Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Between Seasons

The Joys of Home Ownership



- OB lived with those for FOUR YEARS before finally feelin' the motivation


Trée said...

OB, if you keep being so real and so honest, well, I might just have to start riding my bike again. :-D

the old bag said...

It's all about the here and now


and the future

the who, the what, the maybe
but not




the old bag said...

BESIDES, get out and spin! Got that Sachs yet??

the old bag said...

...and the whatif

it's also about the whatif....

C. P. said...

Good work, OB. Find any secrets waiting behind the vents? Notes? Pennies? Dust? -CP

the old bag said...

In the course of the whole house project, I've found playing cards and game pieces stuffed behind floor trim and at the bottom of the intake vents...I also had an interesting wallpaper excavation that took me back through each decade from the 90s to the 40s. Old houses are interesting, but also time-consuming.

gwadzilla said...


it looks a lot better without the cat

definitely better without the cat

we had a mouse problem in the basement
some one recommended getting a cat
I thought it sounded like the old woman who swallowed a fly

as I would not know which would be worse
a mouse or a cat

gwadzilla said...


I never started cleaning my basement

but I want to

Trée said...

In a word, NO. Richie is behind schedule. Then again, with winter coming, I can wait just a little longer before I kiss so many greenbacks goodbye. :-D

the old bag said...

Gwadz -- furry fish are always a warm, snuggly addition to a home!


Trée -- it'll be worth the wait.

Pete said...

We had heat vents like that in our old place. They were painted a dark brown. Ugly, but they didn't show dirt or dust, so we left 'em alone. Yours look great!

Snakebite said...

What brand of cat remover do you use? I can't even see a trace in the first "after" picture.

the old bag said...

hey HEY!

...careful there...

the old bag said...

Thanks Pete...if only I'd been so lucky. These were gunked with globs of snot-green paint that collected dust, grime and spills...bleck.

Roberta S said...

Our house is large but ancient, and the 'before' is an exact reproduction of the heat vents. And although Hub and I have searched and searched we have never found any new covers to replace the old ones. Everything we've come across is a different size. So boy, did you luck out? Was the source a shop that I might find in Canada?

You did a very fine job. Looks good. I'm bloody ripped with envy.

the old bag said...

Roberta, I searched high and low looking to replace these, but I couldn't find sizes I needed (and the ones I did find cost nearly $60-70 for ONE).


I figured I had nothing to lose by trying it myself so I started in on them with paint stripper out in the garage...a gloppy, gooey mess!


A friend recommended I call a metal fabricating or finishing company -- said they could probably strip them for me. So, I headed to the Yellow Pages and found Kangas Enameling -- $70 for dipping five vents. They'd have powder coated them for $130, if I remember right, but people in my neighborhood had spraypainted theirs and I figured I could do the same.

I did have to first coat them with a spraypaint that actually incorporates the rust into a paintable surface (Rust-Oleum Rust Reformer) because I'd waited too long after having them stripped. Then I did several coats of white spraypaint -- light coats, much patience (and I'm still not done, but the weather turned cold, so I'll put a couple more coats on in the spring).

Some company could make a killing offering these in a modern design for $25 per. There are a ton of old houses out there with beat-up vents -- I assumed it would be a minor thing to replace. Wrong!