Sunday, April 12, 2015

Copper Medallion

This will also be known as "cover the ceiling and get rid of the ugly marks when you check for power".

A home built in the 1920's is always full of surprises. Some of those are good and some of those can lead to projects. Before we moved into our home we had a checklist of items to look for when we were housing shopping. You see, we found out after moving into our last home, that 2 of our 3 bedrooms did not have closets. It was one of those things that you discover when you are moving in but maybe you don't look for it when you are falling in love with the house and imagining what you will do with the front room or what color paint you will use in the kitchen. Well, we checked for those closets this time around, as well as for central air conditioning and a few other necessities. . . Actually this house has really good closets.

But there's always something you miss. . . at least in my world. The night we closed on this house we figured out that our front room did not have any lights. Yep, you heard me right. No light fixture. Even more intriguing was the fact there was no light switch anywhere. Well lamps are an easy solution but sometimes we can't leave well enough alone. See my husband works in electrical and he has a love of ceiling fans. We were installing them in the kids' bedrooms in anticipation for summer's humidity and we thought we might as well check to see if there was power in the ceiling in that front room. See, there was a blank canopy up on the ceiling and it must be covering something. . .

Now you might say, 1. "What would be the point of finding power if you don't have a switch to actually use it?", and 2. "Why would you have power and have had a light in the past if there is no switch?" and finally, 3. "What did they do with the switch?"

These are all valuable questions.

1. There is a new fangled device that allows you to use a remote switch to turn on the light.

2. They might have had a switch in the past but when they removed the light fixture they decided to just get rid of the switch in a remodel.

3. WTF? Why would you get rid of a switch?

So we removed that canopy and it had been painted over to match the ceiling and lo and behold there was power there. Old knob and tube wires that are frankly a little scary. Part of the mystery is solved but we still don't know where the switch went and why.

But this left damage to the ceiling. We had to score the canopy with a utility knife to remove it and that left a couple of cracks where the canopy met the ceiling. There were also some smudges around the canopy from fingers keeping balanced up right on the stool.

We aren't putting up a ceiling fan just yet but I didn't have any touch up paint for the ceiling and the idea of painting all it didn't sound all that appealing. That's where these cool plastic medallions from Westinghouse come in. They are pretty lightweight and I have used them in the past to cover up holes around ceiling fans but this time it was purely for decoration. 

Now in the past, the white worked just fine, looking like plaster, and would add a little flair to a ceiling that was painted a bright color. But in this case we already have a white ceiling and I wanted to do something that said "This was not just a cover up for a mistake but a really beautiful focal piece in our home".  There are many different designs to pick from but I went with this sunburst pattern.

I first sprayed the entire medallion with a primer and then followed with a base coat of spray paint. I had envisioned this as a copper medallion aged in place to have a nice aqua patina but in looking at the copper spray paints they looked too new so I settled for this bronze that I got at Michael's. This gave me a really thick good base to work with. I actually had a problem with the first can's nozzle but Michael's staff were kind enough to let me exchange it and the second can worked like a charm. One coat was plenty and it gave this a good thick coverage that I was able to work with. It dried rather quickly on this nice spring day.

I bought a some craft paint, those little jars that are 99 cents at Michael's, in three colors. I bought the Craft Smart Brand and used the Mediterranean as the base color for my verdigris look. I mixed this with a bit of Espresso and Steel Blue so that I could get variances in the color. I did this with a dry brush method, building up the colors and mixing them right on the medallion, using a paper towel at times to get rid of any excess.

I also painted the original canopy to match the medallion so we could fasten it to the ceiling without any adhesive. Ironically the canopy turned out to be an old copper one underneath layers of pain but I still used the same process of adding a coat of spray paint and then my faux finish so it would match.

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