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Refinishing heating grates

My girlfriend and I just finished sanding our upstairs floors (which came out a lot nicer than expected) and we'd like to clean up the beautiful old forced hot air grates to complete the look.

We'll end up painting them black, but didn't know if we should get the grates themselves sandblasted or anything to clean them up before painting. Any suggestions? Is this even necessary?


Re: Refinishing heating grates

They're usually made of cast iron or steel.

If they are small enough to remove it might be best to take them outside, sandpaper them to remove any excess paint, plunk them on newspapers or plastic sheeting, then spray paint them with a black semi-gloss spray can---use rustoleum paint if there is any sign of rust.

Taking them outside prevents indoor inhalation of paint vapors, and the outdoor air will dry them more quickly.

If you have to spray them in place, first mask off the vents with newspapers and masking tape, open the windows & use a window fan if available, & use a face mask designed to protect the lungs against paint spray, like a 3M Model 8247 sold at HD/Lowe's for $5.

The auto supply stores have excellent paint/rust removal items (designed for auto body work) that attach to a standard drill if the vents are large or there is a lot of old rust/layered paint to remove.

Re: Refinishing heating grates

thanks a lot!

they are currently removed. . so i will hit them with a bit of sandpaper. . they are in relatively good shape, i just wanted to clean them up a bit

thanks again for your help

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