How to use spray paint an inexpensive ceiling light fixture to look like it came from a high end decorating store or catalog.
One room in my house that has seen a lot of decorative changes over the 20 + years that we have lived in it is my mudroom/laundry room. It has been painted light green, dark green and turquoise. I stenciled a rug on the floor.
The room had a lattice stencil on the walls, a complete gallery wall of my daughter’s childhood drawings and before that, I can’t even remember. With all the changes there was only one big change when we altered the size of the room by expanding a single door coat closet in the room into a double door pantry.
When my daughters still lived at home, we needed lots of storage and cubbies to hold all their stuff. I used to do daily laundry, but not so much anymore.
True Value Hardware has partnered with me to makeover two rooms in my house and I chose to start with the mudroom. It is going to be done on a small budget. Nothing drastic, but changes that can be done in a day or over a weekend that will make a big difference not only in how the room looks, but the way we will use the room as well.
Photo: Studio McGee
I like the vibes in this laundry room. Simple, clean lines, bright and cheery. I love all the white, the door, the herringbone pattern slate floor and the shiplap walls. I could move right in.
So where did I start the makeover? At the most logical place… the top.
The ceiling was recently painted white, but I needed to replace this….
Oh yeah! I am no longer going to be the proud owner of the light fixture that is commonly referred to as a boob light.
Since I am doing this room on a small budget, I had to think creatively for its replacement. I wanted a white flush mounted fixture that had a nautical feel.
I found one for $253. Out of my budget. I found one similar, a Westinghouse Ceiling Light Fixture on the True Value website. It had the shape and the nautical vibe I was looking for and was within my budget. I knew with a can of spray paint I could transform it to my vision, so I bought it.
I ordered it to be shipped to my local True Value. When I got a call that it came in, I went to the store to pick it up along with a can of Krylon Short Cuts Fast Drying Enamel paint so I could change the fixture color to glossy white.
How to Paint a Metal Light Fixture
- Westinghouse Ceiling Light Fixture
- Krylon Short Cuts Fast Drying Enamel Spray Paint in Gloss White
- Scotch Brand Painter’s Tape
- Printer paper
- 100 grit sandpaper
- Dropcloth or large cardboard box. I open cardboard boxes to lay out small items to be spray painted. They help protect my work surface from overspray.
1. Lightly sand the metal surface with 100 grit sandpaper. Clean and let dry.
2. Use a piece of printer paper to mask the inside of the light to protect the foil and sockets from overspray. I used my finger to make a crease in the paper so I could cut out a circle shape.
3. Use painters tape to attach paper. Do not put tape directly on the reflective foil as it may peel the foil off when you remove it.
4. Make a tent with a piece of printer paper and painters tape to mask the sockets from overspray.
5. Lay fixture on work surface in a well-ventilated area when the temp is around 78 degrees. Apply light coats about 8-inches away from surface. Repeat coats every 5 minutes up to an hour until you get the coverage you need. I used the entire can of Short Cuts.
If you need to re-coat after an hour you need to wait at least 48 hours before adding another coat. The initial coats of paint have to fully cure. If you re-coat too early you risk wrinkling the paint finish.
Once the transformation was made, Ed took the old light down and replaced it with the shiny new one.
How to Hang a Flush Mounted Ceiling Light Fixture
1. Turn off the electricity to the light from the breaker box, not the wall switch, before installing the light.
2. Remove the old light. You will be left with wires hanging out of the electrical box that will look like this.
3. Thread the wires through the holes in the top of the fixture. Use wire nuts that come with the light to attach the wires together for each bulb socket. Place light bulbs in socket and turn on breaker and wall switch to make sure light works. If it doesn’t you will have make sure the wires are connected properly. If the light works, turn off the wall switch and breaker so you can continue to attach the light to the ceiling.
4. Push the fixture to ceiling and line up the holes in the base of the light and the screws in the electrical box. Once they are through, turn the fixture to tighten.
5. Use a flat head screwdriver to secure the fixture base to the ceiling.
6. This may require four hands. Hold up the glass globe to the fixture and then the metal ring. Have another person screw the nuts onto the fixture to hold the globe in place.
Just in case you are thinking that doing before & after reveals are magic, you can see they are not. Changing the light fixture was a simple change that doesn’t make a huge difference in the room yet, but it is a start in the right direction.
It can take a while to get everything into place especially when DIY’ing. Decorating and design takes time! Even for a small space.
I am now starting on the floor.
If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen what I am envisioning for it. I will post that when I finish. It should be around the end of the month.
More Spray Painted Home Decorating Projects:
- The Spray Painting Tip That Every DIY’er Should Know
- How to Spray Paint Ceramic Items
- Spray Painted Stacking Table Makeover