Lighting Makeover On a Budget

12:16 AM

In our new house, we're updating a lot of the colors from gold hardware to nickel, so far mainly the doorknobs.  There are a few light fixtures that needed a modern upgrade.  But taking a stroll down the lighting aisle, and realizing that it would cost at least $30, probably more to replace our dated lighting, made me think of alternatives. 
I admit I am cheap (or I prefer the term "thrifty"), but I'm not saying that $30-50 is a ridiculous amount of money to ever spend, but the current light fixtures work, and so to buy new just for modern snobbery and vanity, made me think of less expensive options. 
So we painted them instead.

So in our kitchen there was this guy.
My husband took the fixture down, so watching him from a distance seemed like you first turn the breaker off to that circuit, unscrew the fixture from the ceiling, and untwist the wires and it's free to go paint.

So this is what Rhett gave me:
I cleaned off all the dust and grime, then held the fixture with one hand, and sprayed it with my other hand.
The first coat was Primer.  It's the gray spray paint, but it's labeled Primer and easy to find.
I'd just twist the fixture to get all the sides, spraying all the nooks and crannies.

After the primer dried 10 minutes, meaning me holding it for 10 minutes while I walked around getting other things done, I spray painted the actual paint.

Once again, walking around for 10-15 minutes holding it so it could dry and not smear, we then put it right back up. 
I held the fixture while Rhett re-twisted the wires and screwed back in.
And here is the result:

I was actually surprised how much of a difference it made to have the light fixture updated.  I'm sure most people would have walked in our house and not noticed the shiny gold, but I definitely noticed it, and I love the difference the bronze makes for just $3.00!

Here's another lighting fixture that got the Oil Rubbed Bronze makeover.
This weird chandelier was in our son's room, but we switched it to our craft room/ office to take advantage of those 5 light bulbs, we need all the light we can get in there!
So in between switching rooms, it got a paint job.
This was worse than the shiny gold, it was old, grimy wished-it-was-shiny-gold.
Same process, primer, 10 min, paint, 15 min, hang.

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  1. oh, these are gorgeous!!! what a fabulous idea... here I've been saving for new fixtures - who knew that I only needed a few cans of spray paint??!

  2. I LOVE oil-rubbed bronze! Looks like brand new fixtures!

  3. Wow they both look radically better. I didn't realize what a difference that would make. Hmm now thinking of doing some of my light fixtures.

  4. Another budget can buy new glass shades at one of the home improvement stores for relatively cheap...or use spray paint etching spray to make them more opaque.

  5. Spray paint is a wonderful thing for light fixtures. I painted (well, my husband did) all the bathroom fixtures in our former house, changing them from spotty gold to black.

  6. wowza!! that is amazingly wonderful!

  7. Wow! It's stunning! Great find and beautiful rescue! Love it!

    Grace Crawford (Website information on OnlyCubes Color Changing Light Cube)

  8. This. is. Beautiful! I almost fell off my chair when I saw your picture on Pinterest. Your kitchen fixture is the exact same one we put in our entry when we built in 1996. I am so done with all the gold in our home and have been contemplating painting everything oil rubbed bronze -- seeing your fixture sealed the deal! It actually looks like an antique now! Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

  9. Can't wait to try I have to gold globe style fixtures that I was going to replace with pewter ones. Now I am going to save $ and have the perfect modern look for way cheaper...thank you for the tip:)))

  10. I did this with a cheap brass colored curlicue coat rack, All the scratches and even the plastic 'ball' decorations on the end look so great!


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