How to Install a Ceiling Medallion

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Electric drill
  • Putty knife
Materials Required
  • Ceiling medallion
  • Latex caulk
  • Latex filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Rag
  • Ladder

Before You Begin

To select the proper size of ceiling medallion consider the size of the fixture, height of the ceiling and size of the room. Design-wise the medallion should be larger or smaller than the diameter of the fixture, but not the same size. The higher the ceiling, the larger the medallion. For example, a two-story foyer can easily use a 35-37-in. medallion because of the ceiling height. The same holds true for the size of the room. For a typical dining room with a 8-9-foot ceiling, a medallion that is 26-32-in. diameter will usually work well.

These instructions are for installing a polyurethane ceiling medallion (sometimes called a center) that has a predrilled hole and comes packaged with trim head screws.

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  • Step 1 : Remove the fixture

    Turn off all power to the fixture before you begin. Then remove the light fixture by loosening its faceplate from the ceiling and unfastening the wires. Clean the surface of the ceiling at the hole where dust can accumulate. If there's an accumulation of dirt, wash it with a household cleaner and let dry.

  • Step 2 : Apply the adhesive

    Apply the adhesive Use a paintable latex caulk to apply to the back of the medallion. Carefully apply a 1/4-in. bead of the caulk to the perimeter of the back surface making sure you cover it thoroughly.

  • Step 3 : Mount the medallion on the ceiling

    Mount the medallion on the ceiling Place the medallion on the ceiling being careful to center it over the electrical box of the fixture. Make sure all the wires are exposed and not tucked under the medallion.

    Mount the medallion on the ceiling Then press the medallion to the ceiling. Use an electric drill to install the trim head screws evenly spaced around the medallion. There's no predrilling required. If any caulk oozes out, wipe it away with a wet rag.

  • Step 4 : Finish the medallion

    Finish the medallion Finish the medallion

    Use a putty knife to apply a fast-drying latex filler to fill the screw holes and then sand the filler with a fine sandpaper. It's ready to paint. When dry, reinstall the light fixture.

    Illustrations courtesy of Balmer Studios Inc.