“Making Do” – The (approx.) $25 Ceiling Fan Project

As I mentioned in THIS POST, since the ceiling fan in the spare bedroom is in good shape, I figured I’d clean it up and modernize it a bit instead of opting to replace it.

There were minimal supplies involved – spray paint, a matte sealer, and…well, unexpected new glass shades.

This project involved turning off the electricity and taking the fan apart! The pictures that follow proved not only effective in capturing the work in order to post this blog, but also helped me put it all back together when I ran into trouble!


The “before” of the fan. 

I felt the gold accents were super dated and wouldn’t fit in with the look and feel I want for this spare bedroom. Also, of note, the yucky ends of the pulls…faded, yellowed plastic.

I LOVED the classic, vintage shape of the glass shades though. It’s really too bad I broke one.


I mean – they are just beautiful.

Note to self and others: Do not over tighten these when you go to put them back on the fan. It will cause the base to crack and, I don’t know about you, the idea of hanging something glass above my head that is cracked that could potentially wiggle loose and send shards of glass everywhere isn’t something I’m into.

I was pretty bummed because I couldn’t find a replacement shade at the store.  However, because I really like them, I do plan on doing some online research to see if I can find one to purchase. For now, I put up plain glass shades in their place, as you’ll see below. The plain glass shades were $4.97 each at Home Depot, so it was not an expensive fix whatsoever. Just a disappointing one.

I took the blades apart, one by one, and removed the gold fixtures. Looks like a mermaid’s tail, doesn’t it?! I could see these being used in some sort of upcycled mermaid-themed home décor.

Super important to cover all electrical parts when spray painting. There may be a more technical way to do this, but pieces of painters tape worked just fine for me.

I even sprayed the chain pulls, including the yucky yellowing ends. For all the metal spraying, I used Krylon’s Metallic Silver spray and covered it with Krylon’s Matte Finish Clear spray so that it would be scratch resistant and more durable. I am not fancy enough to be sponsored by anyone but I use mainly Krylon when it comes to my metallic sprays because I have had good luck with it.

I will admit I don’t know how the spray will hold up on the plastic ends; they may fade after a while of being handled. I will deal with that when/if that happens.

See how much a coat or two of paint can really change the look?


“After” – it looks like a whole new fan!

For an easy comparison:

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With my “oops” of cracking the original glass shade, this project was under $25 to do. If I had not needed to buy three new shades, the project would’ve been about $10 from start to finish. While ceiling fans are not too expensive – if what I had was working just fine, why replace it?

I hope this post helped inspire you to rethink what you have instead of going out and buying new. I really believe in starting small when it comes to lessening consumerism and keeping more dollars in my pocket!

Follow me on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/WeirdGlassArtStudio

Check out my Etsy shop of upgraded glassware: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WeirdGlassArtStudio

1 thought on ““Making Do” – The (approx.) $25 Ceiling Fan Project

  1. Pingback: Simple Wedding Décor Progress – The Stacey Davis Blog

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