time was mostly me waiting (impatiently) for them to dry.
And the result was a dramatic.
I used Rust-Oleum Dark Taupe spray paint in the satin finish. The color looks great against our hardwood floors. You will want to do this outside if possible because the smell can get to you. You also probably don’t want that smell in your house.
Here are some before and after pictures:
Step 1: Remove the registers and label where they go in the house. This is important because not all registers will fit perfectly back in all of the holes so this will help you remember where they go once the project is done.
Step 2: Clean the register covers.
Step 3: Sand any rust areas to get a smooth surface.
Step 4: Place the registers on some cardboard and spray paint the bottom side of the registers first. I found it better to do a couple of lighter coats to avoid getting drips. Also, remember to get into all of the little nooks. Let it dry over night. If possible, bring them inside to dry so that outside dirt doesn’t blow around and get stuck to them. Repeat with an additional coat if necessary.
Step 5: After the bottom side is completely dry, flip the registers over and spray paint the top. Let it dry over night. Repeat with an additional coat if necessary.
Step 6: Place the registers back in their respective spots.
Step 7: Enjoy the clean, matching register covers!