Updated on April 21, 2022
Refinished Ceiling Fan. Learn how to update an old and tired ceiling fan using paint to give it new life. This is an affordable way to re-use what you already own.
Scroll to the bottom to see how the ceiling fan has held up over time!
I have this hideously ugly brass and white ceiling fan right smack in the middle of my house. My house was built in the ’90s, so it is not surprising but it needs to go. Unfortunately, we don’t have $200+ to buy a new fan that would be the appropriate size for our living space with all the bells and whistles this one has. Our fan has a remote control to adjust the dimness of the lighting and the speed of the fan. These types of fans are not cheap. I needed to figure out a way to redo it without breaking the bank.
DIY Refinished Ceiling fan
The most unfortunate part about this fan is you see it from almost every room in our entire house. You see it when you first walk in the front door. You see it when you sit on the couch watching TV. You see it when you are looking from the kitchen. And there it hangs, with all it’s ugly brassiness just mocking me with how ugly it is.
I saw a ceiling fan re-do on a blog I love called Choose to Thrive. The tutorial is very well written, but since I was not painting the entire fan (like she did), I needed to do some disassembly. If that still wouldn’t work then we would talk about un-wiring it and taking it down.
Image Source: Choose to Thrive
Remove Ceiling Fan to Paint
Luckily with a few screws taken out, I was able to take all the brass pieces off the fan. I originally asked my husband to take the fan down. When he opened up the top part and we saw all the wiring, I told him I would try to take apart the pieces I needed to paint instead of taking the whole thing down.
Important Note: Make sure to turn off the electrical power to your fan before beginning disassembly.
I got a nice surprise when I took the blades down. They were wood grain on the back side. It is a little lighter than I would like, but I still like the woodgrain look much better than the white that we had up there. If you need a quick change up for your fan, look at your blades and see if you can flip them over. It can really change the look of your fan dramatically! A lot of fans have a different blade pattern on the flip side.
Paint Ceiling Fan Parts
After I had all the pieces removed, I washed them off with soap and water and allowed them to dry. Then, I laid them out on a drop cloth on a table outside ready to be painted.
There was only one piece I had to tape off with painters tape. There were wires and I didn’t want to get paint on the part that the bulbs screw into.
Since I was able to remove all the pieces and wouldn’t be painting the fan right there in the living room that I added a coat of Krylon Primer on all the pieces first. Hopefully, this helps my finish adhere to the paint better. I did not want to sand anything, even though that would have been a more professional way to complete this project.
To paint the brass I used a product called ‘Sophisticated Finishes’ by Triangle Crafts in Blackened Bronze Metallic Surfacer. It worked great! I originally bought this at Michael’s for $9.99 for a 4 fl. oz. bottle, but I am not sure if it is still available. You can find it on Amazon. I only ended up using about half the bottle for this project.
Below is after one coat of paint.
I ended up doing three light coats. Since I had so many pieces to paint, by the time I had done one coat on each piece the piece I started with was dry enough to do the next coat. I let the pieces sit outside for about 3 hours before I put the fan back together. And here is the finished fan.
I love a good before and after to really see the transformation! It is crazy what a little paint will do. This fan looks so great, and I spent less than $6.00 on the project with my coupon.
Ceiling fan update: 8 years later
I thought it would be fun to do a little update on how this paint job held up over time. I often see DIY projects online and wonder if they continue to look as good as the original over time.
This fan gets used almost constantly. In the summer we have it going to cool us off and in the winter I have it run the opposite way on low to help push the heat down from our vaulted ceiling. I originally painted this fan in late 2011, and it is now April 2019.
I am happy to report the fan looks as good as the day I painted it. I don’t use any kind of cleaners on the fan other than a damp microfiber cloth with water or a dry duster.
I have not touched up the paint at all. I think it looks great after so many years of use, and would recommend this process to anyone looking to update their current fan without spending a lot of money.
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