Decide what parts of the ceiling fan you want to paint. You can paint just the blades or the blades and the housing. If you want to keep the housing as a brass color, you will need a different paint than for the blades. For example, if you want to keep a polished brass housing and paint the blades white, you will need white enamel for the blades and brass paint for the housing.
Buy the paint. Enamel paint is much more durable than latex. Appliance grade enamel comes in spray cans and is easy to work with; it gives a hard and durable finish. Copper and brass spray paint is also available in spray cans for the housing. It's important to cover the openings into the housing before you use any paint. Use tape or cardboard to cover the openings into the housing itself.
Get the extra things you'll need when you buy paint. You'll need paint remover, painters tape, rags and a dropcloth. You may also want to buy a protective mask and gloves. You will also need newspaper to cover work areas.
Clear an area to work on; use the kitchen table or counter for painting the blades. Place newspapers on the surface and place the dropcloth where the spray paint could drift.
Turn off the power to the ceiling fan. Remove the ceiling fan blades with a screwdriver and place on the protected working area.
Tape newspapers to the ceiling if you are painting the housing; make sure you cover enough area to cover the spray drift. Make sure you use painter's tape to protect the ceiling. Cover the openings into the fan housing with tape or cardboard to keep paint out of the housing. Lightly sand the housing to rough it up; this helps the paint adhere to the surface. Wipe off the dust from sanding and paint the housing. Apply several light coats instead of a heavy one to prevent drips and give a more uniform appearance.
Sand the blades lightly and wipe off the dust. Use painters' tape to mask off any areas you don't want painted. Elevate the blade off the newspaper by placing it on a brick or something that is not as wide as the blade. Elevating the blade will keep the blade from sticking to the newspaper and will make it easier to turn when painting. Apply several light coats to prevent drips. Turn over to paint the reverse side only after the fan blade is thoroughly dry.
Remove the tape and newspapers after you are satisfied with the paint job. Reassemble the fan only after the fan blades and housing are thoroughly dry. Restore the power to the ceiling fan. Clean up with paint remover.