Find a path for the wire
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Photo 1: Cut access holes
Cut a 3-in.-high by 5-in.-wide opening in the drywall, using a keyhole saw, at each framing member and the top plate.
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Photo 2: Notch the stud
Chisel a 1/2-in.-wide x 1/2-in.-deep notch in the studs or joists to hold the cable. You can also use a reciprocating saw to cut the notches.
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Photo 3: Using a fish tape
Feed the fish tape from the wall to the ceiling box. Connect the cable to the fish tape and pull it back through the ceiling.
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Press the cable into the notches and cover it with a nail guard for protection.
Running wire from a switch location to a light or fan in the center of the ceiling can be a challenging project. You'll almost always have to cut some holes in the walls, but you can minimize ceiling damage by using a “fish tape.” A fish tape is a long strip of spring steel used for pulling wires through walls and ceilings. They're available at hardware stores and home centers.
To map out the best path for the cable run from the switch to the light, first determine the ceiling joist direction. Generally, it's best to run the cable in the space between the joists so you won't have to cut a lot of holes in the ceiling. Then figure how to get the cable through the wall to that joist space.
Since you can't run the cable through the attic, the next best choice is to go down into a basement or crawl space, then go back up through the stud cavity directly below the joist space. If you can't go down, follow the procedure we show here, which is to go horizontally across the studs until you're below the joist space. As you can see in Photo 2, you'll have to notch each stud and the top plate.
Once you know the path of the cable, cut a hole in the ceiling for the chandelier outlet. At each location where the cable will cross a framing member, cut away the drywall. Where the cable will turn from the wall to enter the ceiling, cut out a 3-in.-wide section of drywall in the wall and ceiling (Photo 1). Extend the openings at least 2 in. from the edge of the top plate.
With a sharp 5/8-in. or 3/4-in. chisel, trim the stud or plate back about 1/8 in. so that the guard plate will sit flush with the face of the framing (Photo 4). Then chisel the notches for the cable (Photo 2).
Feed the fish tape from the opening at the top plate to the lighting outlet, connect the cable and pull it through (Photo 3). Then feed the fish tape from your wall switch to the top plate opening, connect the cable and pull it through the wall.
Be sure to install nail guards that completely cover the cable where it crosses the framing (Photo 4). Wire the switch and the lighting outlet, then patch the holes in the wall and repaint.