Monday, October 24, 2011
Sassy Ceiling Fans
This is more of an "after" than a "before and after", since this was a project that I did before I started blogging and taking pictures of everything. I think you'll get the idea though.
When we moved in to our current 15 year old home 4 1/2 years ago, all of the fixtures were original. The previous owner who had built the house made some very good choices on many of the "bones" of the house, but it was definitely time for some updating. We did a lot of painting, tiling, wallpaper stripping, etc. very quickly after we moved in and all of the lighting needed updating. Although I don't have a before photo, I'm sure you would recognize the shiny white and brass combo that used to be in the bedrooms.
I had already repainted the children's bedrooms and went in search of new lighting. I really would have liked to ditch the fans in favor of something more decorative. But, we live in Oklahoma and we use our fans in the bedrooms every night, usually throughout most of the winter as well. So, practicality won out on this one. I went to a couple of local home improvement stores ready to purchase new fans and could not find anything that caught my eye. Everything was just boring, too "old" looking, or just unattractive.
The fans were still in good working order, so I decided to work with what I had. I had covered fan blades in my son's nursery in a former house, so that gave me inspiration to do something fun with those. In addition to improving the blades we stepped it up a bit and decided to re-vamp the entire fixture. We (meaning my husband) un-installed the fans and took off the blades. I took all of the brassy metal parts outside and sprayed them a metallic bronze, and took the bases that attach to the ceiling and painted them the color that I wanted to complement the room.
In Caleb's room I had originally wanted to paint a wall with rugby-type multi-colored stripes, but we were in a time crunch when painting and I knew that would take WAY too long. So, I transferred the plan to his fan and ended up with this:
MUCH BETTER than the original and much more personal than anything I could have found at the store. I taped off the blades and painted them with acrylic paint and then applied poly as a top coat. I also replaced the clear glass globes with some $2 opaque globes from Wal-Mart.
We did this about 4 years ago and it has held up really well!
Originally I painted Emily's fan light pink. The blades were pink with green polka dots. Couldn't find a picture of that, but I've just redone her fan to go along with her new room, so you just get to see that one. It's more fun anyway.
I was lazy this time and didn't even take it down to paint it. I taped newspaper straight to the ceiling, taped off all of the bronze metal parts that I wanted to keep, and removed the blades and globes. Then, I put tarps on everything underneath me and sprayed the turquoise on the base right where it was. I may or may not have had to touch up a few blue spots on the white ceiling afterwards.
For the blades on this one, I chose one of the fabrics that I used in her room and traced the outline of the blade on it. When cutting the shape out, I cut about 1/8 of an inch inside the line so the fabric would be slightly smaller than the wood. I was also careful to line up each blade on the same part of the pattern in the fabric so that they would all match.
Then, I applied the fabric with mod-podge (underneath the fabric) and also did a layer over the top of the fabric and around the edges of the blade to "seal" the fabric on. I did 3 or 4 coats of the mod-podge (following the directions as far as drying times in between coats, etc.) to make certain that the fabric was sealed well and wouldn't peel and start flapping off as the fan rotated.
I finished if off with a splash of color with the red prisms, which I dug out of my Christmas ornament stash (I think they were from Target in years past) and tied to the ball chain with cute ribbon.
I'm so glad I spent the time to re-do these rather than giving up a few hundred dollars to buy new ones. I love their colors and the personality they bring to the room. Now I don't mind having the fans in there at all! (Except when it's time to clean them!)