Customize a metal fan with spray paint!

Friday, June 7, 2013

The warm season has arrived here in Silicon Valley! I'm a total wimp in the heat so this time of year usually brings a little bit of dread. Will I ever get another good night's sleep before Fall rolls around? So I've been on the look-out for stylish fans that I wouldn't be embarrassed to have on display for half the year in my apartment. My dream fan is this Vornado limited edition, that is difficult to find, and then when you find it, it's an arm and a leg. Sigh.

When I spotted this vintage style Hunter model at Target a few weeks ago, I knew I had to have it. I was iffy about the blue, though. It was nice, but not quite right for my decor. When I examined it at the store and noticed something promising: metal screws! That meant I'd have no problem dismantling it and painting the blue pieces the color of my chosing. The screws are also handy for when you want to get in there and clean the dust off of the blades.

To customize this little fan and make it just right for my space all I needed was a screwdriver, some super fine sandpaper (180 grit worked for me), spray paint, and a drop cloth. It took me a while to decide on this color, after considering yellow and pink, but I made the best choice. It's called Catalina Mist by Krylon and the color is a retro-esque shade of minty blue/green. The only semi-issue I had with it was that it wasn't compatible with plastic. All that meant was I had to pull off that rubbery gasket thing along the bottom of the base. No biggie.

To start, I dismantled the fan, setting the screws aside and remembering taking note of where everything went. When I had the pieces separated, I roughed up the surfaces a little bit with the sandpaper, just enough to make sure the paint would stick.

Using the packaging from the box, I proped up the pieces and got to painting! Beware if you're using a new canvas drop cloth, like I did. After I got started I noticed that it had lots of tiny fuzz particles that were sticking to my painted surfaces. I got most of them off, but it would have been easier if I put it in the dryer for a little to remove the lint before I got started.

I sprayed many light coats, giving each coat at least 15 minutes or so to dry to the touch for the next coat. Looking back, again, this step would have gone faster if I had primed the pieces before I started. That blue was hard to cover!

(Note: The Target website has this fan in lots of colors, including white! That would be a perfect base for any color. And it's on sale! My local store only had the blue.)

After my pieces were well coated, I let them dry overnight. All I had left to do was put it back together. I'm so pleased with the way it came out! The color is perfect and looks great in every room of my apartment. I love how the minty-blue/green gives it a hint of retro style that I love. It looks great with my mid-century furniture so I'll be happy to keep it out and on display all year! This easy upgrade cost me less than $10 and will make me happy (and cool) every time I walk by.


Have a wonderful weekend! No doubt, I'll have this bad boy running the entire time.


  1. This is fun and lovely color, nice job!

  2. Wow, what an amazing transformation! I'm inspired to do this myself for my bedroom. That shade of spray paint looks so lovely and vintage. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is sooooo awesome! I totally want to try it!

  4. Hi Casey, How do you like this fan's operation? I'm thinking of getting one myself and treating it to a custom paint job per your instructions :)

    1. Hi there. Thanks for the comment! I'm pleased with the way it works. The biggest problem for me with fans is noise, so I'm happy to say this one is fairly quiet on the low setting. It doesn't oscillate but it's good at pushing air around. The high setting is more powerful (and a bit more noisy) but I haven't used it on high much. I believe it comes with a 1 year warranty from Hunter...though I'd have to double check to be positive. I hope that helps!

  5. Thanks for sharing some useful ideas about customize a metal fan with spray paint Casey. Great work.

  6. That great, Casey ! What do you use Paint Sprayer ? HVLP Paint Sprayer or Airless Paint Sprayer ?

  7. How cute. So simple and what an outcome. I've always wanted to try this.. my home is very shabby chic I think it would look rather nice. Great job:)

  8. I agree with you that it is a necessary product for home

  9. Your articles are more than wow! And also the best way to make understand the things mentioned in it.

  10. Love cool little DIY projects like this. It's amazing how a bit of spray paint can change so much. I really like the color you picked.

  11. This looks great Casey. Fits with your site color :)

  12. Your fan looks so cute and I love it. Just stumbled upon your site today and really like the posts. Thanks.

  13. I love these types of tasks at home and the fan looks great and goes really well with the room!

  14. I'm just hence excited about exactly how them was released! Made from is ideal plus appears to be like superb in every single home with this flat. Everyone loves that this minty-blue/green supplies them your word of advice with hot design and style we like.



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