As the days pass, I become more and more in love with interesting light fixtures for my home. So often I feel like lighting is overlooked when a simple change to an existing fixture would make a tremendous impact in a room.
Enter the sad, builder’s grade vanity fixtures that we have in every bathroom of our house.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with the vanity fixtures, but they are boring and cast all of the light downwards. I’ve long thought that their days were numbered, so I spent a lot of time shopping for a new fixture to put into the powder bath I am redoing. Unlike the one shown above, the original fixture in that bathroom only had two lights, so that room could have a whopping two, 60-watt light bulbs. Since it was the only fixture in the room, you can bet that the light in there was very depressing.
Because I am going to replace them all eventually, I decided to play musical light fixtures. I swapped the fixture above my sink in the master with the 2-light model from the powder bath. I spray painted the 3-light fixture flat black (Rustoleum Universal Flat Black), bought clear, seeded glass shades, and put in those Edison bulbs I love so much.
And it was a big, fat negatory! The color was wrong with the other fixture we were installing in the ceiling to add more light, the shades were too wimpy, and the heavily seeded glass greatly distorted the look of the bulbs. It was time to go back to the drawing board.
I took the fixture down and sprayed it in a Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze finish, but it really didn’t look too different than the flat black. So, I sprayed it again (by now, this is it’s 3rd coat of paint) in a Rustoleum Antique Copper finish. Closer, but still not right.
So, what did I do? Well, I got artistic. I grabbed a can of Krylon Leather Brown that I had in my garage and gave it a quick once over to darken the copper. I essentially just misted it instead of coating it. Then, I did the same thing with a mist of the Rustoleum Metallic Oil Rubbed Bronze that I had used before.
It was much better, but it still wasn’t exactly what I wanted. So, I did just as you would expect and glazed it with my beloved Ralph Lauren glaze tinted to Black Silk. I swapped the shades for a larger, less seeded bell shape. It was suddenly perfection and coordinated so well with our newly installed overhead lighting.
The moral of this story is not to be afraid to try to change the look of something in your home that you were planning on getting rid of anyway. I saved myself a great deal of money by not having to buy a new fixture, and with my layering and misting of different paints, I was able to customize the finish to fit my room. Always remember that if you don’t like it in the first place, no harm can come from trying to change it. <–Tweet This.
The rest of the bathroom reveal is coming soon. I had some friends over for a little girl time this weekend, and they were all blown away by seeing it in person. Maybe I can figure out how to fly each of you down here for the grand tour. 🙂
Do you have anything original to your home that you hated but now love thanks to a simple update? If not, grab those spray paint cans and get to work!
Sunday Burquest says
I’ve spray painted a couple of my “oh hum” light fixtures, but I haven’t seen the new glass you got – love those!!! I’m going to hunt those down. Great Job!
Love it! I don’t think the light fixtures I don’t like could be saved. They are the ones that people call boob light fixtures. I never noticed it before until I read a few blogs on it & now I would love to replace those. We recently moved in our new house at the end of December. I would love to do something like what you did.
Melissa–with the right hardware, you could turn the “boob” glass shade upside down and make a pendant light instead.
Meanwhile, I found the ultimate “boob” light… http://media.bellacor.com.edgesuite.net/images/300/78075129-11.jpg
Jessie @ Imperfectly Polished says
Love the new look Lindsay! The final color is awesome. Totally worth all those coats of spray paint:) Can’t wait to see the rest of the room!
Jen @ a place 2 call home says
These look fab. I told you I was working on a lighting project with those old lightbulbs last time you wrote about them
Here’s the room all finished with the light, if you have a minute
Looks so awesome. I may try these with my decade old kitchen fixtures.
Jean @ Flower Hill says
I admire how persistent you are! The final look is great!
Heather gibb says
Can you tell me where you got the seeded glass shades? I’ve been searching everywhere and I can find ones that are about 4.5″ (length) but I’m hoping for bigger ones. Your’s seem to be bigger….do you know if they are? I need them for pendant lights and the 4.5 inch ones seem small
Hi Heather- The shades I have actually came from Home Depot. They are 5 inches long installed (so not counting the part that’s actually inside of the fixture.)
Can you post a link to the glass shades you used?
Tricia @ OurUrbanFrontier says
I love these great bulbs, they are popping up everywhere! The clear shades show them off beautifully!
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