Decorate Dining Room How-to's

How to Paint an Outdated Light Fixture

Our house was built in 1985.  Like many homes built during that time frame, it has a few finishes that are not so endearing. This includes, but is by no means limited to, the brass light fixture in the dining room.  We had an outdated light fixture on our hands!

This fixture had been in the home so long that it had nearly come back in style.  Unfortunately, the finish was tarnished and did not look very lovely. Here is a view of the dining room before we moved in.  Notice that lovely brass fixture?



The light fixture was pretty and in good working condition.  It only needed a face lift.  I knew that a coat, or two, of paint would help bring it back to life.  I picked up two cans of white semi-gloss spray paint, a 80 grit sanding block, and got to work.

Here are the steps for how to paint a light fixture:

DIY Light Fixture Refresh 5

Here are the steps for how to paint a light fixture:

  1. I turned off the power to the dining room.
  2. Uninstalled the fixture.
  3. Lightly sanded the fixture with a 80 grit sanding block.
  4. Cleaned the fixture exterior really well with mild soap. (Remember that if you are painting anything, you first want to clean it!  Otherwise, you will just be putting paint on top of dirt and grime.)
  5. Taped off the sockets.  I didn’t want any paint to get inside of the sockets as that might create electrical problems in the future.
  6. I put the fixture on cardboard away from my patio furniture and house.  If you ever going to use spray paint, you should be as far away from items not being painted as possible as paint will travel.  I painted on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  I had to work around wind gusts both days. Had I have been too close to the house, the house and my patio furniture would have been hit with a fine spray of white paint.

This is what the fixture looked like just before I started painting:

DIY Light Fixture Refresh 6

I slowly sprayed layers of white paint from every angle.  I let each layer dry for about an hour before adding the next coat. It took five coats before I no longer saw brass poking through.

I added EcoSmart LED lights in daylight to increase the brightness of the room.


After the paint dried, I reinstalled the fixture, and turned the power back on to the dining room. This is a closeup of the newly painted fixture:

The daylight bulbs give off a lot of bright light.  The spray paint left a smooth finish on the fixture.  I think it came out really nice.

Here is a shot of the dining room as it is right now.  The room is light and bright.  Please don’t pay any attention to the blank canvas hanging on the wall above the sideboard.  The same one that is still in the wrapper to keep it clean. This is a canvas I picked up at Michael’s for $25.  I have a plan for it…I just haven’t gotten around to executing said plan.

Here is a shot of the room from another angle.