Friday, April 5, 2013

Serious Upcycle: Ceiling Fan Update & DIY Mercury Glass

Bada bing, bada boom. That cliched expression pretty much sums up how I feel about what I accomplished with $14.04 and 2 hours of my life. Here we go.

The dreaded ceiling fan. So practical. So windy. So aesthetically displeasing. Especially this one, circa 1992 (or so). I didn't really want to remove the fan altogether and replace it with something else. For one thing, it would most likely have been pricey. For another, I might not have liked it too much in the end. So, for the last few days, I've been pondering ways to transform this monster into something prettier. Should I paint it? I thought about painting stripes or cheverons on the blades. Nope. Too crazy/trendy. I thought about spraying the hardware silver and the blades white. Maybe. Then it hit me: mercury glass!

I've pinned a ton of DIY mercury glass tutorials (my favorite being this one), and I've been meaning to try my hand at the magic. This was the perfect opportunity. Having read on several tutorials that the only place to find Krylon Looking Glass spray paint is Hobby Lobby, I headed straight there. On the way, I continued to ponder about how I would deal with the gold hardware and the blades. While in the spray paint aisle, I decided I'd use Krylon's Brushed Nickel for the hardware and leave the blades as-is for now. I wanted to think about it a bit longer before doing any irreversible damage. I'm known for making rash, impatient decisions. Just ask my mom my husband my sister my cousins my co-workers anyone I've ever met.

There she blows before I began spraying but after I prepped the ceiling. Yikes. I think Rich might have murdered me if he knew I was spray painting inside the house in a room that I just spent three days painting. Spoiler alert: I'm not dead. What Rich doesn't know (until he comes home or reads this) won't kill me. No worries. Carrie @ Dittle Dattle showed me it was okay to use the following method. Yes, if Carrie @ Dittle Dattle told me to jump off a bridge, I would.

Before painting the hardware, I had to remove the blades. Here's where it gets good. After taking the first blade off, I discovered that they were reversible! Super! Who chose to use the lighter side? The dark side is so much better. Check it out!

Once the blades were all down, I donned this mask. Safety first, people. I am Luke's father. That's the second Star Wars reference in 5 sentences, and I've never seen even one of those movies.

After a couple coats of brushed nickel, the motor and hardware came out looking more like this:

Below are the original glass shades. What is the technical term for those things?  As you can see, they are bumpy. Anyone who knows me knows I detest bumps. Let's not talk about it.

To achieve the desired effect, I sprayed the inside of the shades with a couple thin coats of the looking glass spray. Some of the tutorials I read suggested several coats (up to 5 or 6), but I went with 2 because since it's a light fixture, I wanted to maintain the opacity.

After applying 2 thin coats, I sprayed the painted surface with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water. I let that sit for about a minute then  dabbed with a paper towel moistened with the same vinegar/water mixture.

While wiping, my fingerprints created this masterpiece. He looks happy
about the result, no?
Here's a shot of what it should look like after you've dabbed and wiped. As always, the photo doesn't do it justice. You'll have to try it out and see for yourself!

I could hardly wait to see the final results after replacing the blades on the reverse side. I ripped the newspaper off the ceiling, jumped off the ladder, and scoped out my upcycled ceiling fan. Behold:

It's so much easier this way:


So what do you think? Are you as thrilled about this upgrade as I am? At the very least, I dusted the fan blades. At the very best, I got a new fan for $14.04.

P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right! If you like it, pin it!

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Greystone for LIFE!

After a long haitus, I'm back and better than ever just as busy. It's just that I'm on Spring recess from work and I've had some uninterrupted time to spend with my house. Let me just confirm: It's been glorious.

It's becomming a tradition to begin a decorating project whilst on Spring break. I'm in the middle of two masters programs and nearing the end of a hectic school year, so needless to say, I've had very little time for any decorating --  let alone blogging. Beginning a new project was just the break I needed. At any rate, I prepped for my week-long break from school by getting my behind to Campbell's Paint and Wallpaper in Dearborn to pick out my paint.

This is what I started with: 3 walls of light to medium blue with 1 wall of medium to dark blue thrown in for good measure, stained trim to match the harwood floors, and a sweet ceiling fan.

Oh yeah, and almost-floor-to-ceiling mirrored closet doors. I can't get away from mirrors in this house. They're the reasons we bought this house. 4 reasons to be exact. What can I say? We're vain people.

I'm still on the grey train. I think it's partly because I've attempted two shades of the color (here and here) and both times, it came out looking very blue. I realize that's a risk you take when painting with as crazy a color as grey, but sheesh. I was bound and determined to perfect the paint-picking process. So I did. Yep, that's right. This color is perfect. Lots of self-love goin' on in this post.

The color I chose is called Greystone by none other than Mr. Benjamin Moore himself. I like. 

The picture above is a bit dark, but you can see how it downplays the orangeyness of the floors.

Oh, and I painted the trim Mountain Peak White (also by BM and the same color as the trim in the two other rooms I've tackled). Doesn't the white trim make the color even yummier? I think so. Except I wouldn't want to eat paint as it probably wouldn't be good for my health.

I will, of course, be adding window treatments, but check out how much better the windows look with the white trim. Mmm hmm.

I love that the color has the quality of taupe. It reminds me of the clay I used back in high school to make the vase that my mom "accidentally broke" the day after I brought it home. Okay, that never happened, but you get the point. I love me some Greystone. 

Thus begins another adventure in decorating. Stay tuned for the reveal of my big plans for that sweet fan. And of course, stay tuned for the styling ordeal. I'm anticipating at least a few weeks worth of work. At least.

In keeping with tradition, color me happy. :)

P.S. Check out Campbell's Paint and Wallpaper in Dearborn, MI for all your paint, wallpaper and framing needs. They offer the best color advice and customer service in Metro-Detroit. They have a full line of stains and tools including Benjamin Moore and Pratt & Lambertt paints. They guarantee their paint and stain color matching, offer in-home color consultations, and service custom picture framing using expert design & workmanship (their every day prices beat Michael's 50% off price). They also offer a large wallcovering library.

P.P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right!