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Revamping Old Brass Light Fixtures with Spray Paint

My client’s wanted a light on a budget, so I suggested looking at used, but rewired lighting. The front porch light was really dim .
they  found these two very dated, brass light fixtures at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore while shopping.
(And F.Y.I. the ReStore does test all of their lights before they put them out on the sales floor;so there is no guessing if they work or are safe or not.) Neither of the metals matched each other, I think they were from two different decades.One was shiny gold and the other had some kind of 1970’s black finish over it.But, they were the perfect size and shape for what I was looking for. The same but different.Matching, but not matchy-matchy.
Brass lamps

We decided to give them a cosmetic makeover.
Brass lamp
Such a great deal.  To match the 2 fixtures, I bought Rustoleum spray paint universal. They aren’t paying me,and they aren’t a sponsor, it’s just the product I’ve used before and had great results on metal.
 I actually like to mix my colors a bit to make it look like a more original finish. I normally do a saturated spray with the lighter color and then give it a very light, speckled dusting of the darker color.
 I made sure I am prepped and ready to go! I know, I look totally hawt in safety glasses and  a mask. All I can say is you only have to get spray paint in your eyes once to make sure you never do it again. Okay, maybe twice, but that’s it. I swear. That never happened again a 3rd time with polyacrylic. Never. Ever.
Tape off glass before spray painting a light fixture
On the smaller light,  I taped(a lot) and sprayed, I hate taping glass and mirrors. And I didn’t want to spray the back inside part of the light in case someone used a high watt regular bulb and it started burning the paint.
Spraying a light fixture oil rubber bronze
 I sprayed the brown tone first and made sure it was completely covered.
Spray painting a light fixture
Then it got  a very light dusting of black.
It did however take the lazy way out and I just stuffed paper on the inside so I didn’t have to find a way to tape up all of the glass on the inside. Did I mention I hated taping glass? I could have taken it a part as I did my larger piece, but I thought, work smarter not harder, right? On the 4 sided light, I knew I wanted to paint the entire thing inside and out, so I did unscrew the bottom,removed the bottom piece, and carefully slid the glass pieces out, making sure I didn’t lose any little bits. I also taped over the electrical sockets with painter’s tape beforehand.
Spray painting brass
And again, I sprayed away. Once it was dry, I removed the tape and put everything back together.
Here’s a snapshot of the light next to their door.
spray painted Light fixture next to a door
It’s such an improvement!!!
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  1. Well done, Jen- looks awesome.

    It’s funny, I just last night asked hubs if he would change the colour of our outdoor fixtures with paint and he said he’d rather buy new than to tape off all the glass. Haha. You will note I didn’t volunteer nor argue. You say you took the lazy way out but my lazy beats your lazy hands down, haha.

    Light looks awesome, looking forward to watching this entire serious, yay.

  2. Love these Jen. I was just saying how my “gold” icky light fixtures need a lift and I may just try painting them. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. What a nice improvement! I had to laugh when I saw those light fixtures as I believe they were both in my house when I first bought it! I am looking forward to following this project!

      Erin from Piers and Chandeliers

  3. Jennifer,
    Try cutting light weight cardboard or heavy weight paper and then taping all around the edges. This goes much faster that all tape. ;).

  4. You might take a picture of things you’re unsure of before taking them apart. Makes putting together much simplier. Do you not sand or rough up the surface before painting?

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