What color heat registers for a 1915 bungalow?

artemis78April 19, 2010

We recently had our vintage baseboard registers dipped-and-stripped after failing miserably at finding any replacements that would fit the vents. Now we need to decide what color to paint them, since the original finish was stripped off as well so they're down to the bare metal.

I can't seem to figure out what the appropriate color would have been---our house is a 1915 Arts & Crafts bungalow, and we think heat was added in the 1930s, so the registers date to around then (but are super simple, no ornate patterns or anything fun like that). They sit on the floor set in against the moulding, which is now painted white and unlikely to be stripped while we're in the house. The floors are quarter-sawn white oak.

Any thoughts on what color they should be? We could go with black, but it seemed a little strange against the white moulding....wondered if there might be another generally appropriate metallic color of some sort that would work. We're not sticklers for getting it historically exact, but want something that a) looks nice and b) isn't completely out of character.

Thanks for any thoughts!

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My favorite color is antique brass. It goes with almost everything, but there are several colors that would probably work :)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 6:04PM
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If they're in a white baseboard, I'd paint them white so they blend in, probably with a top coat of baseboard paint over a sprayed metal primer/paint. I've done that with mine as a temporary fix & they've worked so well, I doubt if I ever spend the money for the expensive registers.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 7:27PM
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Some of the bronze tones spray paints work well and give a metallic finish that looks a bit more "real" to me than the brass toned or gold toned paints. It would look less contrasty than pure black against the white.

What color is the raw metal?

The other think you could do is get them plated, it isn't always incredibly expensive. If you did that, I would just get brass plating and leave it "raw" to tarnish naturally.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 9:35PM
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Our original 1919 vent covers are sort of a tiger stripe - copper and black coloring. Our trim is still it's original medium brown stain color.

I'd get them professionally plated. A few of our neighbors have had continual problems with chipping of spray paint on theirs.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 5:46AM
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I love that tiger stripe. Not a common finish. Rejuvenation used to offer it as one of their lighting finishes...they may still do it custom.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 9:29PM
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