How to Install a Ceiling Medallion

Whether your home has a contemporary style or traditional flair, ceiling medallions change the look of a space in just an afternoon. Here's how to install one in your home.

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Once made from plaster, decorative ceiling medallions are now made in DIY-friendly, lightweight, and affordable polyurethane. With a range of styles, colors, and sizes readily available, they're a great way to add texture and visual interest to a ceiling and can complement any house style, whether it's traditional or contemporary.

Installing a ceiling medallion isn't difficult; follow these steps to simply and elegantly transform your overhead space. Before you begin, chose from prefinished options or those that can be painted, stained, or otherwise decorated. You'll need one sized for your room—roughly the width of your ceiling fixture's diameter.

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What You Need

  • Polyurethane ceiling medallion
  • Wire nuts
  • Drill and large bit
  • Drywall saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Long threaded bolt (optional)
  • Paint for touch-up and finish
  • Adhesive caulk
  • Trim-head screws

Step 1: Remove and Clean

Shut off the power to the light that you're removing and take down the fixture. Cover all wire ends with wire nuts. Thoroughly level and clean the ceiling where you will hang the medallion.

Step 2: Measure Medallion Hole

If your ceiling medallion doesn't have a hole, you'll need to create one for the light fixture. That hole will allow you to pull the light fixture's electrical wiring through, but it should be small enough to hide the wiring. Measure the light fixture's cover plate, and transfer that measurement to your medallion. Draw a second circle approximately 1/2 inch smaller inside the first circle. This is the hole you'll to cut.

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Step 3: Cut Medallion Hole

Using a large bit, drill a hole in the center of the medallion to provide access for the drywall saw. Insert the drywall saw into the drilled hole and cut along the small circle you just drew. Sand the hole edges smooth. Then check that the light fixture's threaded bolt is long enough to reach past the ceiling medallion. Use a longer threaded bolt if it's not.

Step 4: Prep Medallion

Paint or finish the medallion as desired. Apply adhesive caulk to the back of the ceiling medallion; center and attach to the ceiling.

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Step 5: Glue Medallion

Using trim-head screws, attach the medallion to the ceiling while the adhesive dries. Caulk over the screw heads.

Step 6: Secure Light Fixture

Reattach the light fixture. Turn the power back on.

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