Thursday, March 21, 2013

DIY Update a Light Fixture with Spray Paint

Are you one of those super duper lucky individuals who has an ugly outdated light fixture?  I was.  My house was blessed with alot of ceiling fans (BONUS)...but those ceiling fans were not blessed with style.  To be honest, when I moved in 6 years ago, that was one of the first things I set out to do...update!  I'm only the 2nd owner of the home, which was built in 2000.  So you'd think that fixtures and finishes would be more modern...but you'd be wrong.  Anyway, it was a work in progress, but I digress...

Final Product in all it's Satin Nickel glory.
Here's what I started with - ugly bronze.  Yuck.
Updating your light fixtures is actually not nearly as complicated as I would have thought it to be.  It's certainly cheaper than buying new!!  (Ceiling fans are expensive).  And what a difference it can make!!!  See above.

Since my ceiling fans are high and won't be touched, I chose to go the even easier route which cut out the sanding step.  Sanding helps remove the finish on the existing fixtures and allows the spray paint to adhere better.  I did a test on a spare fixture with the same ugly bronze finish and loved how it turned out--so I went for it!!

What you need:

  • Tools.  You'll probably only need a screw driver though.
  • Newspaper or something to layout your pieces
  • Painters tape
  • Spray Paint of choice: I used Krylon Satin Nickel
  • Optional: Sand paper

What you do:
  1. Flip your breaker!!!  EMPHASIZE---Electrical shock is no laughing matter.
  2. Remove your fixtures.  If you're doing a ceiling fan, I recommend an extra set of hands.  (Thank you to my awesome fiance!!)  You might not need it for a simple light fixture though.  Note: this was the hardest part for us.  My ceiling fans were a bit complicated to get down.  Still worth it!
  3. Optional Step: Lightly sand your pieces.
  4. Layout your pieces leaving enough room around them to access all sides.
  5. Tape any electrical components, motors, etc.  Paint on those guys = bad.
  6. Spray!!!  Tip: it is 300% better to do many light coats than a few heavy coats.  You will regret it.  I promise.  Follow the directions on the can and do short bursts keeping your hand moving.  Think a "swoosh...swoosh" type of movement.  Go ahead and make the sound if it helps...I did :)
  7. Let dry.  I let them sit for an hour between coats in my garage, which was about 60 degrees that day.
  8. Re-assemble your fixture and put it back up!!
2 Ceiling Fans = Lots of Space
Scrap wood makes a great lift.
More scrap wood assistance
Electrical tape!

Do as many coats as you feel is necessary (I think I did 4 coats).  Keep your hands off them...fingerprints suck.  If you need to flip them over to do the other side, make sure you let it dry extra long before you do!!!

I highly recommend doing a test piece on something (maybe a spare fixture or piece of it).  Not all spray paints are created equal.  Satin Nickel in one brand can look completely different in another brand.  I'm a big supporter of TEST first!

That's it kids!!!  If you want, you can add a coat of spray poly.  Like I said, my fixtures weren't going to be touched much if ever, so I skipped this step.  I didn't need the extra touch protection.  Warning: the poly will make it shiny.  

Sit back and enjoy your updated fixtures!!

No comments:

Post a Comment