Old Vents vs. New Vents

When we first moved into our house back in late October, one of the first things we did was to give everything a new coat of paint. To do this, we removed all the old HVAC vent registers. The old vents we pulled off the walls were packed with dirt & grime – I’m pretty sure no are at all was getting through a few of them.

Initially, we were so grossed out by the old vents that they went straight into garbage bags, and we just planned on buying new ones. We’ve had gaping holes in our walls ever since.

Empty vents without covers.

Well we did buy new ones from out big box store. But as it turns out, they are just a little bit underwhelming. Compared to the heftiness of the old ones, the new ones just feel cheap and flimsy. Plus, they are slightly different dimensions, so installing them will be a chore (we’d have to cut into the original wood baseboards in some places, and I’d rather not have to do that).

So all of a sudden, figuring out a way to clean up the old vents is suddenly sounding a lot more attractive. That will be a lot of work, too. They’ve been painted a few times, and I’m sure trying to scrape all the paint off of each one of those little fins could drive a person batty.

Old Vents? or New Vents?

I’ve seen a lot of people talk about soaking door hinges and such in a crock pot, and then the paint comes off pretty easily. I think these vents, though, are too big to fit in a crock pot. How could I get the same effect? Could I find a big pan and bake them in the oven for a few hours to get the same effect? Or should I just submerge them in a five-gallon bucket full of paint thinner for a while?

What do you think? Old vents or new vents? If you like the old ones, what’s the best way to go about stripping the many layers of paint off all those tiny fins?