Sunday, December 14, 2014

(Somewhat) updated light fixture

When I was renovating my mudroom, an overall drama free project, I did reach one sticking point. The dropped ceiling in the small room and my already low ceilings mean that the light fixture must be on the wall for the door to clear. Beyond being awkward, the fixture that was there when I started the remodel felt a little out of place, even before I started painting. When I removed it to paint (which apparently no one had ever done before, there was brown paint all over it) I could tell by the wiring that it was the original fixture. So, although I didn't really love it, I felt a little badly about my plan to sent it to the goodwill.
My dad told me he liked it and that it felt kind of "art deco." My mom, on the other hand, told me that it looked like a cheap 1970's knock off. Despite my attempts to capture it in all it's ugly glory, back when the mudroom was brown it was always too dark to get a photo.
I looked at every wall fixture at Home Depot and Menard's and spend hours online pouring over my options. As it turns out, I didn't like any of them. Wall fixtures, I decided, are innately ugly. Rather than waste another $50 on a light fixture I knew I would never like, I decided to try to salvage what I had.

With the fixture still hanging off the wall, I gave the globe a good wash, wrapped the fixture in plastic to protect the wall and gave the whole thing 2 coats with Rust Oleum Metalic Spray Paint in "Oil rubbed bronze" to match my coat hooks. It looked a little bit like a horror movie.
The lamp had the same color gold on it that the fixture had been originally, which I decided I didn't like. I covered the gold with a tiny paintbrush and some charcoal gray paint. But, when I put the lamp back up, I sort of hated the way that it looked. The lamp hadn't seemed so yellow and gross when the walls were brown, but now with soft colors on the walls, it just wasn't going to work. I didn't even take a photo. That's how bummed I was. So, here was my "before" photo.
To the basement I went with a can of heat resistant "appliance epoxy" white spray paint. I have the fixture two coats of paint and put it back together. I was thrilled. It looked just like I wanted it to.
But then I turned on the lights.
What the heck? I didn't think of that. With the light on the fixture was yellow again, and my hand painted charcoal lines were the first thing you saw. I pondered it for a day, not sure what might help. I figured my options at this point were to soak the whole thing in laquer thinner and start over, or try to at least tone down with another coat of paint. The outcome? I gave it one more coat and gave up. Hey, at least it's better and looks nice when the lights are off...

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