Do you ever notice how your home improvement "to-do" list keeps getting longer, but your budget stays the same? (In some cases, shrinks!) Sometimes the objects you walk past everyday make your home feel dated. By simply renovating one small fixture, you can begin to update your home's look without blowing your budget. For example, that oh! so out-of-date brass ceiling fan that's in every room of your house. . .

You'll pay at least $100 for a new, stylish one at your local hardware store (for us, Home Depot). Instead, veer past the light aisle and head over to the paint department first. Grab a can of Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray paint ($3.98) and a quart of your favorite brand of glossy white. Then, pick out your favorite pull string ($2.48 & up) and some fashionable, four new glass shades ($0.89/ea. & up).

Even if you're not an electrician, follow these simple steps to breath new life into your old fans:

  1. Make sure to turn the power off to the room you're working in. Turning off the light switch isn't good enough! You'll have to head out to the garage and open the main electrical box. The breakers are almost always marked, but if not, "trial and error" is your friend.
  2. Unscrew old shades and light bulbs from fan before taking down.
  3. Pull down the canopy by removing the screws that hold the fan in place. (For safety, have a helper hold the fan so it doesn't fall when wires are disconnected.) Then, separate the wires from the ceiling to the fan.
  4. Remove blades from the fan motor with a screwdriver.
  5. Clean fan blades with warm water to remove all dust and dirt before applying paint to fan blades.  Then paint!
  6. While your glossy paint dries, spray paint the fan motor housing with the metallic paint. Depending on the color of your original fan, it may require multiple coats.
  7. Once dry, reattach the fan blades.
  8. Reconnect the lead wires from the ceiling to the fan and replace the canopy.
  9. Add new light shades and pull string.
  10. Head back out to your breaker box, and flip the switch! Turn on your new fan, and enjoy!

Within 20 minutes and for under $25, you'll have a brand "new" ceiling fan! But don't throw that paint can away after just one! Stretch that $25 improvement project by doing your other light fixtures, or use it on a few door knobs or some cabinet hardware.

This has been a guest post by Krystal from Dallas, TX
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!