Transform Outdoor Light Fixtures With a Hammered Paint Finish

Over the course of the year, we spend most of our decorating energy on the interiors of our house.  When the weather starts to warm up, we take that energy to the outside of our home to begin attacking the exterior To-Do List. That is what Ed and I did over the weekend.  Our list is a long one. After living in our house for 19 years – there are always things to be done.

I have to thank my good friend and neighbor, Debbie for helping to bring this post to you.    She had recently painted some of her outdoor light fixtures and when she saw the sad state of mine, she showed me what she did to make hers look brand new and shiny again.  She had leftover paint and gave it to me to try out.


It is amazing paint. It provides a metallic hammered finish. It is from Benjamin Moore. It is called Molten Metallics Paint in the color – Bronze.  I went to the Benjamin Moore site to see if it came in other colors, it does – Gold, Copper, Bronze, Gun Smoke, Silver and Charcoal.


It is oil-based, so I used throw away brushes.


When using inexpensive brushes – rub the brush against the side of your hand a few times to remove any loose bristles. Do it a few times until they stop falling out.


I have used Hammered Bronze spray paint from Rustoleum before with great results, but this paint is so much easier to use since you can leave the fixtures right where they are.

I painted, cleaned, and prepped 3 exterior light fixtures in about 2 hours time. It would have taken me longer to replace them. Since I love these fixtures, I was happy to bring them back to life.

Here is what the carriage light looked liked before.  Bleached and rusted from the sun, wind, and weather.


Transformed with steel wool and the metallic paint.


The lights on the side of my house received the same makeover.

How to paint-a-rusted-metal-light-fixture

The rusty before.


I first cleaned the metal using a wet S.O.S pad. I scrubbed hard and then rinsed off the soap and residue with clean water and let the metal dry.

How-to-remove-rust-from-metal SOS pads

This is how the fixtures looked after scrubbing them. They cleaned up nicely.


If the rust doesn’t come off – apply one coat of rust preventing primer and let dry, then paint.  The directions on the paint can say that priming is not necessary if you prepare the surface correctly.

How to paint outdoor light fixtures

It is cool to watch the hammered effect happen.  It goes on like regular paint, but after 30 seconds it starts to take on a hammered finish right before your eyes – presto-change-o!  One coat may be all you need, but two coats are recommended.


I figured why I was painting the fixtures, I might as well remove the glass to get rid of all the dead bugs and make the glass shine again.


They look as good as the day I bought them at the Home Depot 10 years ago.


All done with a little can of amazing paint.


I am very happy with the results, best of all it was a fast and easy project. Now, I have 4 more to transform.

Thanks Debbie for sharing your “paint find” with me.  XO


The best paint to use when painting exterior light fixtures






  1. Joy says

    Love the transformation!
    I’m curious about the pieces of wood BEHIND the light fixture base…did you buy those or make them yourself?

    I recently hung a new light fixture at my back door after having my house painted and couldn’t for the life of me figure how to close the gap that was left by trying to place the flat base against the siding. This may seem silly, but we cut an old mouse pad to try and close the gap. It worked, but sure wish we had what you have!


    • says

      HI Joy –

      We bought them at Home Depot. I think they are sold in the lumber dept. They come primed in white. They are made to fit over siding on a house. Just ask one of the lumber guys, they will show you where to find them in the store.

  2. Sheryll & Critters. says

    Holy moly & wow! They look so great. I have the original outside my front door and had to replace the one outside my kitchen door (under cover of carport too) cause it literally crumbled. But the new one of about 3 years ago already looks awful. I am definitely going to use this paint on mine.

    Thank you so much and Debbie also, for the information.

  3. Vikki says

    Wow Diane your lights look great. I will definitely be using this paint on my weathered exterior light fixtures. Thanks for the “how to.” Vikki in VA.

  4. Mary says

    I wonder how this would work on my ceiling fan in my living room > It is shiny brass, and it is impossible to get my husband to agree to take down this heavy fan to paint it. Do you know if it comes in metallic but not a hammered finish? This could be really wonderful for indoor light fixtures!

    • says

      Hi Mary – It would work beautifully. If you don’t want the hammered finish – you could paint it successfully with any oil-based gloss paint. Rough it up with a medium grit piece of sandpaper for a minute or two. Clean it well and let dry – then paint. Two light coats – let the first dry before applying the second.

  5. says

    Diane, thanks so much for the paint recommendation. I will be painting my outdoor light fixtures soon, and yours turned out so pretty. You lights have great charter and shape, I am glad you kept them!

  6. says

    Wow! That paint is amazing!! I typically use metallic spray paint for that effect, but sometimes it’s so much easier to be able to paint it on. LOVE Benjamin Moore-definitely my go-to paint company!

  7. Limor says

    The light fixtures are so beautiful I love them ! Thanks so much for the paint recommendation it’s always hard to fined something that will do the work nicely .

  8. says

    I really like the restoration job! The paint looks flawless and even throughout, you’d think it’s brand new. I also love how the paint looks when it’s in direct sunlight, shown in on the post light. Keep up the great work! =)

  9. Karalane says

    Thanks for this post! All of our 13-yr old exterior fixtures are faded and sad, as are some of my metal plant stands, an umbrella base, and a patio table. So I’ll be bronzing the dickens out of all of them!
    On a related note, one of our two patio door handles has large splotches where the protective lacquer peeled off the brass and has become tarnished, while other areas are still shiny. Do you think this paint would hold up to use on a door handle?

    • says

      Hi Karalane –

      I have the same problem on the door to my deck :) The paint should hold up fine. I would let it cure as long as possible before using the handle too much – it will only help with adhesion. 2 light coats would be better than one thick one. Let the first coat dry before applying the second.

  10. Karalane says

    Thanks for your response, Diane. I was torn between trying your brass tarnishing technique to deliberately darken the handle, or trying the bronze paint. I’ll give the paint a try since I could do it without removing the hardware. But first I guess the lacquer should all come off. Do you have a product you recommend for that task?

  11. Mary says

    Looks great! I’m thinking of using this on my interior door handles and brass chandelier. Does it have a strong odor and how long is the dry time? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Mary – It has a paint smell, but it is not strong. I am pretty sensitive to smells and this did not bother me at all. If it is not too humid and a nice 78 degree day – 4-5 hours drying time. The can says you can re coat in 24 hours for proper adhesion.

  12. Lynn says

    Will this paint work on outside brass light fixtures? After 4 years ours are starting to rust. Please help, we do not want to spend the money to replace the outside light fixtures.



    • says

      Hi Lynn – Yes – any metal or surface that is either bare or painted. Prep is key: Rub some fine steel wool over it or fine grit sandpaper, clean it off and dry – then paint. Don’t paint outside when it is hot and humid, wait till a cool day with low humidity.

  13. Jan says

    Love your lights. I have a question. I recently bought a new light to put on my existing black lamp post out in front of my house. The light fixture is lovely, but it is sort of two-toned black and coppery all mixed together. It goes really well with my house trim, which is brown. But I thought I would have to paint the lamp post a different colour (it is black) but when I went looking, I really couldn’t find a colour that matched. I notice your lamp is on a black post as well. Do you think I’m best to stay with the black post, maybe just repaint it black to give it new life? I looked at every Tremclad colour, and even went to a Benjamin Moore store, but none of the metal paints were a good match to the lamp.

    • says

      Hi Jan – I would just stick with black. Classic and goes with the light. No need for it to be all the same finish. If I had my way, I would love to have a white wood post with inset panels and an arm that extends from it to hold an address plate. I have a few photos of them, but have never made one. Maybe someday.

    • Beth says

      Hi Jan and Diane,
      Jan, I saw your question and realized a post on youtube
      might be a good solution that anyone could try. This uses two colors and a dry brush “pouncing”technique (the painter opts to use a shaving brush!) similar to stenciling.

  14. Peggy says

    Hi Diane! I’ve just keep reading different blogs (of YOURS) and have answered some of my own ?’s! Can’t locate, however, the brass tarnishing technique Karalane mentioned above, in May. Would not pull up when I entered quick search. Do you have an index or directory??? Thanks again for all your wonderful, fantastic ideas.

  15. Jackie says

    Your lights turned out amazing! You made me look twice at my outdoor lights and then I bought some black spray paint! They look brand new now! I am going to use the hammered spray paint and bring my sister’s outdoor lights back to life this weekend. I have never used it before but from the way your lights turned out, I know they will look so nice. Her light fixtures are dull, but they might also be rusty. Which rust preventing primer would you recommend?

  16. says

    Thank you so much for this post! There are some awesome ideas here that I’ll definitely look into. Thanks for sharing, and keep up the good work here!

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