How To Make Any Ceiling Fan More Attractive

updated Dec 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Poor ceiling fans- they’re the household appliance everyone loves to hate. Their design, no matter how trendy or modern, just doesn’t cut the mustard in most homes. If we have one, it’s because we need it- and on hot summer days, staring at that ugly household appliance is a heck of a lot better than swimming in a pool of sweat. Here are a few creative options for making the most out of our current ceiling fan situations.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

While we might not suggest using this particular technique on a fan in a formal room (for those, we tend to think less is less: try to make it blend in with the ceiling), we think it’s a fun fix for those rooms you can relax in and have fun with. Try out a few of our suggestions and see if they don’t help you hate your fan just a little bit less.

What You Need


  • Duct tape
  • Washi tape
  • Fast drying latex paint
  • Spray paint
  • Lightbulbs


  • Screwdriver
  • Scissors
  • Foam craft brush


Before disassembling any parts, shut the electricity off to minimize the risk of shock. Next, stand back and take a good look at your fan (or take a photo and scrutinize that). You’ve probably looked at it a million times already, but this time try to look at how it’s assembled. Are there parts that are unnecessary and can simply be removed to make it less gaudy? There were on mine!

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

My fan is in a room with low ceilings and the giant globe sticking out of the bottom was quite frequently being run into by my husband. After a bit of investigating, I found that the piece was merely decorative and could be taken down without effecting the way the fan operated. Almost everything on your fan will be placed with screws or will have been screwed on in some way. To get started, just start turning whatever you’d like to remove in a counter-clockwise direction.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Next, remove those glass globes. Why they have to be fluted and decorative and etched with grapes I’ll never know, but if they aren’t your style just toss them in the recycle bin. I searched our hardware store high and low for something I could replace mine with, but couldn’t find anything I really liked so I decided to just leave them off. Another option would be a drum lampshade kit. With its clean lines and diffused, covered bottom, it provides soft light while hiding the bulbs all at the same time. No Golden Girls-era glass shades necessary.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Next up: remove the blades. We’ll clean them really well and have fun with them in a bit- for now take them down and free up space to work on the light fixtures.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Play with the light fixtures and see if they move around. I was able to swing mine 90º, which provided more room to walk under and was less attention-grabbing than the original setup.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

My ceiling fan is in my office where everything is bright white, clean, and colorful, so I decided to paint the antique brass fixtures white. To draw less attention to your fan, paint the blades, brackets, and motor housing the same exact color as your ceiling.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

If you’re a renter and unable to make any permanent changes to your fan (like painting or taking away parts) you can absolutely do this one thing: head out to the craft store and pick up a few colorful rolls of washi tape. Washi is easily removable and won’t damage your blades.

Duct tape is quite a bit heavier than washi, so I was interested to see if the weight would throw off the balance of the fan, but I was glad to note that it did not. That said, I probably wouldn’t cover the entire blade in tape, but a few pieces certainly won’t interfere. And yes, I bought tape patterned with chevron stripes! You might also check into using cuts of contact paper or removable wallpaper. Again, not sure I would cover the entire fan- but a few strips or cutout patterns could be fun!

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Once you’ve removed the blade brackets from the fan blades, wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris that has built up. Both the brackets and the blades can easily be spray painted so decide on your colors, give them both a few coats (don’t forget to lightly sand your metal brackets before painting!) and let them dry throughly before applying any decorative tape. Be sure to wrap the tape around the edges of the blades for a nice, clean, finished look.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Once the brackets dry, screw them back onto the dried, decorated fan blades and screw the fan blades back to the motor. Lightly touch up the screws with the same color paint- I sprayed some paint onto a plastic lid and painted over the screws using a cotton swab.

Replace the glass shades, and screw in your lightbulbs. Since I left my shades off, I decided to go with a larger globe bulb that would hide more of the light fixture.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Another thing that helps is to change out the chain. If you’ve painted the housing on your fan, swap out the chain so that the colors match. You can find replacement chains in the lighting department at the hardware store for really cheap. Opening up the housing on your fan can get pretty intense, so I decided to just snip away the a portion of my old chain and attach the new one. If you pull the slack on the chain to cut it, be very careful to not let go of the portion of the old chain once it’s been cut, otherwise it will be yanked back up into the motor housing and you’ll have to do a whole lot of dismantling to find the tail.

Attach a fun, new chain pull if you like, and you’re all set!

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Have a really great DIY project or tutorial that you want to share with others? Let us know! We love checking out what you’re making these days, and learning from our readers. When you’re ready, click here to submit your project and photos.