Finding metal vent covers- any pointers?

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I need/want to replace my one 1956 wall vent cover. I have previously done this in other rooms, but I am unimpressed with the flimsy material used in the new ones sold at local building supply stores and the adjustment mechanism. Buying new ones seems to be a problem as well because screw holes don’t match up.


i guess I could paint the old one? What could It do to it before painting? Picture of current vent attached. I know, I know, Wall paper being stripped as we speak. I really hate to disturb things because it always leads to another problem, but this will look horrible with new white paint!


thanks for any pointers.

q finding metal vent covers
  12 answers
  • Karen Karen on Jul 30, 2018
    Saw some new brass filigree vents at the Bargain Hunt in Jackson, that could be painted white that would spruce up the space.
  • Oliva Oliva on Jul 30, 2018

    There are stores that specialize in vent covers for older homes. Search Google for the size heating vent/return air vent size you need. Some are metal, others are wood.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jul 31, 2018
    I would just take a soft brass wire brush and clean up the old one, and spray paint it to go with the new decor.
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jul 31, 2018
    Hi Linda, Large DIY stores should be able to help.
  • Melbrooks Melbrooks on Jul 31, 2018
    Scrub it well, sand any rust, use spray metal primer -(Krylon makes white spray primer), then spray paint from both sides (in & out)
    It works great, and holds up well. The trick is short slow sprays of paint to get the louvers without runs in the paint. 😉
  • Mgeones Mgeones on Jul 31, 2018
    Check and see if there is a Habitat for Humanity Reclaim store in your area. I have found many good home repair items at my local store.
  • Kathleen Kathleen on Jul 31, 2018
    I saw a beautiful room in a magazine with dark gray walls. The owner had painted the vents the same color as the wall, and they were barely perceptible at all. It looked really nice. She did the same with the light switches. If you follow the cleanup instructions given in several other answers and paint thin layers, I think it would look great.
  • Trish Trish on Jul 31, 2018
    i love the use same color/the main color of room & use the great instuctions above!!
  • Elizabeth Dion Elizabeth Dion on Jul 31, 2018

    Hi! I would suggest that you use Rustoleum Spray paint to upgrade the vent. You’re right, quality vents are hard to find today.

  • Jb225264797 Jb225264797 on Jul 31, 2018
    Before you decide to paint them, pull it down and put it in the sink with hot water covering it. Add powdered dishwasher detergent to the hot water. Let it set for a few min. and then scrub with a soft brush. It should look like new. I've had this happen in customers' homes and find this works almost every time. Be sure and change your AC filters as recommended. This is usually just dust and dirt build up along with possibly cigarette smoke.
  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Aug 28, 2018

    Hi Linda, I'm in the HVAC business so I understand what you mean. The ones at Home Depot and similar are very flimsy. The decorative ones that another review mentioned are pretty and sturdy but they are very bad for the mechanical equipment in your house. They are too restrictive to the air flow and create a problem known as high static pressure which wears out the equipment prematurely. It's especially hard on older systems.

    That being said, SOME of the HVAC supply houses will sell items such as filters and supply registers to homeowners, especially if you explain your problem. The registers at most HVAC supply houses are better quality than from a home improvement store. I would take down your old register and take it in to the store.

  • Linda Diggins Moreland Linda Diggins Moreland on Aug 29, 2018

    Thanks so much all of you for the great helpful answers.