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A Little Bit of Sanity and A Lot of Chaos: Painting a ceiling fan.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Painting a ceiling fan.

I first wrote about painting ceiling fans here. I know that on every single HGTV show they try and get rid of the dreaded fan. But, when they look nice, then I think they should stay. It helps circulate the air!

Today I thought I would walk you through the terrible mess that is painting a ceiling fan while it is still, well, on the ceiling.

A little background on these fans in our three bedrooms that do not include the master bedroom, the people that lived in our house before us installed ceiling fans in each room. Yippee, cause it helps to cool things down...but, get this: when we did our walk-through I saw the lights that used to be in each room in the basement. And, when we were asking for stuff they said "NO" to us keeping the original lights. Can you believe it?! They match the rest of the house, the builder put them in...and we can't keep them? Weird. Neveryoumind that they left their stinky, musty carpet in the basement for us to cut up and throw out. . . Whatev.

Ugly before (It's even an ugly picture, just for effect):
This is Gus' room. But I painted the one in Porter and Jack's room.

So, here's how it goes. First, be prepared. It is a nightmare. There is mama llama drama involved. It is smelly and stinky and a pain in the arse. But, the outcome is glorious. Can a ceiling fan be glorious? It's awesome.

1. Grocery bags, both plastic and paper.
2. Painters plastic and tape.
3. ORB.
4. A screw driver like this one:
5. A nearly 3 year old that tells you, "Daddy is going to be so angry at you for breaking the fan." You don't need him, but it makes it a little more fun and exciting. Mind you, I just talked to "Daddy" and he didn't even know that I did the first fan! Seriously. I did that one last year! Unbelievable.

Here's how it starts. Open a window. And the window across the hall. So you get a crosswind. I waited to do this until a nice day with a breeze so that I could air out the room before the boys went to bed. I promise I'm not avoiding painting anything...really. I swear. I'm not. If you believe me then you are just as crazy as I am. Turn the power off at the electrical box. Or, just flip the switch to "off" in the bedroom if you've already been shocked once and you know it won't kill you. In my case it only temporarily stunned me and made me shake for a few hours. No big deal, right? Plus, if you have a heart attack while standing on the IKEA kids table, it will be easy to reach up and shock your heart into starting again. Really. You laugh.

Take the blades off with that little screw driver:

Bulbs out first, then glass off. I left the screw in that held the glass in there so they would get painted too. Remember to dust everything before you start painting. This time, I forgot to do the top of the fan. Gross. Now there is dust permanently embedded onto the fan for the rest of eternity. Oh well. I've moved on. You will too. Then shove your Target bags into the sockets:

Tape the other grocery bags to the ceiling along with the painters plastic:

Chairman Bob Approves of this project.

Then start spraying. Now, this is where things always go wrong for me. The first time I did it, I did not use the painter's plastic and everything got sticky. This time I used it, and my nostrils turned brown. I won't show you a picture of the brown nose hairs. It was gross. I'm not sure how to do this any better, except to take it off the ceiling. OR put plastic all over the furniture and walls, and floor....Really?! Who wants to do that?

This is what you get:

Make sure you spray at a bunch of different angles and be consistent on the amount you spray. Go easy, ORB covers well.

Mama Llama Drama:

See that? That happened last time too. Excess spray on the ceiling....good thing I know where the ceiling paint is! It was ready to go in no time. I also missed a spot and tried to spray it quick and sprayed the ceiling, then I painted over it and got some on the fan...then I had to paint the fan in that spot again....no, that time I left it. You can't even tell. How annoying....

Finished goodness:

Do yourself a favor and try not to focus on the bunk beds that aren't finished being painted and the mirror not on the wall. Oh, and that shelf that has nothing on it. The letters fell off. We built bunkbeds and I still haven't finished putting their room back together....Priorities people. Priorities. Focus on the fan. It is beautiful:

There you have it. One more fan to go in my house. Now, go out and make your significant others angry by breaking the fans.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh that turned out beautiful, Kirsty!

March 18, 2010 at 6:37 AM  
Blogger aahadley said...

Oh that looks so great! But seriously, I'd have spray paint everywhere....everywhere. I might be better off using a brush which might be even more of a pain in the arse!
Forgot to say how much I loved your coffee table. I'm on the hunt for one.

March 18, 2010 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

It looks wonderful! I have the same finish on our fans and I love it. I am DEATHLY afraid of being shocked, though, so that would be a dealbreaker for me. ;)

March 18, 2010 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

I love reading about your projects. So funny!

But it really looks sooo much better than before!

March 18, 2010 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

I want to do this to some of my ceiling fans, and I have one brassy light fixture too. I think I'm going to convince my husband to take them down so I can spray them in the garage though, I don't have extra ceiling paint in case of the overspray

March 18, 2010 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Ann Marie @ Twice Lovely said...

You crack me up!! Never stop. Kay?

March 18, 2010 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

I love this fan-it love wonderful! I want to paint our fan in the bedroom now! :)

March 18, 2010 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Marie@PoutyPinkPrincess said...

Luv it! I need to paint a few of those in our house now! :)

March 18, 2010 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Kirsty said...

Ann Marie - Don't worry. As long as there are projects and I am crazy, there will be funny stories.

I'm thinking maybe a reality tv show?

March 18, 2010 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger mnmom said...

Seriously, you are very funny...I think Chairman Bob would agree ;) BTW those commercials drive me crazy! :)
Oh, I like the fan too!

March 18, 2010 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger Dreams of Perfection said...

Sooooo much better in black!! Looks great against the wall paint.

March 18, 2010 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Bungalow'56 said...

Wow! Just found your blog and love the fan. Also laughed at your Thrift store man playing God. Great ideas. Thanks,

March 19, 2010 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger Monica said...

This is such a great idea for an ugly fan (like mine) that you just can't part with because of its functionality. I have a fan in my daughter's room that I will be doing this to(someday). I love following your blog. You always have neat ideas that, if I had more time and less projects on the go, I'd love to do! If you're ever in the neighbourhood, feel free to peruse my blog. http://theconcreteprincess.blogspot.com

March 21, 2010 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger Kolein said...

OK, stop already. You have me spinning here. Do you have a nanny or something???? Housekeepers like in 18 century England? What is it?

The fan is amazing. I was totally focusing on it!

March 21, 2010 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Love your blog! I have the same problem here with Thrift Stores! I always read about all these great finds and the thrift stores here are very over priced. I can only dream of finding that right piece at the right price!

I have a question regarding the ceiling fans, I have been so tempted to do the same thing and am trying to gather the courage. One question though, doesn't the spray paint clog the air vents for the motor? how do you keep the spray out of there?

Love ORB too!

March 22, 2010 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Kirsty said...

Pat - I haven't noticed anything wrong with the motors on either fan. In fact, when I did this last one I tried to see if any paint actually went through the mesh, and it looked like it didn't even go through the mesh where the motor is located. We have the fans on all year round and all the time, so it hasn't effected it at all.

Hope that helps! If it makes you too nervous you could always take it down and take it apart. Time consuming, but then you would know for sure that it wasn't getting in the motor!

Good luck!!!

March 22, 2010 at 11:03 AM  

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