Easy Fan Update - Without Uninstalling!

2 Materials
3 Hours

See the process of updating an outdated fan light fixture with no need to uninstall it!

Watch the video tutorial here.

The Before

Over the past year I have learned many things, including how to replace a light fixture. But replacing a fan seemed too much for me to tackle. It has special switches and controls on the wall, and that alone intimidated me enough to not want to mess with it. Along with the fact that it actually wasn't that old of a fan, that worked great, it just didn't look as good as it could.

The After

So, I set out on making a plan to update the fan in our living room, without replacing it or taking it down. I really loved how it turned out in the the end, plus it was a quick, easy and cheap update... which makes it 10x better of an update for me!

Clean & deconstruct

First I vacuumed and wiped down everything. Then, I deconstructed. I took the bulbs, shades and fan blades off.

Paint Brass Black

Next, I taped off the ceiling and painted everything that was brass with Annie Sloan Athenian Black. Annie Sloan paint can adhere to all sorts of surfaces without prep work. Perfect for this situation! Athenian Black is a jet black that resembles matte black fixtures.

2nd coat Black

You will need two coats, but they dry really fast. You do not need to wax this unless you want to. No one really touches your fan and eventually the paint will cure out on its own to a harder finish.

Paint & wax fan blades

With the fan blades I wanted to create a natural worn wood look, a light wood look. It is one of my favorite finishes for the style of our home and you can find it throughout.

I created a tutorial on it when I did it on the master bathroom revive. You can watch how here. Then I reinstalled the blades.

Install globes

And for the last magical moment of bringing this "new" fixture together... new globes! This is the only thing I actually spent money on (since I have a hoard of paint) I purchased these ones from Lowes.


Now admire the “new” light! Hope you enjoyed this quick, easy, fan update!

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Originally Worn

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Cheryl
    on Jul 30, 2020

    Absolutely clever!! I have been trying to figure out how to paint some lights that I don’t want to remove. Do you think any chalk paint will work or only the one you used? How long ago did you do this and how has it held up? Also, I want to paint around the outside of my glass fireplace doors, do you think chalk paint is an option? Thanks!

    • Nikki
      on Jul 31, 2020

      If your fireplace is used or burning wood then you will need a paint designed to withstand that level of heat.

  • Jenilynnecook
    on Jul 30, 2020

    Where did you get the clear glass globes, mine are white, but clear would lighten my room more!

    • P
      on Jul 31, 2020

      I got clear shades from Menards or Lowes. With the bright LED bulbs it was too bright. I went to frosted LED bulbs with clear shades.

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