How to Efficiently Install Ceiling Medallions

Add Elegance to a Room with the Installation of a Ceiling Medallion

By Mark J. Donovan

Installing a Ceiling Medallion can bring a touch of elegance to your dining room, living room, or kitchen. Installing a ceiling medallion is an easy DIY home improvement project if you plan accordingly and you have a few basic tools.

Ceiling medallions can be purchased as a single unit where the light fixture needs to be effectively threaded through it. Alternatively you can buy a two piece ceiling medallion that prevents the need from having to thread the light fixture through it. I recommend, however, using a single unit ceiling medallion as they look better and are easier to install.

Planning is critical when installing a ceiling medallion. There are a couple of things you need to carefully think about when buying one. First, make sure the center hole of the ceiling medallion matches the outer dimensions of the light fixtures exterior trim. Second, make sure the light fixture’s hardware is long enough to penetrate down through the ceiling medallion so that you can still attach the light fixture to the electrical box. If you see that the light fixture hardware is not long enough you can buy longer pieces at any home improvement supply store.

When purchasing your ceiling medallion and any necessary electrical hardware extensions make sure to also purchase adhesive caulk and any needed fasteners to hold the ceiling medallion in place.

Once you’ve purchased your ceiling fan, finish it if so desired. In many cases people simply paint them the color of the existing ceiling. If on the other hand you want to finish it in a different color or material do it first prior to installing the ceiling medallion.

To install the ceiling medallion first turn off power to the light fixture at the main circuit panel in the home. Then remove the light fixture from the ceiling.

You may want to take a few pictures of the wiring just prior to disconnecting the wires. This tip can be an immense help when you later on wire the light fixture back into the electrical box.

Next hold the ceiling medallion in the area where you want to mount it. While holding the ceiling medallion in place, trace around it lightly with a pencil. If the ceiling medallion has a specific pattern or shape that you want orientated in a certain direction make a small registration mark on both the medallion and the ceiling so that you know where to line them up later.

Now with an outline of the ceiling medallion located on the ceiling, locate ceiling joists and locations for installing the mounting hardware, e.g. screws. This is necessary for larger ceiling medallions that require more than adhesive to hold them in place.

Next, if using screws, drill pilot holes for mounting the screws into the ceiling medallion. Also make sure to countersink the screw holes so that the screws sit flush with the surface of the ceiling medallion. Also, if the ceiling medallion doesn’t have the center hole area cut out use a hole saw to cut out the proper size hole in the ceiling medallion. If you’re installing a polyurethane ceiling medallion you can cut out the opening with a utility knife.

How to Install a Ceiling Medallion

Now apply adhesive to the ceiling medallion or ceiling per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Note that with small ceiling medallions you only need to use an adhesive to install the medallion.

If you’re installing a larger ceiling medallion that requires screws, fasten the ceiling medallion to the ceiling by installing the screws through the pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes. Again, the pilot holes in the ceiling medallion should line up with ceiling joists.

Allow the adhesive caulk to cure for 24 hours and then caulk around the perimeter of the ceiling medallion. Also apply joint compound or plaster over the counter sunk screws. Lightly sand over the screw holes after the joint compound or plaster has dried and then touch them up with the appropriate paint or finish.

Finally reattach the light fixture to the ceiling and turn power back on to it to complete the project.

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