customizing floor grates

by | Jan 8, 2019 | All Things Home, Decorating, Tips and Tricks | 27 comments

Well, I’m starting off my first full work week of the new year sick in bed!  I am itching to organize and get to work on some of the plans I drew up over the holidays, but those will all have to wait…hopefully for just a day or two.  Until I’m back on my feet and working on projects again, I am sharing a project I worked on before Christmas.

When the slate floors were installed and finished, the white floor vents stood out much more than they did on the beige tile…

I originally looked into replacing them with ones that were more decorative, but I had difficulty finding the size I needed and the ones I liked were pretty expensive.  I decided to go the thriftier option and used spray paint to transform the existing vents.

I was hoping to find a spray paint that was the same color as the slate tiles, but my options were narrowed down to battleship gray and oil rubbed bronze, so I picked the latter.

When spray painting, it’s best to apply the paint in several thin coats, so you avoid dripping and spray marks.  It’s also a good idea to start with the object(s) you’re painting upside-down, so you can apply paint from a variety of angles.

I took advantage of an unseasonably warm day in MN in December, propped the vents on a box over a drop cloth, and applied the paint in thin coats throughout the day.

This is the spray paint I opted to use…

A paint that was grayer and less black would’ve blended in even better, but this was an inexpensive quick fix and a nice improvement over the white.

It’s easy to overlook little finishing touches when working on larger projects, but it’s so rewarding when those finishing touches are checked off the list.


  1. Debbie Klausing

    Looks great! I did the same thing years ago in rooms with hardwood floors. I used a wrought iron color spray paint and loved the results.
    Hope you feel better really soon and are back at being your very productive self!

  2. Bernie

    I am the queen of spray paint. I’ve used the a same as you on white wire organizers. This year I painted our grill, with high heat black,patio ceiling fans,pink flamingos planter and a floor lamp I hated. New look for a few bucks!

  3. Cindy Coghill

    Looks much better and saved you lots of money. You can always upgrade later if you want. You are so right, those little finishing touches make all the difference in the final look.

  4. Teresa

    We did the same thing to our heating grates some years ago. We sprayed then in a brushed nickel finish and they really turned out great. It such a simple, easy upgrade without having to spend $$ replacing them all. Your new finish looks very nice with the new slate flooring. Hope you feel better!

  5. Linda

    Looks much better!!! Hope you’re back on your feet soon.

  6. Nicole Gatchell

    I like your entrance rug. May I ask where it was sourced from? I’m sick too…it’s the worst! Hang in there!

  7. Sandi

    I have another spray paint story …I replaced my worn out white wicker this year with pier one brown vinyl wicker . I saved my white wicker tea cart (because I love it) There is a rustoleum 2x coverage spray that matches the color absolutely perfectly. My teacart is now the color of the new wicker and my porch looks like a perfect all new set!

  8. Eileen

    I’ve used that particular spray many, many times, oil rubbed bronze. It looks beautiful on outdoor metal furniture….and metal grates.

  9. Carol

    They look great! I also like your entry hall rug where did you get it?

  10. Cathy

    Your furry dog baby is so beautiful.

  11. Christina

    Next time, but both colors and alternate them. The bronze will tone down the gray and give you the look you want.
    Get well! I always look forward to your posts!

  12. Jeffrey Favreau

    Like the look so much better. Question did I see a corner of the stairs in one of those photos, did I miss your post on the new stairs finally being installed?

  13. Louise

    Get well soon. It’s a nasty one going around! I’m on my 12th day and finally feeling better!

  14. Marlene Stephenson

    Hope your feeling better soon, love the color and how they look.

  15. Sharon

    You have such a great eye! The difference is amazing.

  16. Shelley

    Easy and smart. I recommend the hammered copper with medium oak hardwoods. Perfect in my Cape Cod.

  17. Pat

    Amazing what a can of spray can do to transform the smallest detail!
    We lived in our home for 15 years.
    One day, I looked down at the floor grate and said, “It’s well past time.”
    Wood grain to match the flooring was such an easy fix.
    Why had I waited so~o~o long?
    Hope this comment finds you feeling better and back on track with your plans for 2019!

  18. Elizabeth St

    Sending healing thoughts your way… The floor vents look so much better with the tile now… I like that you demonstrate not only thrifty ways to decorate but also how to achieve a new look while keeping building materials out of landfills. Kudos for you.

  19. Jeannie

    Looks great!

    Hope you feel better soon!

  20. Naomi Shelton

    Good idea, great job!

    Hope you are feeling fine in no time. Take care.

  21. Annette Kelly

    I used this same spray paint on a brass chandelier that came out FABULOUS!
    I then painted some tall brass candlesticks – PERFECT!
    I am crazy bout the Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint!

  22. Colleen

    I did the same with my dated gold dining room chandelier years back. I was being cheap and lazy but worked out. I added mercury class mini shades and it made me pretty happy in the end.
    This Christmas my yard was covered with pine cones after a wild wind storm. I gathered a bunch after walking my dogs and spray painted them gold tied ribbon on the end of each and had kinda cool “from our house to yours” little gifts for friends. (Special friends I tied to a wine gift bag.)
    Feel better soon, I was struck day after Christmas in bed for 3 days!! Love your Pup!!

  23. mary m

    I was at our local medical clinic here in NH and apparently it is not the flu
    going around here but a bad cough. So take care as rest is the best cure.

    I loved what you did. Have you ever used one of those cheap little spray
    can handles that facilitates spraying? Works like a charm.

  24. Deb H

    Stunning results! Healing prayers being sent your way sweet girl!

  25. Bonnie

    Youre so smaht!

  26. Wendy Y

    Hey I noticed the box you used to set your vents on for painting was one of your Grove Collaborative boxes 😁. I wanted to thank you for introducing us to them awhile back. Even though I could probably find a lot of the products they sell in stores not too far from me I still find it so convenient to order and have it just show up on my doorstep! Also I really do feel like our home is slowly becoming less toxic and much more healthy. It’s so nice to have people like them putting together a group of products you can trust.

  27. Katrina

    The oil rubbed bronze looks great! Through trial and error for you spray paint addicts, there is a big difference between Rustoleum Dark Bronze and the Oil Rubbed Bronze. Be sure to read the label. Dark bronze is lighter and has an almost silvery hue. Oil rubbed bronze has a deep brown hue.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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