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Monday, June 13, 2022

Repurposing Idea: How to paint metal light fixture

Searching repurposing idea, how to paint metal light fixture?  We have another good one to share with you today to add to our "Use what you have" series.  

Painting a metal light fixture is an easy process.  You do not need many tools to paint a metal light fixture either.  We are happy to share how to paint a meta light fixture today.

Do you love your home?  Is it the home of your dreams?  The one you always dreamed of?  Well, if not... it can be!  This post is a part of our "Use what you have" series, and I have to say, sometimes even I surprise myself.  

I have always wanted to live in a cottage.  I grew up in a cape cod home that my great grandmother designed.  Yes, I never met her, but I sure wish I had.  My mother has shared stories passed down over the years about her.  I think I would have loved her and her spunky attitude to boot.

She had a vision and she made it happen.  She designed that home from where the phone jacks would be located (in every room, can you believe that in 1950?) to what colors would be used throughout the home, electrical socket placement, how their family business would be located in the home, yet separate from the rest of their house, and every other minute detail.

Can you imagine?  Things were a bit different then than they are now when it comes to building.  Do you know Mr. VS and I were going to build at one time, but my heart just wasn't in it.  Those older homes kept calling to me... not in a creepy way either.  You know, those horror flicks Mr. VS so loves to watch, but in the way that I was like ahh... feels like home to me.

When I would flip through the pics online of homes for sale I would think I could see myself living there, and then we would go for a showing and I would think to myself, and sometimes voice out loud what in the world drew me into that home in the first place?  Those realtors do a pretty good job of making some of the homes on the market look wonderful and then you show up and think this looks nothing like the pictures!  

Not their fault, they just do their job well, but wow, so many times I found myself well, disappointed to be honest.  We would walk in and I could smell cats, or mildew, or just think yuck!  I think I would clean knowing folks would be walking around my home and thinking about a potential purchase.    

I knew when we purchased our home we would change so many things about it, but then there were good bones and I knew some things I would never change.  Those parts would continue to live on in the manner they had been since this home's inception.    

Brass lantern light fixture

Our hall light fixture?  I never really gave it much thought for so many years.  Sometimes you just grow accustomed to what you have and never give it a second thought.  Until, one day, you wake up and think you know, I do not care for that lantern light in the hallway so much.  Did I ever really like it, or am I just realizing it has been here the whole time and has it outstayed it's welcome?  

So, I began my search of light fixtures.  Let me tell you there is nothing ordinary about the way I operate, even if it is the smallest detail in our home like a light fixture.  I searched for months... I knew I wanted brass, something that had that cottage feel, something that may have looked like it had been here since 1950 when our home was finished.

Old brass fixture about to be made over

I would do my usual of adding so many items to my online cart, and then subtract the items that no longer held my interest.  It came to the point where Mr. VS said you are still looking?  "Come on dear, make up your mind"!  I just looked at him and said, "it has to be perfect"!  

Then the most peculiar thing happened...

Sometimes the thing that you are searching for is right there in front of your face, but it is so close, you actually cannot see it.  Do you know what I am talking about?  I think it is kind of how best friends end up dating and later marrying each other, or you end up living in your childhood home as an adult, or you finally find the job that was always meant for you, but you just did not know it until you stumble upon it.

I kept focusing on that brass, and then when I was searching for pendent lights for our kitchen, I came across lantern lights.  And then, I saw this light.  


I thought hmm... You know it is not identical to my light, but there are some similarities and so then and there I decided I would paint that lantern shade black in our hallway, but leave the rest of our fixture brass. 

I ran to get out my Little Giant step ladder and removed the shade from the light fixture.  It did take a little finagling to get it down.  I had to remove the glass shade and metal shade at the same time.  What a bugger.    

Can I tell you how much I love this little ladder too?  I use it all of the time.  Reminds me of a quote on a step stool my parents gave me for Easter as a child.  "This little stool is mine, I use it all the time, to reach the things I couldn't, and lots of things I shouldn't.  I can tell you that little stool was used for MANY adventures in reaching all sorts of things I was not to get into, but we'll shelve that for another day.   

We had purchased a ladder years ago that women are supposed to be able to carry, only I could not get it up and down the steps, it was too heavy.  This is lightweight, and I love the actual steps.  I get nervous being on a ladder, but this one is actually nothing like being on a ladder, love it!

Once I had the shade down and dust removed, oh don't tell me you did not see that little cobweb there.  I used my little microfiber duster on the ceiling and the light fixture part that was still attached to the ceiling.  

Tromping up the steps I went in search of my black rub and buff, only I could not find it, I searched high and low and came up empty... so I settled on black craft paint.  I figured why not?  Let's give this a try and if it does not work out, it is not like I was not searching for a hall light before this escapade.  

You see, I am not so much afraid to try things.  Actually, I am not afraid of much.  Side note, it used to scare my mother dearly when I was younger, especially when I would get right up into any dog's face and talk and pet them.  I never knew a stranger or pet I was not willing to say hello to.  My thoughts were always to say hello, and there was not much that could not be fixed in life, sometimes you just have to make mistakes in order to learn.  Chop off your hair?  It grows back.  Color it red and hate it?  You can always change it back.  I have had my hair every natural color there is.     

So painting a light fixture was nothing new for me.  I am actually surprised I did not think of it before.  Shame on me for not going my normal path of how can I improve this thing I already have.  


I am so in love with black and brass these days.  Maybe I have always been, but it is really calling to me here lately.  I know some would say brass is back in, but do you think it really ever went out of style?  In my opinion, no, it is a true classic.  

You can see above my first coat.  I was actually afraid the paint may not adhere to the shade, but in the end, with a couple of coats of paint, it was just fine.  I hate taping things off so I will choose a small paint brush so I do not need to tape anything every time.  

I decided to leave the rim and top brass and only paint around the shade.  I cannot wait to see if Mr. VS notices when he gets home that something has changed.  Some days he notices the most minute thing, and other days, the biggest change he does not see.  Sometimes I am like do you not see it?  COME ON ALREADY!  

Painting light fixture

For being such a small project, it sure made me happy once it was completed, my mess was put away, and the shade was back in it's proper place.  As you can see, this use what you have series may touch a lot of areas for ideas in your own home as well.  I hope you get some ideas and start changing things up too.  It makes me extra smiley when I hear feedback that some of these projects get you to step out of your comfort zone.  

I already had the craft paint on hand, and of course, the light has been there since who knows when?  So $0.00 for this project, and FREE is the best kind of project there is, don't you think?  I know they are my absolute favorite!  

I painted a metal lamp base last year, and then decided that since it worked out so well, this should too.  Now, I did spray paint the lamp last year, but decided on a different route this year.  If you recall, changing up lampshades is nothing new for me either.  I love getting creative and seeing what I can come up with.

Do you see how I left the lip of the shade and the top lip brass?  I found I liked the look as I was painting.  Had I spray painted this shade, I would have missed out on that extra little detail I left intact.    

Now our little ole' lantern will live to see another day, or maybe forever more.  I am pleased with the results.  When I set out on my quest for a new light, I never considered another lantern, I think I thought of every other option there was out there rather than a lantern.  I would be curious to know how long she has been hanging out in this hallway?

Was she a part of the 1980's updates we uncovered in making a home or how long has she been hanging out in our hallway.  Ha, hanging out?  I know, cheesy Cara.  I do have those moments, probably lucky for us they are few and far between.  

Well, what do you think?  Have you considered painting an existing light fixture to give it a new look?  It was really one of the easiest projects I have completed in a while around here so do not be afraid to give it a try.  I am thoroughly enjoying this series we decided to create with your input.  Let's see what we come up with next week to share in using what you already have.        

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