This past weekend, Amanda and I decided to finally start on this fan that we found at the antique fair. First off, let me start by saying that before we started this project the fan was probably the best running and quitest fan I had ever seen.
Can someone say foreshadowing?
I would consider myself a rather handy person and I’m definitely more patient when it comes to messing with machines and electronics than Amanda is. So naturally, it fell to me to figure out what needed to be done in order to turn our fan from old and rusty to fresh and shiny.
Lets start with a before picture.
Not exactly what I’d call “good looking”.
To figure out what needed to be done to spruce up the fan, I did what I would consider extensive research. You know, I actually went to more than one website and might have even watched a couple of how-to videos.
I’ve never been one to do much research.
Once I was sure that I knew what I was doing (kind of), we started by completely dismantling the fan. And it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. There was something like
100 40 years of crud and gunk keeping the screws in place. But, after a while it was ready for its tune up.
From my now vast knowledge of preparing metal for paint, I knew that the fan needed to be “washed” first with water and mineral spirits. This part was quick and easy. Just wipe it down with water and then with mineral spirits. This step is to remove any excess dirt and helps to loosen up all the paint and other crap on the fan.
Then, because the blades and cage were a bit on the rusty side, we needed to use a rust cleaner and inhibitor. Even though the blades and cage were the only rusty parts, I decided to go ahead and wipe all the pieces down with the rust cleaner – I mean, why not? It helps to inhibit future rust, so we might as well protect the whole thing. The only down side is that his stuff needs time to work its magic and then completely dry. We had to wait about 2 hours total before we could move on to the next step.
Oh, and just so you guys can get an idea of what we had to deal with, let me share this beauty.
Pretty gross, huh?
After all the cleaning was done, we primed it.
Or rather, Amanda did.
You see, I might be more patient with machines and electronics, but Amanda is more patient with everything else. That includes spray painting. For example, all of the painting in this blog so far has been done by Amanda exclusively. Well, there was one exception: priming the lamps. If you look close enough you can see a huge spot on the left side of this lamp where I messed up the painting and promptly gave up on painting forever.
After a good night’s sleep, Amanda got back out there and finished up the painting.
As you can see, we used two different colors: a grey for the base and a awesome metallic silver that made the cage and blades look like bare metal. It is exactly what we wanted and couldn’t be more pleased with the results. The fan looks great, but what good is a fan in pieces?
When it came time to reassemble the pieces, everything went great. We took the time when taking everything apart and made notes about where everything went so that the assembly would be easy. I also made sure to tape up any exposed moving parts so that they wouldn’t get gunked up… or at least I thought I did.
You you know that foreshadowing thing I was talking about earlier? Here is where it comes in.
You see, I taped up every part except for the part that make this thing a fan. The piece that the blades attach to and makes them spin. So, when Amanda was painting some paint got in there and basically glued the spiny thing in place.
And yes, “spiny thing” is a technical term. Remember, I am a virtual encyclopedia of fan restoration.
But seriously, the thing wouldn’t spin. It just sat there. I could hear the motor humming, so I knew I didn’t completely eff it up, but it was bad. And, of course, this is all after the fact that it took me a good 30 minutes to force the blades back on because the spinner was covered in paint. But eventually, after about another 30 minutes of manually spinning the blades, I got the paint loose enough to where the motor would take over. The fan was finally working.
Word to the wise: If what you are painting requires a lot of manipulation or assembly, let it dry overnight so as to not scratch your new paint job. We had some pretty ugly scratches on the fan after we re-assembled it because we were too antsy to wait a full 12 hours to let it dry.
But, after touch ups the fan was just the way we wanted it.
Now the only problem left is where to put this beauty.
You see, we currently have an ugly stand fan in our bedroom, but with this being a small desk fan it kind of needs something to sit on.
I guess that means we will just need to go out and find something to help out our problem. Oh, darn. Another project?
Have you ever had a project come back to bite you? And how did you overcome it?