Monday, April 18, 2011

Ceiling Fan Update

The other day I went to the store and bought two chandelier-type bulbs to replace two that were burned out on the ceiling fan that hangs over my dining room table.  As I removed the globes to replace the bulbs I realized the globes needed a good washing.  Well, one thing led to another and I also realized that not only could the fan blades be removed but . . . they had TWO sides (“Duh”, you say).  There was the really ugly side with the faux-wicker inset and the plain side – and it was at that moment that my latest project began!  Now I hate this light fixture but finances prevent me from replacing it right now so here’s what I did.

After cleaning the blades, I primed them with white spray primer.  
Using a sponge roller I rolled on two coats of my favorite Behr Perfect Pearl white paint.  I found that by rolling the sides while holding the blades and then laying them on boxes to paint the rest of the surface worked really well.

It was at this point that I decided I would not bother wasting my precious paint on the ugly faux-wicker side (which will be facing the ceiling and not be seen by anyone unless they climb up on a very tall ladder and make a point to look down at the top of my fan blades) and only paint the smooth side which will face down.  Of course, if you are one of my local friends or family, now you know and can hold this secret against me if you choose!  But remember, I’m broke so blackmail is pointless.

I thought about stenciling a design but opted instead for the cute wood accents that I bought at Hobby Lobby (They came two in a package for $2.00).  

Once they dried, I laid them out in different ways until I found the arrangement Iiked.  I used a little sponge make up brush to apply Gorilla Glue to the accents  and attached them to the blades. 
But, once they were on, I realized you really couldn’t see all of the nice detail on the pieces so I decided to sand them a little to add a distressed look and bring out all of the scroll work.  Had I thought of this earlier, I would have sanded them BEFORE putting them on the blades because I had to make sure to remove all of the filings using tack cloth.  But it worked out okay.

The final step was to spray the entire blade with a coat of clear, mat-finish sealer.  We know that ceiling fan blades are not really designed to circulate air but to catch every, single, teeny, tiny, bit of dust and dirt and deposit it on the blades.  So I thought this added step would make them a bit easier to dust (you know, when I decide to dust them every other year!).

Now I realized that these ugly, brown, plastic fan pulls HAD to go.  I strung small, black beads onto fine, jewelry wire.  For the ends, I decided to use some old skeleton keys that I have so I sprayed them with the same flat, black primer I used on the medallion accents.  I gave them a final coat of clear, mat acrylic to keep them from chipping and attached them onto the fan cords.  Much better I think!

"70's" Ceiling Fan:  BEFORE
 "70's" Ceiling Fan:  AFTER (Except I hadn't put on the new pulls here!)


NOW I feel I can live with this light fixture for another year or more!


  1. Great way to add charm and character to your fan, Lauren! SO pretty!


  2. Thank you, THANK YOU! You have so inspired me to paint my two...yes I have TWO UGLY ceiling fans in my kitchen! Another project to add to my list that is getting longer and hubby is going to freak...LOL

  3. Love the transformation! I have two ugly fans in kitchen and dining room that could use some spruce up (or be removed) I hate that the closest hobby lobby for me is in another town, I really like those appliques, and the idea of the pull chain is great, love the keys. Thank you for the inspiration!
    XXX Ido

  4. Love it! I need to do something with mine! I especially like the key pulls! Great job! I am following you now!Come visit!

  5. Lauren that was really clever, and it looks so nice too. Thanks for sharing with my newbie party.

  6. This turned out just awesome!

    Big TX Hugs,
    Angelic Accents

  7. Great inspiration! I have some that so need updated!! Wanna come do them for me?? LOL!
    amber @ barbwired

  8. Great transformation! Love the key pulls!!

  9. Oh wow, what a nice makeover! Such a great idea to add the keys too! I love it!

  10. Your fan transformation is fabulous--can't even tell it was the same fan! I love the old keys as the pulls--I may have to steal that idea!

  11. Great transformation! And you saved a bundle!!

    Also, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  12. Awesome. What a great idea- I would have never thought of painting and transforming the ceiling fan. Since the hubby doesn't think the one in our bedroom matches the furniture and decor we added a couple of years ago, I wonder if I can sell him on this idea. He shudders when I tell him we can paint something because I've had a couple of projects turn out not so well. lol

  13. Beautiful Fan your creativity.

    I emailed you re: the Easter give away, did it not go through?

    I am in Philly for the week with my daughter at the Cancer treatment center.

    my email is

    Sorry I had to post here, but it was the only way I could get through.


  14. Cool, so unique! I love how you updated your fan; it looks great.

  15. This is so cute. Hope to see you at My Dream Canvas! Have a great day.

  16. good idea! it looks terrific. saw you on house of hepworths.

    new follower,

  17. Very nice transformation. Love the keys dangling from the cord. Very cute idea. Have a lovely Easter! Thanks for linking up!

  18. Well done, looks great!Happy Friday,Happy Good Friday, Happy Earth Day, Happy Jelly Bean Day ( yes it's actually jelly bean day)Hugs from Katherine. P.S have you entered my giveaway?

  19. Love the keys you added! So unique!

    I am having a giveaway on my blog. $40 store credit to get any vinyl decal from Urban Walls.Just leave me a comment telling me which is your favorite design to win.

  20. Great idea to refresh your ceiling fan! Thanks for sharing at FNF! :)

  21. what a great idea...i especially love the key detail!!

    Thanks for linking up to "20 Below Thursday"! :)

  22. Great idea Lauren. Way to use what you've got and make it better. Thank you for sharing this at Inspiration Friday At The Picket Fence! We are featuring your clever idea with our readers on our Facebook page!


  23. Very nice! I love the keys :) If you get a chance, come by my blog.


  24. Looks great! I've been thinking about painting an ugly wood-colored fan in my house white to freshen it up, and you have inspired me!


  25. Thanks for linking to Workshop Wednesday- I love how you changed the fan! Hope to see you again this week! goodbyecityhellosuburbs

  26. What a beautiful project. Such a creative idea! Love it! Thanks so much for sharing this.

  27. Jain Electro Mech provides you Designer Ceiling Fan for homes and offices.

  28. You have a good reason not to paint the other side of the blades. It won’t be seen at all so better leave it that way. That is a very good idea if you have a tight budget on paint. Anyway, you’ve done a great job on transforming this ceiling fan into something new, a total makeover, I have to say! ->Brooklyn Fan & Blower Sales Company


Thank you for taking the time to comment!