Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Updated 80’s light fixture

Hey hey! I’m back with a project that I let sit around for nearly two years. It’s been moved around the house – the garage for a while, then it’s future home (the dining room/library) for the past year or so. Just sitting there. For a year.

It was time. I found this light fixture at the Habitat Restore almost two years ago, even before I finished up the bookcases in the dining room:

painting brass light

It was $20 and I loved the shape so I snagged it up!

I think the main reason I let it sit so long was the work that I knew would go into transforming it. Meaning taping all that off to paint it. Bleh. Not fun.

I pulled out my rub n buff first, thinking I may be able to get away with no taping off and spray paint. But the dark color I had was dried as hard as a rock, I couldn’t get any out of the tube. Wah wahh. So I knew I’d have to spray paint it. I did consider just leaving it – the brass didn’t horrify me. :) But I wanted it to stand out more and I knew a darker color would make that happen. And the brass looked fine in some areas and horrible in others, so it needed to be covered.

It came apart into two pieces and I cleaned it well:

painting brass light fixture

This one helped:

Then it was time to tape all that off. I came up with an idea that helped though! I just laid the painter’s tape down over the glass and then used my razor to “cut out” each one:

taping off glass on light fixture taping off glass on light fixture

It worked GREAT. I timed myself and it took one hour and 15 minutes to tape off the whole thing:

taping off glass on light fixture

That’s 64 sections in one hour and fifteen minutes, so not too shabby! And when you’re sitting in front of the TV watching Flipping Out the whole time it’s really not too bad. :)

About half way through I realized the inside would still be brass, but you pick your battles. No way was I going to try to do the inside. So it’s still brass, but you can’t even tell.

I took it and the smaller pieces outside (YAY for spray paint weather!!) and primed them with black primer, then sprayed them in oil rubbed bronze spray paint (I’ve tried them all and all look great). Then I hung the light part in the garage and sprayed it the same way:

spray paiting a light fixture

Those white sleeves were brittle and falling apart so I just kept them on to protect the electrical stuff while I painted.

By the way, I don’t always prime my metal light fixtures – it’s not something that’s going to get wear and tear. But I was almost out of my ORB spray paint so I wanted to make sure it had a dark base.

When the parts were dry to the touch (about an hour later), I installed it inside:

painted 80's brass light fixture

The chandelier we’ve had in here has looked odd to me since we started the transition to a library instead of a dining room. (Read more about that here.) Our old kitchen table still sits in here, only because we haven’t made the new furniture a priority. (Four matching chairs isn’t going to be cheap!)

Anyway, the old light was too detailed for this space and I wanted something a bit simpler. I think the darker paint makes this light look a million times better!:

DIY bookcases

Eventually I may get something else (I’ve had my eye on another light for a long time now) but for now the $20 one that’s been laying around for years works GREAT. :) I won’t do anything until we get the furniture for this space anyway.

Part of the reason I finally got this done is because I’ve been wanting to move the chandelier that was in dining room to the bedroom:

pottery barn light from home depot

I’ve had another Habitat light up there for years but I wasn’t loving it anymore – and it was just a place holder till I could get a chandelier in there. :) This worked out perfectly!

The chandelier was from Home Depot and I got it because it was so similar to the Pottery Barn version, for about $200 less:

img73c 5450f114-4a75-4e08-a540-aa5969a5cf1b_300

(PB: source, HD: source)

I LOVE this light! It is gorgeous in the master bedroom:

chandelier in bedroom I’ve been planning to use this one in there since I finished up the bookcases in the library, so it’s nice to finally get it installed!

So there you go – a $20 light, spray paint season is BACK and a little light switcharoo! I feel like I got two lights for less than $25 – I had to get new white sleeves for the dining room light so that added a few bucks. And when you buy the light two years ago, does that even count? :)

Have you spray painted a light fixture lately? It’s amazing what paint will do to help update them!

49 comments:

  1. This turned out amazing! Love it! I need to update my entry light fixture but have been dreading taping it off. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gorgeous! I love your little helper too! What a fun {temporary} play thing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amazing what a couple of coats of spray paint can do! The chandelier in the bedroom looks great! and ps - kudos to you for taking the time to ape off the entire thing. I might have spread that out over several days… ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. it looks amazing! and the pic of the cat in it- HA! love it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mad taping skills! :D And it turned out fantastic.
    JaG

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am going to attempt spray paint for the first time this year! I will look on your blog for recommendations...going to do the fireplace insert and a few other things :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow! That looks great! Yay for cat helpers ;)

    I'm so glad it's warmng up! I hope to get out and do some spray painting this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  8. YOU'RE AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This reminds me of the light fixture over our dining room table. All that's wrong is the finish, sort of a gold toned thing. Ugh. One of these days...

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is one project I have not attempted due to all the tapping involved. You have way more patience than I do! Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Both of those look great! I'm never that lucky when I thrift...

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a fantastic find TDC! Don't you just love the thrill of the hunt? I can't believe you waited so long to put that baby up. ;) It looks stunning.
    Holly@HousebyHolly

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great switch. I love that chandy,it is perfect in the bedroom.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looks great!! Our cat is always trying to "help" too. ; ) Love the chandelier in the bedroom!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love the light fixture you painted! I want something like that for over my kitchen table. And what a great idea to move the other to your room. I would love a chandi in my bedroom, but man, if I didn't have our ceiling fan I would probably put someone's eye out in the summer time (most likely my husband's!)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I LOVE that fixture! And you win smart girl of the day for your taping and cutting with a razor...that would have saved me a few hours :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. LOLOL Loved the picture of the cat in the glass housing!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This update turned out great. I salute you for all of that taping off! Wow. I also love your bedroom fixture. Way to find two great deals!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Can those "white sleeves" be changed out and updated?? I'm guessing yes b/c you got spray paint on them but in the "after" they look great. Where does one purchase new white sleeves? Lots of the lights I find in thrift shops, the white has yellowed...
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow, what a difference a can of spray paint can make! It looks perfect in the room. Gotta love a Pottery Barn knock off - good ole Home Depot (have a few of those here too).
    Marie @ The Interior Frugalista

    ReplyDelete
  21. It turned out fantastic :) Great way to repurpose an outdated fixture. Loved seeing the kitty inside the globe.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow! I'm amazed that it looks so great.... well worth the time you spent taping! And the other chandy looks great in the bedroom!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I think you are one clever Gal. I enjoy viewing your page ! Keep up the good work in creating your family home !

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ha Ha, love your little helper, especially inside the glass! Mine would totally do the same thing...actually one is perched atop my pattern pieces on the table right now. =)

    This project turned out great- the darker color looks so pretty and stylish! And I love your idea to use the razor to cut out all those edges! That's the one part I was always afraid of when thinking about attempting to paint a fixture. Problem solved!

    ReplyDelete
  25. This light looks AMAZING!!! I wasn't really with you at first - I have a terrible brass fixture in my dining room! But you've honestly made me reconsider it as not that bad.. maybe it could work in my entry or pantry with a little spray paint too! I'm also so envious you have ceilings for a chandelier in your bedroom - it looks gorgeous!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have two questions that I hope you can help me with. #1 How did you ever get the inside of the fixture taped and painted since the inside and outside show? Also, we just bought a house and I want to replace some fixtures. I have no experience with anything like this, so how likely am I to be able to do so successfully?

    ReplyDelete
  27. It looks really cool with the yellow tape actually!! I painted our outdoor light fixtures a few years ago to change them from brass to black. They look much better on the house. I noticed after this brutal cold winter they are peeling. So WILL be spray painting, time to touch them up. I love how your cat "helped." My boy cat helps all DIYs. (ugh, sorry about the "comment removed by author"- nothing offensive! used wrong profile)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great idea for taping! pinning that! And the cat - so lucky you have such help!!! Julia

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow...great results ! That chandelier in the bedroom is stunning!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I have spray painted brass lamps and have looked at simple chandeliers at Habitat to spray paint as well. I have always passed on the ones with the glass inserts b/c I had no idea how to paint them. You have inspired me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. So crazy! The honey and I just ORB'd an outside light fixture that was screaming for help. It was silver many moons ago and now its ORB. LOVE it!
    Your fixture looks great. A friend and I went to a yard sale last year and she bought a HUGE brass 8 light chandelier (from the late 80's early 90's) for $6.50. She sprayed it ORB and it looks amazing. It looks like it cost her hundreds. I'm now on the lookout for one.
    Vee

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love it so much!! And I love your little helper!

    ReplyDelete
  33. You're probably getting tired of me telling you you're a genius but you are!! That light in the dining room is great and the taping idea is....genius! The chandelier in the bedroom is absolutely gorgeous. I hope you don't mind that my bedroom will look just like yours as soon as I can get into my new house and start decorating. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Looks great, amazing what a little spray paint will do! I've done the same to some old brass lamps that were going to be thrown out. Just cleaned them up, sprayed them white and added new shades.
    ~Kylie

    ReplyDelete
  35. The light looks great, and seems to fit well with the room. But what I'm dying over is the cat inside the fixture. I have a cat on my lap right now ... and I really need to get up and get something ... but she's so cute and cuddly ... and I hate to move her. Always good to have a helper ... or not so much!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Great update to the light! And I love the one in your bedroom; splendid idea to switch around what you have.
    The kitty photo made me laugh.
    Cool True Value 'gun' thingy for spray paint. I'll bet it helps keep from getting a tired hand.
    Chrissy

    ReplyDelete
  37. I love that chandelier in your bedroom, it looks wonderful. I have to ask though, the one you used to have in your bedroom, would it not work in the library?

    ReplyDelete
  38. You did such a great job! I'm amazed at your patience with the taping. Our dining room chandelier is one I found out on someone's curb. They had put a sign on it that it was free and it worked, so I took it, painted it and now it hangs in our dinning room. Our house was a foreclosure and when we moved in there was no chandelier in the dinning room, so I'm very proud of my free chandelier!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Another beautiful job! You're so inspiring to me!

    ReplyDelete
  40. You have such a good eye! I'm not going to lie, the before picture of the light was terrifying. I wouldn't have even looked at it, but what you turned it into is beautiful! I need to open up my eyes (and mind) and see the potential. Thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  41. That's what we called creativity. This really makes me inspired a lot and the inspiration is the first step of design process. This post is giving great ideas to put your home in beautiful light with pendant lamps. Thank you for sharing some really great things here.

    ReplyDelete
  42. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH! That looks so nice! I'm gonna be on the hunt for one of those now that you opened my eyes to the beauty:) Great post. P.S. Your cat's mad at you for not leaving the lamp on the table.
    ;)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Awesome change on that light! I love it and wish I could find one for my dining room! I haven't painted any indoor lights, but I did do my front and back door lights a couple of years ago. I roughed up the varnish on the brass with sandpaper and then used sander/deglosser. Next they were primed, painted and given a coat of poly. Two plus years later they look brand new!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi - Can you tell me about the gray damask comforter on the foot of your bed? Maker/store/etc?
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Don't you love how things have a way of working out, this just goes to show you to take your time when decorating your house, I love both light fixtures in their new rooms!!! Looks awesome!!

    ReplyDelete
  46. 1) I absolutely love your ideas, hacks, & installs. They totally inspire me.
    2) Your "hoarding/storing away" items for future use proves I'm not alone.
    3) This latest redo looks amazing! I'm completely enamored

    ReplyDelete
  47. I love how easy you made masking the glass. I had a stain glass lampshade I painted by small paintbrush, and it was very tedious.

    ReplyDelete
  48. lol The kitty in the container is the cutest thing I've seen lol. But awesome DIY The end product came out amazing.

    xo
    Maggie A
    LOVEMAVIN/YOUTUBE || LOVEMAVIN/BLOG

    ReplyDelete

I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!