Steve dismantles the fan for cleaning and painting
I’ve wanted to buy a new ceiling fan since we started our master bedroom remodel. The current fan is probably 20 years old and it shows it; but it’s a good quality fan and it works well so I hate to just dump it because it’s out of style. Still, looking up at the gold fixture made me think about making it over with some spray paint, so this weekend I finally went shopping to do a quick and easy light makeover.
GE Bright from the Start CFL
The first thing I did was go to Wal-Mart to shop for some matching light bulbs (see photos from my shop as well as the light makeover on Google+ ). We currently have a hodgepodge of bulbs and none of them are meant for a ceiling fan where the lights can be seen from below. We’d changed two of the lights out for more energy efficient bulbs, but the third was some weird purple bulb.
So my first stop was to find energy efficient bulbs to fit I picked up a GE Energy Smart Upgrade kit – these new bulbs replace 3 regular bulbs and are expected to last 6 years! The package noted that I should save up to $29 for each of the bulbs.
GE Energy Smart Ceiling Fan Energy Upgrade Kit
While I was a Wal-Mart I checked out all of the GE Energy Smart CFLs and LEDs, GE Reveal, Energy Smart Bright from the Start and/or Energy Efficient Soft White light bulb line. The selection is impressive but I know very little about what we have in our home and what needs to be replaced, so I brought home one general pack with the upgrade kit and a request for the hubby to take a look at all the new choices available and start changing out the bulbs as they need replacing. I know my husband favors LED lights but I couldn’t find them on the shelves (or more likely I overlooked them), so he’ll be shopping next time…….ah dang! I photographed the right bulbs (above) but somehow purchased the wrong ones so I’ve made a trip back to Wal-Mart to pick up the the correct ones. And this is why I don’t do the light bulb shopping!
DIY Ceiling Fan Makeover Step-by-Step
We began our light makeover late in the day and although it’s June, we live in Seattle so the photos are taken with just the bedside lamp. We first removed the fan blades and then pulled the gold striping tape off the base of the unit – it’s already better! Next we took out the screws from the base, the arms that hold the fan blades, and finally the light kit. Be sure to turn off the power and then disconnect the light from the base – the hubby is wearing gloves because he’d already started painting. Keep track of the wiring connections so you can put it back together after painting.
Dismantling the Ceiling Fan
After turning off the circuit breaker, we carefully dismantled the fan and pulled off the cheap gold striping.
Cleaning Prior to Painting
Since the fan’s been in place for about 2 decades, we had to give it a thorough cleaning. We used a gentle degreaser and water. Because we were painting them the same day, we used a heat gun to dry them and dipped them in rubbing alcohol to be sure they were completely dry.
We cleaned off two decades of grime before painting.
I purchased two different cans of spray paint because I wasn’t sure which color we’d finally decide on. Since the cans were around $6 at Wal-Mart it was a cheap purchase, plus whichever can we don’t use on this project we’ll use on another. We decided on the Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) spray since it tied into the metal trim on the new blinds. We decided to go for it, it’s just spray paint and if we hate it we can go over it with the other option which is a metallic charcoal.
We taped off the electrical portions of the fan and then spray painted in an open area – two light coats.
We pressed all the screws into cardboard and then sprayed over the surface to coat them all. We did the spray painting in our open garage with plenty of ventilation - two light coats for even coverage – and then let them dry overnight. I toyed with the idea of painting pale gray strips on the fan blades but decided against it and just left them plain. Once dry we reassembled the entire fan, touched up the paint by spraying into the paint cap and then applying it with a cotton swab to any scratched areas, added caulk to the where the fan was installed in the ceiling, installed the new shades, and then put in the new GE Fan Light bulbs.
Reassembling and remounting the fan blades
We reassembled the fan and touched up the paint the got dinged by the screwdriver by spraying the paint into the lid and using a Q-tip to “paint” with.
We carefully put the fan back together, reattached the blades, and turned the power back on. Before we went any further we check to make sure the fan blades were balanced and even calked the crack between the fan and the ceiling that’s been there for 24 years. The fan works beautifully.
Finishing Touches and Costs
Finding replacements for the bulb covers for the light fixture wasn’t easy, but we found some that resembled art glass (which we love) that are clear with flecks of white in them. They were about $11 each ($33 total) and by far the most expensive part of our makeover – the rest was very inexpensive at $5.77 for paint and $14.74 for the three new bulbs. Cheap compared to the rest of the items I purchased including the husband’s Father’s Day present of a new TV for the master bedroom plus some items I need for a press trip I’m leaving for on Sunday.
My WalMart recipt for the makeover (and the hubby’s Father’s Day present – a new TV for the master bedroom)
Just by changing out the light bulbs in our bedroom ceiling fan for newer energy efficient bulbs, we’ll see a savings the first year! And as we replace more standard bulbs around the house the savings grow! Want to know what you can save? Check out the GE Lighting Home Lighting Calculator to figure your savings. For me though changing out the bulbs is bigger than saving me money. Energy efficiency is important to me because I want to make a smaller footprint on the earth and this is one really easy way for me to do it. I try to use power judiciously and I know I have room for improvement. My next energy DIY project will be to start unplugging appliances when they’re not in use. Ours are plugged-in 24/7. I had no idea how much power they use in stand-by, plus it’s better for them to be powered completely down when not in use.
The cost savings of swapping out just the fan lights with an initial investment of $11.74 – I’ll save that the first year!
GE Energy Smarts, GE Reveal, Energy Efficient Soft White light bulbs and the whole line of GE efficiency bulbs are available at Sams Club, Walmart, and other retailers.
TA DA! The “after” photo – new paint, new shades, and new bulbs!
And in case you forgot how truly horrible it was in gold, here’s the before and after picture side-by-side.
Before and After Ceiling Fan Makeover
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I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and GE Lighting. #CBias #SocialFabric” – all opinions are my own
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