Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How to Paint Your Ceiling Fan

My husband has saved us so much money by saving things from the dumpster at his work.  The homeowners bought new fans and were going to throw three perfectly good fans away because they were white.  Their loss was our gain.  I'm going to show you how I have turned one of these white fans into a "Brazilian Cherry Wood Brushed Nickel" Beauty!

The fan originally started out looking something like this (I didn't actually take a picture of the fan that I have done, but it pretty much looked like this one):

It was in perfect condition, but it was white and didn't have a light.  I wanted a fan for our bedroom that would like dark wood with brushed nickel metal to match our bedroom set.  We set it off to the side for a while (we had bigger fish to fry, and in the late fall a fan is not as much a necessity).

One night at Lowe's we found this light kit on clearance for $10!  It was originally about $25.  You can find it online here.  It even came with the CFL bulbs!  What a steal!
We painted the lights separate from the main fan part, just because they were already apart.  We took off the glass light covers and then used painter's tape to cover the insides of the lights (where the light bulbs go).  We used Krylon Stainless Steel spray paint that we bought with an Ace gift card (from Discover card cash back bonus) over the black.  It looked fantastic and was pretty much free!

Next we started on the engine part.  We also unscrewed the fan blades and laid those to the side.

Note: we did not tape off anything inside the fan where the engine was.  I read that some people online did that, but for this fan that would have been impossible to do, so we just left the black foamy stuff there.  It would have taken an eternity to do as well.  We have had the fan up for months and it still works great, so save yourself some work!

We kind of tested the stainless steel paint out and it looked different over the white than over the black.  Luckily I had some black spray paint that we had bought for $0.50 at Menards on clearance.  We used that to paint the engine part black.

After the black paint dried we painted the Stainless Steel over top.  Now it looked just as great as the light kit did!

Another thing to note, the stainless steel actually sprays out with some flecks of stuff so it gets clogged easily.  Make sure to keep the tip clean or else it sprays weird.

Finally I worked on the fan blades.  I scuffed up the blades a bit with sandpaper (maybe 15-30 seconds a blade) and then wiped then down.  I used a little cheapy foam brush (from Ace with the gift card) and Minwax Brazilian Rosewood Gel stain (had on hand from another project) to create the look of dark cherry wood.
If you have not worked with gel stains before they seem a bit weird, but can give amazing finishes. They are super thick and look like chocolate pudding.  Make sure to stir it up well.  You can kind of apply them like paint if it is on something that is already finished.  The only draw back (because they are super de duper amazing) is that they can take hours or days to dry, depending on how moist the air is. If you have an area where they can dry in peace you're set.

All I did was use the foam brush to put on two coats.  I left it streaky and it looks just like wood.  I would have never believed it, but I read about it on Pinterest.  It was soooo easy!   It only took me a few minutes to do.  You could get away with the tiniest can that they have (I think a 1/2 pint) to do a fan.

After the blades were dry my husband put it all back together and put it up in our bedroom.  We have been enjoying this beauty ever since!

Overall this fan cost us only about $11 (because of our gift cards)!  Most of the fans we had been looking at were close to $150!  Woo hoo! Good luck painting and let me know if you have any questions.

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