Ceiling Medallions Class up Home Interiors

Written by Michele Dawson
Updated March 28, 2014
chandelier light fixture
Installing a ceiling medallion above the base of a chandelier or other light fixture adds a refined touch to a room. (Photo by Katelin Kinney)

Installing a ceiling medallion is an easy way to add some instant pizzazz to your home interior.

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Ceiling medallions are typically used to encircle ceiling fans or light fixtures. Despite their seemingly simple design, ceiling medallions go a long way in terms of adding character and charm to a room. Sometimes called chandelier medallions, they can be simple or ornate, and they can make a bland room lively — even elegant.

Chandeliers to Ceiling Fans: Medallion Options Abound

Installing a ceiling medallion is an easy design enhancement to bring some usually much-needed attention to the ceiling. Some of the factors that go into installing a ceiling medallion include:

• The size of the room. If your room is standard-sized, a 12-inch medallion is usually the right size. If the room is larger, then you'll want to keep proportion in mind and opt for a larger medallion. The same is true for ceiling size. If your ceiling is higher than 9 or 10 feet, then you'll need a bigger medallion. Otherwise, it will be hard to even notice on a high ceiling.

• Whether the location already has a junction box. If you're going to install a ceiling medallion in a location that already has a lighting fixture or ceiling fan, then there should be a box present and installation will be easier.

• Decide on the look of the medallion. You can buy an unfinished medallion and paint it the same color as the ceiling. Or, you might prefer to strike a dramatic contrast, perhaps in a metallic, and encourage the medallion to be an accent for your fixture. If you need to cut the medallion, choose a material like composite, wood, or plastic. Also, take the size of the fixture into consideration. The medallion should be proportionate to the size of the fixture.

How to Install a Ceiling Medallion

Once you know you've selected a medallion and know where it's going, the next step is installation. Lamps Plus offers the following tips for installation day:

• Turn off the fuse box or breaker panel so you have no power as you're installing. Safety should always be your chief concern.

• Make sure you have all the pieces to your fixture and your medallion. Pay attention to the sizing of the hole in the medallion; you might need to do some cutting.Get your medallion ready and apply adhesive glue to the back of the medallion, about an inch or so from the edge so the glue doesn't seep out onto the ceiling. Let it dry for a couple hours before you proceed.

• Caulk along the edge of the medallion to cover any gaps. Use a sponge, damp cloth, or your finger to smooth out the caulking. Let it dry. If the medallion needs to be painted, now's the time to do it. Let it dry completely before proceeding.

• Grab your lighting fixture and hang and wire it into the ceiling. Place the ceiling cap and set it tight against the medallion.

• If you're using an existing fixture, you'll need to remove and replace it in order to add the medallion.

Professional Help When Installing a Ceiling Medallion

For the savvy homeowner, knowing how to installing a ceiling medallion successfully can really boost your ego. However, if you are not sure about the electrical wiring in your home, you need to consult with a professional electrician. Fortunately, it is easy to find a qualified service provider for the job in your area through Angie's List.

An electrician can look over your wiring and ensure that everything is OK before you proceed with the job. Although you'll have to pay for the electrician, the safety and security of having the wires inspected should give you peace of mind.

–Additional reporting by Angie's List contributor Kate Halse.

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