Step 4: Cut the center hole

cut the ceiling medallion center hole
Photo Wendell T. Webber
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Using a drill/driver with a 3/8-inch paddle bit, drill a hole inside the circle. Insert the blade of a drywall saw into the hole and carefully cut along the marked circle.

Using a piece of medium-grit sandpaper, smooth the inside edge of the circular cutout.
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    Tools List

    • abrasive sponge
      Abrasive sponge for cleaning the ceiling
    • pencil compass
      Compass
    • drill
      Drill/driver fitted with 3/8-inch paddle bit
    • drywall saw
      Drywall saw
    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun
    • wire strippers
      Wire strippers for installing the light fixture
    • caulk gun
      Paintbrush

    Shopping List

    1. Ceiling Medallion Available online or in home centers, in diameters ranging from less than 10 inches to more than 70 inches. You can order a medallion with a center hole precut or get one without a hole and cut it yourself.

    2. Mild Dishwashing Soap to clean the ceiling in preparation for the installation.

    3. Medium-grit Sandpaper to smooth the medallion's center cutout.

    4. Threaded Nipple to attach the light fixture to the ceiling’s junction box. Most fixtures come with the appropriate nipple, but you may need to get a longer one to account for the thickness of the medallion. 5. Adhesive Caulk to stick the medallion to the ceiling, fill the screw holes, and cover voids between the medallion and the ceiling, if necessary. Choose a paintable caulk such as Phenoseal Does It All or Liquid Nails All-Purpose Adhesive Caulk.

    6. Trim-head Screws to fasten the medallion to the ceiling while the adhesive caulk adheres; 3½-inch screws should be long enough, though thicker medallions may require longer screws.

    7. Paint to match the ceiling or the trim in the room. A flat finish will show off the carved details best.

    8. Wire Nuts to connect the light fixture.