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Friday, January 23, 2015

A Quick and Easy Ceiling Fan Update - Spray Painting Glass Light Shades

You may remember back in December when I shared our guest bedroom makeover. One of the things I truly didn’t like was the yellow glass light globes on the ceiling fan. Although my preference would always be to have a pretty light fixture rather than a ceiling fan I’m not ready to take it down yet until I live through a summer here. A ceiling fan might be a necessity if it’s really hot and humid.

But the yellow light shades (also known as glass globes) had to go!


 photo The10CentTour051_zpsfbeec3aa.jpg

After visiting a few big box hardware stores I found that the average replacement globe was $8 each. Times that by 4 and that was way more than I wanted to spend on a fan I might eventually take down. (Not to mention the five other fans/light fixtures in the house that are just like this one!) I also stalked the thrift stores to no avail and turned to Pinterest where I shockingly found…..nothing!

So I decided to see if spray painting them would work.

DTA Ceiling fan 003

I gave some deep thought to the glass growing warm if the light was turned on for a long period of time so decided to use Rust-Oleum’s Specialty High Heat Spray. It generally is for use on grills and fireplaces so I knew it would work just fine on a light fixture. There is a limited palette of just 5 colors, but thankfully they had white.

I removed the shades from the fan and gave them a thorough cleaning. Then I painted three thin coats on both the interior and exterior of the glass waiting 30 minutes between each coat. After they were completely dry I reattached the shades to the fan. They did look SO much better compared to the “before” photo above.

DTA Ceiling fan 004

I was a bit disappointed however when I turned the lights on and there was still a bit of a yellow cast on the exterior of the shade.

DTA Ceiling fan 006

I have decided that I will go ahead and buy new glass shades for the fan in my attic office as I will not be taking that fan down and I need clear white light. The question remains as to what to do with Sweet Guys bedroom….

DTA Ceiling fan 012

….Our bedroom, as well as the Fashionista’s room….

DTA Ceiling fan 016

…and the formal dining area.

DTA Ceiling fan 022

They’re not going to lick me! And when it’s all over I’ll never have a dark house full of gloomy brown and yellow glass shades again. (Shakes fist like Scarlett O’Hara!)

I am open to suggestions.



marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Wow, I am amazed that they still look yellow. The white paint was such a great idea. I am sure you will figure out something. Hope all is well.

Linda said...

I don't have any suggestions because we do have those type of yellow lights in the office/guest bedroom fan and we're okay with them. :) We have ceiling fans (by choice - we put them in) in all of our 3 bedrooms and in the living room. They're great for moving the heat and air conditioning about and I can't imagine not having them. We used to have one in the dining room as well, but I didn't like it and had Jim take it out and put in the chandelier there which is pretty, but not as useful. There are many times, in the winter or summer, that I just get too hot cooking in the adjoining open kitchen and have to bring in a floor fan. ;)

Auntie Em said...

Well, it looks brighter in the daytime at least! :) I know what you mean about ceiling fans. Nasty little creatures hanging around over our heads but so good to have hanging there when the house gets too warm.
Have you tried any of the second hand shops for replacements? Even if they are still attached to the fan you could maybe just take the shades and redonate the fan. There is an amazing shop in the city near us which resells donated building materials and fixtures. The last time I was in they had a treasure trove of lamp shades and fixtures. The money raised goes to Habitat for Humanity so it's a good place to take any thing that you are replacing that can be reused as well.

GSGreatEscaper said...

I wonder if you painted the shades on the outside with silver first and then white if the metallic would block the yellow more? Perhaps you could try it on a test piece first?

Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

I think people make too big of a deal about ceiling fans being ugly. They are smart for multiple reasons. We keep ours going in the living room to aid in distribution of heat in the winter and in the summer with the air conditioning. That's another reason ceiling fans became so popular...they recirculate dead air from the ceiling back into the room. They definitely aid in energy efficiency. So anyway, I myself would buy the globes you want and keep them but that's me! I also found that the clear bulbs (shaped like a flame) help keep the light more crisp. Up front it's an investment but it will last a long time.

Sheila said...

Wal-mart, Lowes and Home depot sell replacement globes that are a universal size that will fit both your ceiling fans and light in the dining for relatively cheap. A few dollars each for clear or white. That would work until you decide to replace the whole fixture. Also check places like thrift stores and Goodwill. Sometimes they have multiple shades available for just a dollar or less each. Also you could try clear bulbs. Incandescent like the soft white ones you are using put off a yellow (or warmer ) light. Clear would not do that and may cut down on the yellow you are seeing when you turn your painted light on.

Karena Albert said...

I do have a couple of ceiling fans in the house Laura and as I am so used to Fresh Air and circulating air, from my years in San Diego, I live with them! Maybe one more coat or different bulbs?

The Arts by Karena

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

Have you checked the nearest Habitat for Humanity Restore? They usually have a good selection of pre-owned lighting options. Good luck!

lynn cockrell said...

You have shared so many beautiful projects with us, Laura. It is gracious of you to also share this one about the globes you painted so that we know it doesn't work so well. Thanks for sharing this helpful "not to do" tip! said...

Summer will be here before you know it (Texas heat probably comes early), so I'd wait and see if I even want to keep them before putting too much effort into painting etc.(The white looks great though, so the yellow would only show at night when using them) If you decide to keep them, then splurge and change the shades to ones you like. Also, in our little house we (my dad) spray painted all the fan blades / paddles white too - they look so much better and almost fade into the ceiling. The hardware is still the various shades of brass of the original, but the white blades are so much better. Thankfully, my shades were already in the white family. We live in Kentucky where it is extremely humid in the summer and I rarely use my ceiling fans, so eventually they will probably be replaced with more decorative lights. Just some ideas :)

Christine said...

I can not tell you how valuable all these posts have been.
For anyone who has moved or about to move, you are telling us not to be afraid to take something you dislike and make it "new" and beautiful!
Thank you for all your ideas.
I go boldly into the process of house hunting, knowing that there is no perfect house.
BUT...with a little imagination and work, it can be!

Gypsy Heart said...

I would much prefer having a beautiful chandy or lovely light fixture, alas, Texas heat requires ceiling fans! When it gets 100 - 110 you will be grateful for A/C and fans. :) I have a small fan for my bathroom as the a/c just doesn't do it when trying to do make-up and hair with the humidity we have. Honestly, I would suggest just buying new fans with lights that you like. Expensive? I'm sure it would be for your entire house but perhaps in the main rooms?

Just my 2 cents ~


Elizabeth BlueClearSky said...

I was sure that was going to work too. Home Depot sells replacements in white and clear in several different shapes. That would be way cheaper than replacing your ceiling fans, which look nice. Good luck!

Cindy The Victorian Journey said...

We have a yellow light for our living room fan light so I was so excited to see you painted your and was in such hope for it to work.. Good luck and keep us posted..


Katie Mansfield said...

Try the Re-Store. The one over here in Arlington has glass shades all the time. I think they are $2. Several trips to different stores and you might be in business. I took most of our fans down and use cute old fashion looking fans that I found at Tuesday Morning. They can be put away most of the year and instead I have a pretty chandelier to look at. I survived a Texas summer just fine without the ceiling fan. Most of ours were too far from the bed to do any good anyway. Hope this helps. I think Fort Worth has several Re -Stores.

Creations by Marie Antoinette and Edie Marie said...

Hi Laura -

When the light fixtures we live with everyday are a joy to behold it makes life really wonderful doesn't it? I've gone through so many phases in lighting I can't begin to name them all! Love the idea of painting the glass shades you clever girl. I've gotta remember that for the next lighting phase! Have a great weekend! Blessings, Edie Marie

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

The white paint is a huge improvement. Now I know that Scarlett doesn't like to wait... But maybe before making any big decision about $8 shades, you could wait to see if you really use the ceiling fans in the summer? Also, here in France, I sometimes find vintage glass shades in vide-greniers/brocantes... Maybe you could find some as well?

Marigene said...

I was going to suggest ReStore, but see someone already has...they have amazing buys in my area...once a month they take an extra 25%-50% off things, such as chairs or lighting fixtures, etc. If you have one nearby, it is well worth a WILL find something to take home!

sarah said...

Check habitat restore, goodwill etc and I bet you will find clear ones