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Upgrading a Standard Bathroom Light Fixture with a Dip of Paint

As part of the quick & cheap upgrades to our guest bath, I wanted to update the standard light fixture above the mirror. It is a builder-grade fixture with 3 bulbs and glass bulb covers.

Though I considered swapping out the bulb covers for a more modern set, I was instead inspired by the new Young House Love book (#83!) to instead upgrade the existing set.

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Upgrading a Standard Bathroom Light Fixture with a Dip of Paint

Upgrade a Light Fixture with a Dip of Paint - Charleston Crafted

All in all, this project cost $0. That’s F-R-E-E folks, aka my favorite price.

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Supplies needed:

  • Light fixture
  • Can of paint
  • Parchment paper (to dry on)

Steps to dip a light fixture in paint:

Upgrade a Light Fixture with a Dip of Paint - Charleston Crafted

Remove the lights from the fixture. For us, that meant unscrewing the bulbs & then popping off the shade.

Some shades might have small screws holding them in. It’s good to check before you just yank it out.

Upgrade a Light Fixture with a Dip of Paint - Charleston Crafted

Meanwhile, I opened up the gallon sized can of paint.

It’s the same color that we used on the walls- Teeny Bikini by Olympic in a semi-gloss.

Upgrade a Light Fixture with a Dip of Paint - Charleston Crafted

Since the shade fit perfectly into the can, we just dipped it about 1 inch deep in the paint.

Upgrade a Light Fixture with a Dip of Paint - Charleston Crafted

Hold it up and let some drips drip back into the can.

Upgrade a Light Fixture with a Dip of Paint - Charleston Crafted

Then, we set the shades paint side down on parchment paper.

This way, they wouldn’t drip onto themselves.

Upgrade a Light Fixture with a Dip of Paint - Charleston Crafted
Upgrade a Light Fixture with a Dip of Paint - Charleston Crafted

After about 1 hour, the paint was tacky-to-the-touch. It was about 75 percent dry.

At this point, we flipped the shades upside down and let them dry overnight, so they didn’t stick to the paper.

Upgrade a Light Fixture with a Dip of Paint - Charleston Crafted

It turned out awesome! Sean screwed them back into place and we ended up with a really cool, custom look!

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Upgrade a Light Fixture with a Dip of Paint - Charleston Crafted
Upgrade a Light Fixture with a Dip of Paint - Charleston Crafted
Upgrade a Light Fixture with a Dip of Paint - Charleston Crafted

However, we decided that the blue might pop more with a white background.

Check back in later this week to see how we achieved that!

Have you done any free upgrades lately?

 
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    Lauren Dahl

    Saturday 4th of July 2015

    Hi! I came across your blog this morning while searching for an inexpensive way to update my bathroom lighting. You mentioned in this post that you may add white to help the blue pop, and I was wondering if you have done that? If so, do you happen to have a photo or blog update about it? I would love to see the finished result, I'm really considering painting mine!

    Lauren

    Morgan

    Sunday 5th of July 2015

    We just stuck with the blue - and we love it!

    Dana Jackson

    Monday 14th of July 2014

    i love this idea. i just have a couple of questions before i try it. Was this Ok/sustainable with the high heat of the lights? I'm looking to try this technique on some pendant lights that would be on for many hours per day (over a bar in a restaurant). Would the heat cause the paint to melt? stay tacky? Smell strongly of paint fumes (indefinitely)? Looking forward to your response! thanks.

    CharlestonCrafted

    Monday 14th of July 2014

    Hey Dana thanks for stopping by! It's been a year since we did this and no melting, stickiness, etc. to be fair - they are not on unless someone is in the bathroom, so I can't vouch for all day use. Make sure the bulb is not too close to the shade, for sure. Hope it works out for you!

    Comments are closed.