Update: If you want to jump down to the RIGHT WAY to paint a ceiling fan – go HERE.
If you’re thinking about doing a ceiling fan makeover and want to find out WHY not to paint the fan in place, keep reading the story:
So, I’m way over the brass ceiling fans in my bedrooms with the ugly tulip globes. I was pricing new fans – which, by the way, are a necessity in eastern NC, so replacing with a pretty chandelier is out of the question. And of course, the latest craze in DIY is doing a ceiling fan makeover to give it a more updated look. So, I decided to paint my fans and put on new modern globes.
I started with the guestroom fan – I wanted a nice brushed nickel finish like the mirrors and furniture hardware in the room. Simple enough, right? And always looking for the easy way out, why bother removing the fan and then having to reassemble and reinstall it, when I can just tape around it and spray paint it in place, like you see on Pinterest, right?
Ok, don’t believe those photos of spraying a ceiling fan in place. If my husband had been home, he would have warned me what would happen next. As in the time he spray painted a auto headliner and had to repaint the whole car interior. The spray goes everywhere and then comes down on everything. But, I had to find out the hard way.
I put a large plastic tarp under the fan, covering the bed and carpet – in case of drips, right? But that did not prepare me for what happened when I started spraying that bad boy. There was a silver mist all over the room with just the first light coat. Which settled on EVERYTHING. I was horrified – and gagging – but, what could I do? I couldn’t back out now. So, after a few quick coats of paint til I got about the coverage I wanted, and a whole day of the windows open and the door closed til the dust settled – I went back in to assess the damage.
I forgot to mention, to reach the back side of the fan, I had to climb up on the bed a couple times, standing on the plastic tarp – which resulted in the soles of my feet being painted silver – which then stuck to everything I walked on. It took a week to get the paint off my feet – and around the house where I walked.
And I spent a week trying to clean the silver off the furniture and everything else in the room. So, yes, my fan now looked lovely – BUT, it would have been way easier to just take the thing down and take it outside to spray it. Lesson learned.
I did do that for the brass vents in the room. As I makeover each room, I’m painting the vents. It’s a quick way to update the look – and cover the scratches.
Ceiling Fan Makeover How To:
I cleaned the brass well, on both the fan and the vents. As you can see, I removed only the blades, and I covered the bulb sockets with tape. Of course, now I recommend taking the fan down and outside to spray the parts and then reinstall. But, I did not sand the brass. The paint has primer in it , seems to stick well without sanding and I was afraid it would just make scratches that would show through the paint. I use a lot of the Rustoleum metallic sprays – my favorites are the Oil Rubbed Bronze and the Hammered Antique Pewter. I recommend keeping a pin in the spray nozzle when not in use to keep it from clogging up.
Note: These are Amazon affiliate links for which I receive a small commission for my recommendations, but it doesn’t increase your cost. See my Disclosure Policy for more information.
- Rustoleum Metallic Spray Paint in Satin Nickel (Affiliate link.) You can chose a different color.
- Ceiling Fan Replacement Shades (Lowe’s)
- General Finishes Java Gel Stain
- General Finishes Wipe On Topcoat in Satin
Update – Doing it Right This Time!
Ok, I made over the master bedroom ceiling fan and I took it down before spraying. Piece of cake! Took all of 5 minutes to remove it. Definitely the way to go. The only difference for this fan was I stained the blades with General Finishes Java Gel Stain and Topcoat to match the furniture I stained.