Ceiling fan painting tips and tricks that will make the job easier.
We have been busy making over the game room that I posted about starting last week, but we still have a lot more to do.
One thing we were not sure of doing was if we were going to paint the brass and dark wood ceiling fans or not. I wanted to see how they would look with the darker wood flooring we are adding, but we decided they were just too dark and look like spiders on the ceiling. Painting them white helps them to blend in with the white ceiling.
Ceiling fans are not the most aesthetically appealing fixtures in any room, but they are necessary and in every room in my house. They cut down on heating costs in the summer, which can be huge when you live in the south.
The two ceiling fans in the game room are older model Casablanca fans that are the best in the house. Even better than 3 newer fans we bought. They really move the air and we wanted to keep them instead of replacing. Eventually some day they might stop working, but until that day comes, we are keeping them.
I have painted 4 ceiling fans since we moved into the house that are in other rooms and have replaced 3. When I paint the game room fans I will have updating 9 ceiling fans. These two were the last. Whewwww… it was a lot of work, but worth it as it has saved us a lot of money and kept us within our makeover budgets for each room we have made over in the house.
I never set out to become a ceiling fan painter, but I have become really good at it and an expert on what to do and what not to do when painting them.
In the past I have painted them without taking them down. For the two in the game room, Ed took them down since he had to rewire them. They were connected to a center light fixture in an exposed “band-aid” way by a previous owner of the house many years ago.
I had to rethink how I was going to paint them and came up with a few tips and tricks that I am sharing that will make the job easier if you are going to paint yours.
This is how the room looks now with the ceiling fans, walls, and trim painted. I still have to touch up the ceiling in places. We did not remove the popcorn ceiling – that is a whole other post.
The subfloor has been cleaned and is ready to go. We are just waiting for the delivery of the luxury vinyl plank flooring. Once that comes and is installed the room will begin to look whole again.
Ceiling Fan Painting Tips and Tricks That Will Make The Job Easier
I have now painted 6 ceiling fans and have found these tips and painting tricks made the process much easier for me. The one thing you do not want to do, is simply spray paint the fan. You can’t do this because the over spray of the paint will get into the motor housing and gunk up the motor. If you can’t take the case/housing off of your fan, then you need to brush the paint on the motor/case or housing.
- If you can’t remove your ceiling fan from the ceiling you can still successfully paint it. I wrote a step-by-step photo tutorial on how I did it. You can find it here: How to Paint a Ceiling Fan Without Taking it Down
If you removed the ceiling fan from the ceiling follow these painting tips:
To remove the ceiling fan, you need to turn off the power first. Do this at the electrical breaker box in your home.
Every fan is installed a little differently. You can remove the whole thing at once or I like to remove the blades first, then the motor section.
Once the fan is down, if you have not removed the blades, remove them now and take the decorative metal attachments off.
- If your fan motor casing comes apart easily, take the case around the motor off and remove the screening on the top and bottom. Set the screen aside since you don’t need to paint it. This will make painting each part of the fan easy.
- For my ceiling fans, taking the motor housing apart was not an option since there were many soldered clips holding parts together that I felt I would not be able to put back on, so I kept the motor section intact to paint. This is a little trickier to do, but possible.
- All spray paint needs to be applied within an hour, if you can’t get the last coat on before an hour, you will need to wait for 24 hours to apply the last coat. The reason for this is if you apply after an hour you run the risk of the paint wrinkling.
- IMPORTANT – keep like screws together so you know exactly where to put them back on the fan once everything is painted. Press them all the way down into a block of Styrofoam to making painting the tops easier.
- Spray prime and paint tops of screws, let dry.
- Run 100 grit sandpaper over all the surfaces on the fan, clean off sanding grit and dirt and grease with a damp rag and detergent. Let dry.
- Fill lightbulb sockets with bunched up foil or tissue paper to protect them from getting paint on them.
- Remove or cover pull chains with painter’s tape. If you can take a section of the pull chain off and there is a little section of chain still coming out from the base, place painter’s tape on this as you don’t want it to retract into the base. (See blue tape in photo above)
- Save big pieces of Styrofoam from packaging and use it to hold up the fan motor to paint. The stem of the motor is pushed into the foam which holds up the fan making sides and top and bottom of the motor painting much easier. Once the top is painted and dry, flip the fan and paint the other end.
- Spray paint the light fixture section with gloss or semi-gloss primer/paint. Before doing that though place foil all around the motor section so no paint gets into the motor of the fan.
- Use semi-gloss or gloss primer/paint to paint the light section. Use light coats about 5 minutes apart. Two to three light coats should be enough. Let dry.
- Since I couldn’t spray paint the base/motor section because you don’t want overspray to get into the motor, I painted the base of the motor with a brush and gloss paint.
- I found this Rustoleum Ultra Cover the best brush-on water-based gloss paint and have used it on all the fans I have painted.
- To paint the top and bottom of the fan motor where the screening is you need to use a paint brush, but not in the usual way. What I did was load the brush with paint and then instead of using the tips of the bristles to paint, I used the side of the brush and carefully ran it over the metal section around the screened section making sure not to apply too much pressure as I did not want paint to get on the screening.
- If you do get paint on the screening, try to remove it with a Q-Tip.
- When paint is dry, you can touch up any paint that got on screening by using a black Sharpie marker over the paint.
Optional: If the screen moves when you press a finger into it, you can use a Q-Tip or popsicle stick to push it away from the metal and then paint around the ventilation holes. See my post where I show this in more detail: How to Paint a Ceiling Fan Without Taking It Down.
Easy Way to Spray Paint the Fan Blades
- Remove metal blade attachment from blades. Sand fan blades on both sides using 100 grit sandpaper. Clean well with detergent and hot water to remove sanding dust and dirt build up on blades. Let dry.
- String thin rope or heavy gauge wire from two trees in your yard. Thread the blades on and place a drop cloth underneath.
- Use semi-gloss spray primer/paint or use one coat of spray primer and then semi-gloss paint in light even coats every few minutes. Shake can while you spray.
- Sand and clean metal blade attachments and then spray prime/paint them. 2 – 3 light coats applied every few minutes until covered. Use light coats applied about 8 inches away.
Once everything is dry, put the ceiling fan back together again and hang. Do any touch ups if needed once the fan is hung. Turn power back on at the breaker box and enjoy your updated ceiling fan.
I still need to do some touch-up painting on the ceiling…
…but once I get that done, all the painting will be done in the room.
Do you have any ceiling fan painting tips or tricks to add that makes painting them easier?