May 24, 2012A Vintage Air King Vent Fan Gets A Special ‘Spa Day’ at Mom’s 50s Time Capsule Condo
A lot of you who have older homes might have something similar to what Mom has in her condo in the kitchen – a vent fan in the ceiling. Or, maybe your vent is in the wall by the oven. Many kitchen vents were done differently at that time, they were not always vented with a hood right over your range.
There was no way to install a vent directly over Mom’s oven unless we wanted to destroy the cabinet above the oven, which we did not want to do. Besides we all liked the ceiling vent, we just knew it needed a little sprucing up.
The picture above is exactly how we found the vent on day one….with a zillion layers of paint over it.
I removed the vent cover only to discover that I was probably the first person ever to have done so, as there were tons of leaves in there that fell out all over me and then there was the small matter of a VERY filthy fan!!!! Eekssss!!!!
Here is the actual ceiling vent fan. When I say it was filthy I mean it was FILTHY!!! I am pretty sure that this fan was never cleaned in the past 50 years – like ever. We worked and scrubbed for a good few hours on the fan before we got all of the layers of grime and grease off. It wasn’t pretty y’all.
Here is the little fan resting out in the sun to dry after it’s first cleaning in years.
Now we turned our attention to the cover. I’m not sure what I was really thinking going into this project. I guess I thought I’d find some really great finish underneath all of those layers of paint.
But I didn’t.
I think it was originally probably a light color painted/enamel finish. Which worked against us in the end, because if it was a baked on enamel finish it was never going to come off…but I had already scuffed some of it up, so where do we go from here. uggghhhh.
We really tried hard to get all of the paint off, we even used some paint stripper. But the paint was just adhering like it was never going to come off. I was getting discouraged and did not know what to do. I didn’t want to reinstall the cover looking like this.
I asked Mike his opinion since I was completely stuck. Mike thought a plating shop might be my best bet to have this cover turn out nice in the end. For those of you not familiar with what a plating shop can do – you can drop off virtually any metal item and have it plated in nickel, copper, chrome etc. I hunted around the Phoenix area and found Metro Plating in Mesa. Let me just tell you right now, their work is amazing!!!!
After a few weeks at Metro Plating here is what we picked up!!! Our newly chromed Air King Vent Cover.
It’s SO insanely hard to get good pictures of how great this chrome job really is, but trust me – it’s top notch.
Every little detail came right through!
It’s like a million times better looking after the beauty treatment isn’t it!
Ahhhhh, SO much better!
Before we put our beautiful new cover back up we had to remount the actual fan back into place, which was no easy task being that the fan was super heavy! It still works like a charm though!
Then we installed the pretty, newly chromed cover.
It’s little details like this that I just love!
And I hope that no paint with ever touch the surface of the vent cover again!!!!
Come back next Thursday when we install the new kitchen sink and faucet!!!!
We are a small group of dedicated Mid-Century fans with a simple goal: To share a piece of Mid-Century Americana with you every day. If you want to know more about our site and our authors, please visit our About Page!About Page