Ask a Pro
Q. How Should I Paint My In-Wall Speaker Grille?
Pros offer tips for using rollers and spray cans on your in-wall speaker grilles.
March 23, 2009 by CE Pro

Q. What is the best way to paint the grille of an in-wall speaker to match the wall color? I don’t want the holes to get all clogged with paint. - Keith, South Carolina

A. Here are some tips and tricks, courtesy the pros at CE

AudioPerfection Inc:

A foam brush with very little paint and about 4 coats has always seemed to work well.

Custom Wiring Concepts:

You can have wall paint put into a spray can. However, the mix consistency needs to be slightly thin to keep from spitting. Remove the white backing and paint 3 or 4 light coats. Don’t paint the screen sides anymore than necessary.

Audio Video Guys Inc:

The trick we have found is to use a foam roller. Just a small one like the little 4-inch ones that come with the plastic handles. We have tried the good ones with replaceable rollers and even the ones that look like memory foam, and nothing works as well as the cheap 1/4-inch thick foam rollers, with very little paint.

The only other thing that came close was the HVLP (high-velocity, low pressure) sprayers that are used to spray stain on wicker and such. Campbell Hausfeld model HV1001 is what we have in the shop. But even with those, the paint has to be thinned just right.

Morgan Harman of The Tech Source:

We have had many different painting contractors paint speaker grilles. It’s interesting how some can do it perfectly while others are completely clueless. The ones who have done it well seem to have different methods. I believe some have painted them using a very dry brush/roller while applying the paint so they don’t fill the holes. Others have sprayed them. I believe one even painted them and then used an air compressor to blow the paint through the holes.  Whatever method you choose, you obviously need to make sure it’s right before they dry. It’s a bummer when they hand you the grilles with half the holes filled in and the paint is all dry and they claim that’s just how it goes. Then you have to find some kid to use a paperclip to punch through the holes.

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