How to Jazz Up a Plain Plastic Ceiling Medallion with American Paint Company Paint and Metallic Micas

How To Jazz Up A Ceiling MedallionDo you ever watch those home improvement/ real estate TV shows and think: I bet it would be a lot of fun to fix up an old house and flip it?

That’s what we have been doing for most of the summer and let me tell you a little secret: It isn’t as much fun as I thought it would be!

It is a lot of WORK—and most of the work is dirty, boring stuff like scrubbing bathtubs and pulling weeds. Blah!

Here is one project that was quick, easy and a lot of fun. I transformed a plain white plastic ceiling medallion using American Paint Company paints and metallic micas.

ceiling medallion_beforeI forgot to take a “before” shot so I pulled this photo from the Lowe’s website.

This is the $14.98 ceiling medallion I bought for the dining room in our 1949 duplex in Alexandria (within walking distance to Metro!)

There was a gap between the top of the dining room chandelier and the ceiling that a medallion would fill nicely. I didn’t want anything too ornate—or too expensive. This one was perfect for the space, but a little bit plain.

I painted it with American Paint Company’s Crushed Tea, the same rich color I used for the built-in china cabinet transformation I shared with you last week. One of the nice properties of American Paint Company all-natural clay chalk and mineral paint is that it sticks to just about any type of surface with very little prep work. I was confident it would stick to this plastic ceiling medallion.

Halfway through the first coat, I thought: I have made a terrible mistake!


You can see the white plastic on three of the sections in this photo. The rest shows the first coat of APC Crushed Tea. It looks ugly. Here’s a close-up.


The paint did not appear to be sticking. For a split-second, I thought I would have to spend another $14.98 on another ceiling medallion because I ruined this one.

Then I remembered something very important: You have to let the first coat of paint dry!

TIP: When it seems like you are just moving paint around and it isn’t sticking, stop and let it dry. Some weird mojo happens while the paint dries. (I think it is called chemistry or something. 🙂 ) The paint dries thicker and covers most—but not all—of the plastic. A second coat is needed for full coverage.


This photo shows the wet second coat on the left side against the dry first coat on the right side. You can see how nicely the paint filled in on the dry side compared to the first two photos above. You can also see how the paint color changes as it dries. Here’s a close-up that I can’t get to flip so the wet and dry are reversed here:

IMG_2626Once the paint dried completely, I needed to seal it. I usually use American Paint Company’s Top Coat to seal a small project like this. However, I was in the middle of sealing the kitchen cabinets with Minwax Polycrylic—which is more heavy-duty than APC Top Coat for high-use areas like kitchen cabinets—so I just used it on the ceiling medallion too.

When the poly had dried for a bit, but was still sticky to touch, I dipped a dry paintbrush into American Paint Company’s Pewter Mica and dusted it all over the medallion working it into the poly so it would stick. Then I did the same thing with APC’s Gold Mica to give the entire piece a two-toned metallic look. I brushed on a second coat of poly to seal the mica. (Again, this process could have been completed with APC Top Coat. I just used the polycrylic because I had the brush going on the cabinet project.)

Here is the finished ceiling medallion:

ceiling medallion_after1

I love how it is all shiny and metallic looking.

ceiling medallion_after2

Here is the complete look with the chandelier:


The chandelier had frumpy glass goblets that detracted from the lamp’s hip industrial vibe. We removed the glass and replaced the ordinary light bulbs with vintage-looking Edison bulbs. At $10 apiece, they are pricey, but $30 was still much cheaper than buying a new chandelier. Bonus: The Edison bulbs cast cool shadows across the ceiling at night.

Here’s the best part of this story: The dining room is finished!

dining room

Stay tuned for more updates … The house is coming together nicely!

~ Courtney



One response to “How to Jazz Up a Plain Plastic Ceiling Medallion with American Paint Company Paint and Metallic Micas

  1. Pingback: How I Spent My Summer Vacation AKA Adventures in House Flipping | All Things New Again·

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