Monday, February 11, 2013

The Silver Lining

Our house doesn't fail to deliver in the outdated light fixture department. You may recall that our handyman's assistant took down the brass light fixture that hung over our entry way.

I originally planned to replace it, but after shopping around and realizing it was going to be around $200 to get any sort of decent one, I decided to opt for a $3 can of spray paint instead. John and Sherry spray painted their door knobs, so I figured that if they could spray paint things that get handled fairly regularly, I could spray paint something that won't get touched for the next decade. 

The first step was to remove the glass panes. 

Then I roughed it up with some 220 grit sand paper.

To the left of our driveway is an area with rocks, and I figured it would be a great spot for the spraying because I wouldn't paint the driveway with overspray and I could use the rocks to hold down some news paper.

I also taped off the spots where the bulbs screw in so I wouldn't ruin them with the spray paint... you can barely see the blue tape in this pre-spray picture. For the new finish, I decided to go with Rust-Oleum Satin Nickel. I had realistic expectations about it not looking like actual nickel, but since it'll be two stories above peoples' heads, I doubted anyone will know the difference. Unless they've read this post, in which case they most definitely will.

I've read the same thing over and over and over: lots of light coats, not one thick drippy one. I tested out my spraying action on the bottom and it went pretty well.

So, I moved on to the rest.

I let it dry for about 10 minutes, then flipped it over and did the other side. It was looking much better, but still clearly needed another coat.

I knew if I put on another coat right away it would fall into the thick drippy category, not the light, thin coat category, so I decided to let it dry over night. The tricky thing was that I wanted all sides to be off the ground while it dried, but no orientation that would allow for that. Then I realized I could hang it by the wires so it could dry on all sides.

Once I hung it up, I realized that this was really the best way to spray it, so when I went back the next day for my second coat I re-hung it up outside to avoid painting my garage Satin Nickel.

It was still pretty brassy, so I was getting a little nervous about if this spray painting adventure would be for nothing.

Luckily, two light coats later it was completely covered and looking about two decades fresher.

After it dried over night, I replaced the panes of glass.

Then Jerry came by and hung it up!

It looks so much better! It's amazing what paint on the walls and spraypaint on a fixture can accomplish.

Luckily I think all of our fixtures have been either replaced or made over (or moved over) at this point. Hopefully that means I won't need to tackle any electrical work in the near future, although I do plan to replace a few outlets, but that's pretty low on my priority list.

What did you all do this weekend? Do you have any experience spray painting light fixtures? Or other surprising things? 

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