We are pet-sitting for my parents over spring break. Pet-sitting is a rather insufficient term, as they have four horses, four dogs, two indoor cats (one of whom is diabetic), and approximately twenty farm cats, give or take a litter of kittens. While here at their house, I decided to take some pictures of a ceiling fan makeover I completed for my mom almost two years ago.
I may be an outspoken fan of brass, but there is some brass that I just cannot approve of, and that is the kind that was used for every fixture, faucet, fan and doorknob of homes in the 1990’s. Of course, I forgot to take true “before” photos of the ceiling fans, but they looked just like this fan from my sister’s bedroom (minus the disco ball):
And now, they look like this:
Here’s what we did:
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My dad turned off the power to that room, disconnected the electrical wires, and took the fans down from the ceiling.
I unscrewed every part that I could, which meant the fans blades were separated from the little arms that hold them, and the arms came off the body of the fans, and we removed the glass shades.
I painted the fan blades “Hosta” by Martha Stewart paint. It’s a great rich blue-green-grey color that comes across a little more vibrant in person than in either the photos of the fans, or this paint swatch:
After the paint dried, I antiqued the fans blades with Minwax walnut gel stain. I use a foam brush to lightly brush it on, and then a rag to wipe it down. The gel stain basically smears across the paint finish and gives it a weathered look.
The metal portions of the fan got spray-painted with Rustoleum’s oil rubbed bronze spray paint. We used about three cans.
When it was time to reassemble the fans, we replaced the old fluted and frosted glass shades with this simpler seeded glass version:
And we replaced the pull chains with some adorable oil-rubbed-bronze keys we found at Lowes. The finished product, one more time:
The new light shades were definitely the most expensive part of this project – right now, they are listed as $7 a piece, but I don’t think we paid that much. And of course, it would be a much more economical project if you just reused the old shades. I already had a little pot of the Martha Stewart paint, and I already had the gel stain. But if you need to purchase a little tester pot of paint, it only costs around $3. The gel stain is more expensive, but can be used for many other projects.
I remember the total coming out to around $75 for both fans, which is pretty good compared to the cost of buying TWO aesthetically pleasing ready-made replacements.
All in all, this project took a day and a half, and most of that was waiting for paint to dry and the wind to die down (my parents live up on a hill, and it is ridiculously windy). The ceiling fans now perfectly complement my parents’ living room, and makes me want to tackle the other five fans in the house now…
What do you think? Do you have any ceiling fans that could use a little updating?
The Owens Clan says
I love how the black made the decorative detail show up so well! It looks like a totally different fan.
It's crazy what a little paint can do!
Marie H. says
Thank god for paint! They look 100% better! Ugh that gold is just terrible! I wish all houses just came with decent non tacky fans to begin with! 🙂
That would be too easy thought, right? 😉
Oooh, this is great. I need to do this with the terrible ceiling fan in my bedroom!
Thanks Rachel! It's so easy and the sky's the limit with all the different color combinations you could do! Send me pics if you do!!
How do you go about painting the body of the fan w/o getting spray paint all inside mechanics?! Thanks!
Hi Beth! It’s been a few years so my memory is a little foggy on that! I believe I unscrewed the bottom half of the motor housing and taped up any openings.