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I'm replacing a ceiling light that when fitted will leave gaps / holes in the ceiling where the existing socket hole is. The previous light was bigger and had a sensible amount of room for the wiring to be comfortably housed.
The new fitting is effectively the shape of a polo mint about 200cm diameter and about 30cm thick. In other words very awkward to mount and doesn't cover the previous hole.
I have two problems. The hole in the ceiling and the recess in the light fitting means it's the wiring is going to be pretty cramped by the time its fitted but the biggest issue is how do I fill the hole so I can make a decent finish. Hope someone can help??

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Can you provide a photo? (See the faq for how to add your photo before you have the rep.) –  BMitch Nov 21 '12 at 13:26
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Can you putty it? Thats what I have done in the past. –  staticx Nov 21 '12 at 13:48
    
this question might be helpful. –  Tester101 Nov 21 '12 at 15:17

3 Answers 3

Ceiling light trim ring

You could use something like this. They come in various sizes and styles, can be painted and are usually held in place with a little glue or drywall screws.

ceiling medallion

Something like this is much more decorative.

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If you don't want to cover it with a medallion as the other answer suggests (a great answer, and popular practice in old houses) you will end up having to paint, so you might as well just fix the drywall properly. Cut a square around the fixture using a utility knife (scoring it repeatedly) or a drywall saw (being careful to avoid the wires).

Ideally you should cut it so you expose a half a joist on two sides, e.g. cut all the way back to the edges of the nearest joists on either side. This is a pretty good example, but you only need to open up one joist bay.

Then cut a piece of drywall the same size, and measure the location of your fixture, and cut that out precisely. Reinstall the square, tape, mud & sand.

While the ceiling is open, you could replace the box with something bigger to solve your other problem.

Drywall Repair

Picture from knoji.com which provides more detail on general drywall repair.

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Depends on the gaps involved, I replaced the electrical boxes in our ceilings as the old nail-on 70s boxes were flimsy, the holes through the ceiling were either off center or had broken edges where the plasterboard had chipped out due to poor cutting technique. The new boxes were flush mounted to the ceiling surface and unmovable once fastened down.

I used mesh joint tape to bridge the gaps on the attic side and mixed up Plaster of Paris, pressing it through the joint tape to completely fill the gaps. After letting it set, I attacked it from the room side with more Plaster of Paris and a narrow putty knife to create a smooth surface that feathered into the ceiling. It filled gaps up to 1/2" very well and was necessary as the new suspended glass ceiling lamps I'd chosen covered the box with an escutcheon plate 1/4 inch larger than the electrical box and would have left unsightly gaps with attendant heat loss had I retained the old boxes.

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