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Monday, September 02, 2013

Brass Ceiling Fan Makeover: Sophisticated Finishes, Blackened Bronze

Think 1995 - dusty rose and forest green.  Pink counters, pink linoleum and pink vertical blinds. Hand painted ivy on every possible surface, including the blades of the ceiling fan in my kitchen. Kill.Me.Now.

I have a very difficult time replacing items that are perfectly functional, and each one of the ugly, brass builders grade knobs, handles and ceiling fans are freaking functional. I was wandering, ok, escaping to Michaels for a little crafty coveting and a tiny little bottle caught my eye in the discontinued/clearance bin, a Metallic Surfacer called "Sophisticated Finishes". I snapped up three tiny bottles of this magical concoction in "blackened bronze". It needs a really good stir before the first use to incorporate all of the little bits of metallic goodness that provide a textured, metal finish.

My ever skeptical husband begged that I attempt my transformation on the smallest brass knob I could find, hidden on the closet in the back of our bedroom. There is no trust in this relationship.


This finish is exactly what I wanted, a dramatic, dark, matte finish. Let the brass painting frenzy begin!

 ***Be safe, cut the power to the fans at the breaker before attempting any painting***

Fugly fans get face lifts! I removed the sconces, bulbs and fan blades and cleaned my fan with tsp and a cloth. I didn't have any other degreasers in the house and it really wasn't all that dirty.

For my master bedroom fan I used the Sophisticated Finishes paint on the brass base and Rustoleum's "Oil Rubbed Bronze" metallic spray paint on the fan blades. I roughed up the blades with whatever sandpaper I found in the garage, which happened to be120 grit. They were an awful glossy forest green and two thin coats with Rustoleum's spray paint covered them really well.

With a combination of foam brushes, q-tips and a clean sock, I managed to get the Sophisticated Finishes in all the cracks and crevices of the fan base. There really is no way to screw this up. Just get the paint on and cover up the brass. No primer required and only two coats plus some touch ups.

Check out my master bedroom fan. I took these pics before realizing I forgot to paint the wood handles on the chain pulls.

I was so happy with the end result I also painted the kitchen fan, which had the last of the handpainted ivy on the fan blades. No more ivy in this house!  I do have one regret,  that I didn't spray paint the blades on this fan. I made a last minute decision to brush the Sophisticated Finishes onto the blades. I really prefer the smooth, glossy finish from the Rustoleum paint. I will probably redo the blades later (aka when I need a make-work project).

We had been searching for a fan with a low enough profile for this small space and hadn't been able to find one. This is the perfect solution, and for only a $9.00 bottle of paint! I love paint!!


  1. Love this one too! You are very brave to be trying these things out -- of course you are very young too! I'm at the point of replacing my dining room chandelier, but I'm going to do the wall art myself -- still working on that! Kids are grown, I'm thinking of a mixed media canvas for both of them (yes, only two so I'm using large canvases) and maybe a family tree type two-D in between -- still designing in my head! :)

    1. Thanks, Mary! If things start out horribly ugly, I figure paint can't do much more damage! I would love to see what you come up with once you decide on your mixed media project. I made the one hanging over my kitchen table and would love to try out a few different styles. My playroom is begging for a "family rules" canvas!

  2. So that’s your scheme? Re-paint right away when things get ugly? That’s more practical than buying a new one. But you know what, it’s not as ugly as you think. Although, the painting absolutely gave it the much needed makeover. Staci @

    1. Thanks for your comment, Staci. I don't know about a "scheme", I just get bored easily and love the fresh look you can achieve with a coat or two of paint. I know brass accents are trending again, but I just don't love it in overwhelming amounts.