The Great Outdoor Fan Renovation
I recently mentioned that one of the projects in our budget-friendly backyard patio upgrade is refurbishing our tired-looking ceiling fan/light fixture.
After it was down, it was really obvious it needed some TLC.
I removed the fan blades and dusted and scrubbed the fixture.
I used sandpaper and steel wool to remove any visible rust spots.
Then I primed the whole thing using Rust-OleumPainter’s® Touch Ultra Cover 2x Primer in flat black. This product is currently my favorite spray primer because it gives great coverage, goes on evenly, and doesn’t spit or sputter.
After priming, I gave the whole fixture two coats of Rust-Oleum Metallic Paint & Primer in One in oil-rubbed bronze.
Next came the tricky part. I was originally planning on reusing the same fan blades and just painting them using my faux wood grain technique. But that plan went out the window when one of the blades broke in half as I was removing it.
Fortunately I had an old fan in the basement that was taken out of our dining room when I added the chandelier. The fan blade color was perfect, but there was a problem. The holes in these “new” blades didn’t match the holes in the fan I was planning to attach them to. So I had to first plug a few of the old holes and then stain the filled holes to match the blades.
I started by flipping the blades over to the side that wouldn’t be seen and taping the holes that needed filled with putty.
Then I flipped the blades over to the “good” side, filled the holes with stain-able wood filler, and brushed on a coat of stain to match the blade color. (Only two out of the three holes in each blade needed filled.)
My objective was to make the old holes as inconspicuous as possible. One word of caution here: If I had to do it over again, I would have only used stain on the holes and scratches, not on the whole blade, as it didn’t adhere well and left me with a sticky mess as I was attaching the blades to the fan.
Speaking of attaching the “new” blades, I had to drill two new holes in each of them so they would line up with the holes in the fixture. Before screwing the blades tight to the fan, I added washers to each of the holes for added reinforcement. (The last thing I want to do is decapitate one of our picnic guests with a flying fan blade.)
The washers were added to the top of the fan (aka the part you don’t see). Also, in case you’re wondering, these fan blades are finished in a light oak color on one side and a mahogany color on the other.
Here’s the final result:
I love the new look, although I am disappointed because the fan wobbles a bit, which I believe is due to one of two factors affecting its balance:
- I bent the metal that holds the fan blades in order to shimmy my screwdriver in to remove the screws before I painted the fixture. (With the right tool, this would not have been necessary.)
- I switched out the fan blades (because I broke one of the old ones, remember?) to larger ones and this may also be slightly contributing to the imbalance.
So if you can avoid these two pitfalls, you should have a like-new, wobbly-free fan. 🙂
Let’s take a look again at the before:
And the after:
It looks like a new fixture!
Special thanks to Rust-Oleum for providing me with the primer and paint I needed to complete this project.