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Vintage Industrial Wall Light Knock-Off

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I started the makeover of my foyer powder room a few days ago.   Remember I showed you how I removed the wallpaper to get the transformation rolling?   Since then I have been trying to come up with a design idea, but am still not 100% sure what I am going to do in the small space. The only thing that I know for sure is that I am going to use an old, but modern and colorful light fixture.

Have you ever been over to Barn Light Electric?  Oooohhh…I love all the light fixtures they sell, especially the Wheeler Esso Wall Scone, but not the price of $219.00.

I have been searching for a less expensive alternative…you know me…I had to find a way…. and I did.


While browsing through Lowes a few weeks ago, I found the same shape fixture in galvanized steel for just under $40. It was exactly the same except it didn’t have the infusion of high gloss color. I got excited when I realized with a can or two of spray paint, I could have the exact color wall light I wanted at a fraction of the cost.

I could not be happier with my DIY results, plus I got to paint the light exactly the color I envisioned.

Here is the Barn Light Electric Esso Wall Sconce that I love.  It comes in a few different colors.

Barn Electric Esso Wall Sconce

It has three different colors on it – all high gloss enamel. Green exterior, white interior, and black rim.

Here is the one I found at Lowes:  Portfolio Ellicott 13-1/8-in H Galvanized Dark Sky Outdoor Wall Light


I found the pale turquoise Krylon spray paint at True Value. It is high gloss so it looks simiilar to the enamel finish on the Barn Light Electric model.


How to Spray Paint a Metal Light Fixture

If you plan to use your light outside – you will need to make sure the spray paints you use can be used for exterior applications.  This Krylon formula is Indoor Outdoor. The white high gloss Rustoleum appliance paint and black craft paint I used are only for indoor applications.

supplies needed:

  • Light fixture
  • Spray Paint –  Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Gloss in Blue Ocean Breeze
    •                 Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy in High Gloss White
    •                 Martha Stewart craft paint in Gloss Black
  • Painter’s tape
  • Foam paint brush
  • Fine grit sandpaper 160 grit
***When painting with spray paint – do it outside or in a garage with good ventilation.  Always wear a mask and eye protection. 
*** I did not use a metal primer since the light was going to be inside. If you are going to use a metal fixture outside and the paint you are using is not a Paint and Primer in One formula, spray one to two light coats of metal primer over the entire surface. Once it is dry, then paint. Every brand of spray paint makes a metal spray primer.


Sand the surface of the light with a piece of 160 grit or fine piece of sandpaper. Clean off the dust.   The steel surface is smooth and this gives the paint something to adhere to.

Place your light fixture in a large box with low sides so you can pick the whole thing up to move the light fixture before it is dry, if necessary. This also helps keep overspray from getting everywhere. Since this light is round and has lots of sides to reach, spray in a well lit area so you can see if you are getting complete coverage and not applying the paint too thick.

I used foam blocks to hold the light in the position I needed it to make sure I was getting all sides.

1. Paint interior of light first with high gloss epoxy paint. It is very glossy and looks just like an enameled finish. Use painter’s tape around rim to protect the exterior from over spray and the bulb socket. Shake can of spray paint well – up to 2 minutes. Apply evenly in light coats with the can about 8-10 inches away from the surface.  Slow, light, even strokes back and forth that slightly overlap.  Let dry 5 minutes, then apply another light coat.  Repeat applying light coats every 5 minutes until you have good coverage.  After 30 minutes, do not add another coat. Wait at least 24 hours or longer if you need to re-coat.

2. When the interior is dry, mask off the interior with painter’s tape and paper to protect it from overspray while you paint the exterior.  I sprayed the shade first, then propped in the box in a way that I could then spray the gooseneck and base.

Spray paint the outside of the light with spray paint. READ the back of the spray can you are using.  Each brand is different. Light, even coats every  1 – 5 minutes is the norm.  After 30 minutes, if you need to re-coat, wait for at least 24 hours.  If you don’t wait, you could wrinkle the paint finish. It is best to get the coverage you need in the first 30 minutes with light coats.  Let dry in a dust and bug free area.


3.  When exterior paint is dry, add painter’s tape around bottom edge right under rim, not over it.  Pour a small amount of gloss black paint in a dish. Dip one side edge of foam brush in paint.


4. Run the side of the brush along the rim making sure not to get it on the underside of the rim, only on the outer edge.


5. Reload the brush and repeat the process until the entire rim is black. Carefully remove tape. Let dry.


The best advise I can give you to get a factory like finish when you spray paint is to read the can’s label.  Each brand writes the specifics on how to use their product.

As a rule of thumb:

-Spray in moderate temps. If it is freezing or 90 degrees, wait until the temp is around 50 – 75 degrees.

-Shake the can well, and even shake as you are painting.

-Hold the can 8-10 inches away from surface.

-Apply multiple thin, light coats.

-Use sweeping motions that slightly overlap.

-Re-coat within 1 -5 minutes between each additional coat until you get desired coverage, If after 30 minutes you still need more coats, wait at least 24 hours to apply another coat. It is best to get desired coverage in the first 30 minutes.  You risk the chance of wrinkling the finish if you have to re-coat after this time.

For more tips and tricks on how to get a factory-like finish when using spray paint, click here: Spray Painting FAQ’s

I will show you how the light looks on the wall in an upcoming post. I have to get the walls painted first.




Sharing with:  Living Well Spending Less | Liz Marie Blog | Jennifer Rizzo




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  1. That looks perfect!
    I have to admit, I can not use a spray can if my life depended on it.
    I start off doing light coats, but then I have a naughty self telling me just do a little bit more here, a little bit more there. Well you get the picture.
    The project become a mite bit drippy. This is where I want to kick myself.
    So I try to avoid spraying as much as possible. I just know I will mess up.
    I know it all has to do with patience , but the amazing thig is I do have patience. But I think I put a hex on myself with spray paint.
    Can’t wait to see the room.
    My best to the family

  2. Beautiful…I have this fixture on my porch. It came in white, but I painted it black. Love it even more for use inside. Great idea!

  3. The Blue Ocean Breeze color is one of my absolute favorites, and I’ve used it as an accent color in our home library, for the inside backs of bookcases. I even matched curtain fabric to this color of paint. My only complaint is that the spray mechanism on those cans of spray paint are not very good–it was very drippy coming out of the can, even though I shook the can a lot before spraying, and kept shaking the can periodically throughout the spraying process. Did you find that to be the case when you used it, or do you have a tip to share on how to make those sprayers work better on the can?

    1. Hi Athena –

      I do love the color, too. It was hard to find around me. I finally found it at a True Value. I did not have the dripping problem with this can, but I do know that every can acts a little differently depending on the nozzle itself, temps, and how well you shake it. This formula works best at 50 degrees F. Most spray paints are usually around 70 degrees for an optimal finish.

      I do like the nozzle on these Krylon cans. It is easy to press and sprays a nice even coat. If I do have a nozzle problem, and it does happen -I do switch the nozzles from can to can until I like the way the can sprays. We did this all the time when I worked in display since we spray painted daily and didn’t have time to run out to buy a new can if one stopped working.

      Have you ever used Valspar spray paint? Love the nozzles – they spray evenly and are easy on your spraying finger. I do not like the Rustoleum hand molded nozzles. They look cool and do spray a nice even coat, but I have never had one work until the can was empty. I have returned quite a few half used cans.

      The next time you use the Krylon paint, have a back up nozzle from an old can and see if it makes a difference.

      1. Thank you, Diane, for all your great spray paint tips. I never thought to change out the nozzle, so I will definitely give that a try the next time I’m spray painting, as well as your other tips. I haven’t tried Valspar spray paint, so will give it a go the next time I’ve got a project. Thanks again–I always enjoy reading your blog!

          1. Thanks Camille – I know a lot of people like the attachment. I have gotten a few a conferences. I have to remember to use one the next time I paint. When I can’t choose a color, I usually go with my first choice. Happy painting!