What Can I Use to Cover a Hole in My Ceiling From an Old Light Fixture?

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Swapping out old, outdated light fixtures for more stylish, modern options (or forgoing a light completely) is one of the easiest ways to give your space a makeover. Unfortunately, removing an old light fixture will leave an unsightly hole behind where the fixture was attached to the ceiling. There are a few ways you can fix this, whether you plan to replace the fixture with a different one or cover up the hole permanently.

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Warning

You risk shocking yourself whenever you fiddle with electrical wires. To be safe, disconnect the wires and pull them out of the electrical box before covering up the hole in your ceiling. If you plan to replace the light fixture (now or sometime in the future), leave the box where it is. Only remove it if you plan to permanently cover the hole.

Using a Ceiling Medallion

Installing a ceiling medallion is an inexpensive way to bring style into your space. They range in size from 4 inches to 4 feet wide, meaning you can easily find one that fits over the hole in your ceiling from an old light fixture. A ceiling medallion is a great option if you plan to replace an old light fixture with a smaller one. The medallion will cover up the large hole while highlighting the new fixture.

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Installing a Cover Plate

If you want to cover up the hole in your ceiling, but want to leave the electrical box in place to accommodate a future light fixture, consider placing a cover plate over it. Like ceiling medallions, cover plates are typically circular panels designed to cover up a hole in the ceiling. Cover plates are temporary fixes, with some designed to be easily removable for when you need to access the electrical box again. In the meantime, you can paint over them to help them blend in to your ceiling, though a cover plate will always be visible.

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Covering It With a Drywall Patch

Use a drywall patch to permanently cover up a hole in your ceiling. Tearing down and removing drywall is a big undertaking, so only cover up a hole in your ceiling with drywall if you're sure you'll never want a light fixture there in the future.

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To patch the hole with drywall, purchase a drywall patch to match the size of the hole or cut a piece of drywall to the size of the hole. Use caulk to secure it in place before texturing and painting over the patch so that it blends in to the rest of the ceiling.

Installing Shiplap Over the Ceiling

Placing shiplap over your ceiling is another (semi) permanent option. While you can remove shiplap paneling, it's a process, so only do this if you don't think you'll be needing the electrical box in the near future. Installing shiplap is a relatively simple DIY that most homeowners can tackle themselves. It will liven up your space and give it some style while covering up any unsightly damage to your ceiling.

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