If you asked this question of someone with a mischievous sense of humor, he or she would probably answer, “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do,” but if you want to complete a ceiling paint project properly, you’d be wise to make sure all the vents and other obstacles are set aside first. Remember, you can always paint and re-attach them when the ceiling paint is dry.
You may think it would be easier to just leave the vents in place. You’d be correct, it would be easier to just paint over them, but there are at least two good reasons to remove them and deal with them separately. One has to do with cleanliness on the back of the vent and on the part of the ceiling covered by the vent when it’s attached, the other has to do with putting fresh paint on the ceiling surface itself.
It’s always best to take a few minutes to remove vents and light fixtures. Once you have the vents in hand, clean them thoroughly. Then, “rough up” the surface with steel wool to make sure the paint will adhere properly. The metal surface generally won’t take the paint as well as the more porous ceiling. You’ll use the same color paint on the vents, but make sure you put on two coats.
Some people even run their vents through the dishwasher, use a bonding primer as a first coat, before painting them. Just be sure to let them dry completely first. If the vents have been painted before, make sure to remove chipped paint and do a little sanding so the surface is smooth to the touch. If you can get the same color as your ceiling, but in a spray paint, this can be a good way to finish vents.
For complete cleanliness, clean the space you’ve uncovered carefully and make sure you spot-prime those areas before putting the finish color on. When you take these extra steps, you’ve done just about all you can to make sure your ceiling is in top shape, whether it’s a part you can see or not.
Calling All Vents
When you’ve treated ceiling vents as a separate piece, regarding cleanliness and painting, you have the experience to be applied to all the vents in your home. Some houses have floor vents, which can be cleaned and painted with the same steps as outlined for ceiling vents. For example, suppose you plan to change the flooring in one or more rooms. You can clean and repaint the vents to fit with your new flooring and new color.
For example, if brown vent covers were used with a dark carpet or wood floor and you have a new tile or carpet color, you can clean and repaint the vents to match the new style. Vacuum the back of the vents first and make sure they’re completely clean. This may take a bit of work by hand but it will be worth it. Keep your home clean, healthy, and looking good by removing and repainting your vents.