Attic fan vents can become dingy and dirty looking over time. Moisture can cause the painted metal surface to bubble, peel, and crack. Dust and dirt can accumulate leaving the vent unsightly. If your attic fan vent has become an eyesore you can easily refinish it.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to remove the attic fan vent. Look carefully at the heads of the screws that hold it in place. Find a screwdriver or a bit for a cordless drill that matches the heads of the screws. Remove each screw. The vent should be free. Pull it off and bring it outside to your garage or workshop. Do not refinish your attic fan vent inside of your home. It will need to be sanded which will make a mess.
First wipe the attic fan vent down well using a damp cloth. Do this to remove all dust and dirt. Once it has been wiped down with the damp cloth use a dry cloth to remove any wetness.
Use a single piece of rough grit sandpaper to sand the vent with. It is best to sand by hand. An electric handheld sander will not be able to get between the slats. Both sides of the vent should be sanded. Remove all of the old paint using the rough grit sandpaper then switch to fine grit. Sand the attic fan vent again using the fine grit. Do this to remove any scratches caused from the rough grit, and to prepare the metal surface for it’s new finish.
Once you are finished sanding the vent wipe it down again to remove any remaining dust. Dust that remains on the metal when the new finish is applied will create bumps and blemishes. Be sure that the vent is completely clean and dry before moving on to the next step.
The next step is to apply a primer to the vent. Primer helps block out moisture. The primer will protect your attic fan vent from rusting, bubbling, peeling and cracking under the new paint. Use a spray primer that is meant for metal. Lay newspaper down on your work surface.
Lay the vent face down on your work surface. Spray the back of the vent first. Hold the can 8 to 10 inches from the backside of the vent. Spray on an even coat of primer moving the can from left to right as you spray.
Allow the first coat 10 minutes to dry then apply a second. Allow the second coat 20 minutes to dry then flip the vent over and do the same for the front side. The spray will have no trouble getting in between the vent slats.
When the front side of the vent is fully dry you may begin to apply the new paint finish. You can choose to paint the vent standard white, or you can opt to give it some color. Use spray paint that is meant for use on metal surfaces for best results. Apply the spray paint the same way that the primer was applied. Do the back of the vent first. Apply two coats and let them dry.
Flip the vent over once the backside has had 20 minutes to dry. Apply two coats three coats to the front side of the vent rather than two. The third coat ensures that your color will be full and even. ALlow the final coat of color one hour to dry.
Once the final coat of spray paint is fully dry you can bring the vent back into your home. It’s a good idea to discard the old screws and replace them with new. Use the screwdriver or cordless drill to re-insert the screws. Once the vent is re-secured to the attic fan the project is complete. Enjoy the clean new look!