Sunday, September 16, 2012

How-to: Ceiling Fan Re-imagined with Folk Art

 A ceiling fan left over from our townhouse remodel was in good working order, but rather mundane looking, with bronze toned metal parts and plain white blades. 
I decided I could use it in the master bedroom at the lake if I gave it a new look, something that would work with the old Texas aesthetic we are using out there.
After first taping carefully around the fans mechanism and vents to protect the moving parts, I spray painted over the bronze with black. 
Annie Sloan's chalk paint (I've described this great product in previous posts) turned the blades from white to soft Paris Grey.  I waxed them, and buffed them, and the effect was very nice.....but, then I saw these gorgeous bags from Kate Spade's collection!

Inspired by Mexican folk art, the artists who designed these bags did a beautiful job!
I loved them as soon as I saw them, and their simple two color combination got me thinking about those plain grey fan blades.

 We have other folk art pieces for the house: sinks, tiles, paintings, retablos and ceramics.
This is one of the sinks in the master bath.

Googling "Folk Art Images" brought up an amazing variety of design ideas.  I narrowed that down to Mexican and Peruvian art, and found the image of a ceramic plate with a design I could adapt to the shape of the fan blades.

 Since the blades were already waxed, I switched to white craft paint to better hold the design. To match the images on each blade, I cut simple shapes and curves out of paper and traced them onto the blades with a pencil.
I developed the design step-by step, painting each new element before deciding on and tracing the next.
It was necessary to water the white craft paint down quite a bit for a smooth texture and just a bit of transparency here and there.

When I got to this point, I decided it was finished.

And now the completed fan is hanging in the master bedroom.


  1. What a beautiful, unique design. It's so cool to see the finished product! And it's installed, no less. :)
    This is very inspiring.

  2. The ceiling fan looks stunning! I like your idea of imposing your own design and style on the blades. It certainly made your ceiling fan much more stylish. Not so boring anymore, eh? Anyway, just make sure that you clean it once a month. It would be a waste if it gets dirty and the design just fades.