The Vintage Fan Restoration [before & after]

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Every so often, the stars align just right and I’m able to convince Brett to come along with me on a flea market trip.  Generally, he enjoys those types of things (not as much as me, but enough 😉 ), he just gets too busy and forgets!  On a recent trip, we stumbled upon this awesome vintage Kenmore fan.  I think these things are great, I just won’t normally buy them because I’ve got pieces of furniture on my mind.  I was glad Brett tagged along because he convinced me to pick up this fan, and promised he’d take on the restoration, fine by me!

Brett did a fabulous job documenting his transformation.  He first shared it on his blog, DailyMilk, now we get to enjoy it!

We’ll start with the before and after of the fabulous vintage Kenmore fan transformation:

Pretty amazing transformation, huh? Brett did all of this using plenty of tools, a ton of patience, and good quality spray paint!

step 1

In order to properly restore the fan, Brett decided to completely disassemble the whole thing.  He wanted it perfectly restored and painted.  The first thing he did was remove the fan cover by taking out a screw on the back of the fan. The cover slid right off to reveal the motor and brackets holding it in. Before he got into cleaning the inside he figured it might be best to remove the fan cage too. He pried the cage off with a screwdriver, cleaned it, and set it aside. Brett thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned every part and every particle of dust with antibacterial cleaner.

step 2

Next, Brett removed the fan blade by squeezing an Allan wrench between the blades.

step 3

Brett then removed the entire motor. Mainly because he wanted to paint the fan shaft gold, the same color as the fan blade, without getting paint all over the black motor body. Also, since this fan was so old, it had all kinds of dust and grime stuck to the motor and vents, which you could also smell…this absolutely needed to be addressed!

step 4

When it came to cleaning the grungy brass “Kenmore” plaque Brett first assumed he’d have to go out and buy brass cleaner.  Then he figured there must be another solution on Google; sure enough, he found a fer great options. What he chose for an easy brass cleaner alternative was good ol’ worcestershire sauce!  He used an old toothbrush and scrubbed the brass with worcestershire until it was clean. It worked really well!

step 5

To prepare the fan for it’s paint job, Brett taped up the newly cleaned brass.  He first traced it with a pen to make sure it fully adhered to the brass, then trimmed it with a razor blade.
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step 6

Now that all the parts were separated, Brett used gloss black spray paint on the fan body, and gold metallic on the blades.  Three coats of paint later, the fan had dried and it was time to put it back together!

What a wonderful transformation!  I’m so glad Brett took this on too, he’s already itching for another one…I can see why, the results are incredible!

This fan fit perfectly on my newly revived industrial modern desk too!

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What do you think of Brett’s fan?  Share your thoughts and rate it below!

9 responses to “The Vintage Fan Restoration [before & after]

  1. What a great before and after! Who would have thought a fan could be a focal point of a room and actual be beautiful decor.

  2. Hello, I am planning to embark on a fan restoration project myself. I just love the coppery tone of the spray paint used on the blades. Could you please share which brand of paint you used and what the shade is called? Many thanks!

    1. Thank you! It was by Rustoleum but I forget the name of the color as this was a few years ago now! I know the cap was a very shiny copper though! Hope that helps!

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