Shedding a New Light

Welcome to the first ever Teaching Tuesday. I would like to make this blog multifaceted, and not just a giant brag book of what we have done to our home. Here I plan to provide some short and easy DIY tutorials for various things around the house. It’s a way to update cosmetically without breaking the bank.

Maybe it’s a generational thing, but I love being thrifty. So if there was anything at all that I could salvage and refinish or repurpose in the house, I did (or at least I tried)! You’ve seen the built-ins. They were not our style as they were, but 3 coats of primer and two coats of white semigloss later, and they fit into the coastal motif much better. That was a hefty project, and I want to start my first Teaching Tuesday with something smaller but still as gratifying.

These were the lights in our Master Bathroom (bathroom renovation story for another day).

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Just look at those walls! What you cannot see is that both lights also have a built-in electrical socket on the bottom right side. They both turn on with individual switches, much like that of a Hotel. We had already spent a lot of money, and I was really not looking to spend ~$90 a piece to replace lights that still worked, and were very functional. So I decided to keep them and give them a new look.

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Not too shabby right? There are two ways to do this, as with everything else, The Easy Way, and The Hard Way. I am going to admit to you, that I am a very determined person, and when I have a will, I will ALWAYS find a way. I also have to share that I am not an electrical guru, and honestly the circuit breaker scares the crap out of me. The less I have to touch the better. What I AM good at is thinking outside the box. So, instead of waiting the months it was going to take for one of the men I know and love to take these down for me, I decided to find a different way to paint them (you see, the old lights are still up in the guest bathroom, unpainted and waiting to come down). I had already painted the walls that pretty blue you see above, so just going to town with the spray was not an option…

I took some large sheets of paper, cut holes in the center, with one slit from the hole to the end of the paper, and completely surrounded the light fixture with paper so there were no tiny cracks or exposed parts of the wall. I covered enough of the walls that excess spray would not ruin my brand new paint job, and covered the counter completely with a drop cloth, and then I was finally ready. As you can guess, this was the Hard Way. Just get someone to take them down for you.

First, remove any glass (light bulb/top decorative glass piece) and cover any electrical wires with tape and make sure not to spray them. Also cover anything in the general vicinity that you don’t want paint on. Better to be safe than have permanent snow flakes everywhere. Also important, is to make sure you clean the ancient candelabra as best as you can, to remove the decades of dust and dirt.

Finally, using a can of Rust-Oleum white gloss enamel spray paint (found at any hardware store), you will give your old light fixture a couple layers of paint. Take your time, and don’t spray too much at once or there will be drips. If you left the lights up like me, you don’t want drips all the way down the side.  A little at a time, with more coats is better than trying to cover it all at once. Make sure to spray it from a distance, which can be hard to do when it’s on the wall and you are working in tight quarters. Allow it time to dry completely, then put your glass top on and put the bulb back in. Hopefully, you can enjoy your light makeover and the fact that you just saved yourself a lot of money!

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You can also use this to help spruce up yellowed items in your house. When we moved in, everything was painted ugly yellow. Even though that paint was fresh, it just made the house look dirty. Here’s an example of what white paint can do to spruce up the place!

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