Monday, April 9, 2012

DIY Hits the Ceiling

Consider this post the first step in my path toward addiction recovery: I know I have a problem.  I may singlehandedly keep spray paint companies in business.  In keeping with the celebratory theme of Easter weekend, yesterday I decided to try to give an old ceiling fan new life.  It's been hiding out in the garage for a few months while I stared at the hole in my living room ceiling waiting for the perfect light to appear.  It didn't happen...and in the meantime, it got hot in my living room.  So the fan came out of the garage for a transformation. 

Here's the obligatory blah "before" photo:

It's hard to tell in the photo, but the entire fan (blades included) were designed to look dirty.  They're a beige color with white spots randomly splattered across the whole thing.  Then came the power drill...I get a little carried away with the drill.  Power tools bring out the Matrix character deep within me.  I got totally carried away and removed every screw in the created quite a challenge when it was time to put it back together.

Pinterest provides plenty of evidence that oil-rubbed bronze spray paint is the cure for whatever ails you.  Among my favorites are these upgraded IKEA lamps:

These much-improved doorknobs:

And Young House Love's remade pendant lamp:

Emboldened by my own success ORB-ing hallway lamps, I tackled this mess of a ceiling fan with spray paint as well.

While the layers of oil rubbed bronze spray paint dried, I tackled the ugly fan blades.  Here's another lovely photo of the is-it-dirty-or-is-it-not splattered look:

Even one coat of white glossy spray paint made a big difference...and yes, in answer to your unspoken question, I did spray only the side that shows.  If you're tall enough to see the ugly side of the fan blade, you won't fit through my front door.

Then came an unexpected interaction with The Eccentric Homeowner.  The former owner (her name was Amy and she was apparently quite a gal) occasionally strikes out at me with bizarrely unexpected traces of her existence.  The most notable of these is the trash buried in my backyard.  A windstorm, random planting projects or excessive plant watering...every time the dirt is disturbed, I find more evidence that the insane woman buried things.  Nothing valuable, though I keep hoping.  I discover parts of old newspapers, gum wrappers and plastic bags.  I make light of it to cover the fact that it freaks. me. out.  At some point I will pay someone to come clear out the backyard - I don't want to deal with it.  The hole in the ceiling provided an opportunity to see this addition Amy made to the lighting base.  Yes, that's toilet paper crammed into one of the holes in the electrical base. I'm pretty sure toilet paper wasn't considered fire-safe even when this house was built.

An hour, new screws and lots of toilet paper removal later, the ceiling was prepped and my fan ascended to its new life in its old location.

The white blades were a little shocking at first, but they grow on me more every time I look at them.  They tie in the crown molding perfectly, and I love the contrast to the ORB-ed black of the fan base.

There's a brand new can of ORB spray paint in the garage because I have great visions of improved patio furniture...I'll keep you posted!

I get to share this project with Savvy Southern Style's "Wow Us Wednesdays" party, as well as with the summer edition of Pinterest Challenge.  Check out other amazing Pinterest-inspired projects at these sites:

Young House Love
Ten June
Centsational Girl
Bower Power


  1. While I have read your posts for quite some time, I am not a "commenter." However, I had to say how sad I am that I share a name with somebody who Hopefully, I help undo some of the freaked-out-ness and you aren't forever damaged by the name Amy. I remain ever-amazed by your handiness and creativity my wonderful friend!
    -Amy R.

  2. Wow, I do not know what that person was thinking when they either designed that fan to look dirty or painted it to look that way! Either way, it looks about a thousand times better now.

  3. Jenn, I was totally baffled as well. I could just see the Home Depot ad: "never lose that fresh new fan look again, this one already looks old!"

  4. Great job on the fan blades! They really look fantastic!
    -Kyle @ Home Ownership

  5. Just found your blog on the Young House Love Pinterest Challenge! No joke, my husband and I were talking about painting our ceiling fan. It is a little too modern for our taste and has silver all over it. I want to paint that ORB and the blades some color (to be honest I wanted to replace the fan, but he told me I wasn't getting rid of it because it had a remote...that is a dude for you). We just purchased our home as well. Anywho, I am your newest follower and would love it if you checked out my blog

    Thanks so much!!!

  6. Thanks so much for your comment! I can't wait to hear how your own fan project goes - it completely transforms a room. Now I'm wishing my own fan had a remote... :) I'm going to spend time on your blog now!