Nook Before and After


Let There Be Light! (That works!)

Our kitchen not only required a full make over for the cabinets, floors and counter tops, but the light fixtures were also in desperate need of updating. They were they unattractive and they were also starting to fail. A couple of them would only turn on when they felt like it. They were starting to spook out my kids (and me).The kitchen already had a dark and gloomy look, but the lack of light was really putting it over the top.

 DSC00041 I found 2 matching small box lantern light fixtures in ReStore and got a great deal on them. One was $6.99 and the other was $2.99. I have no idea why they were priced differently, but the money goes to charity so I was not about to complain.


They too were outdated, but unlike our fixtures, they had great bones. I love the "lantern" look and the size was just right. I needed a small flush mount for 2 areas, above the sink and above the desk area. These two were just what I needed. I was limited by size as both of these areas have structures near them.

Helpful hint (I wish someone had given me): When you shop for used light fixtures, make sure that they have ample connection wire. You will want to have enough wire to be able to clean up your connections and reconnect your fixture.


To rehab the fixtures I did the following steps:


 1. I disassembled the light fixtures fully and cleaned each part. Helpful hint: take pictures as you go, so you have a guide on how to put the fixture back together. See how nice and long my wires are!  DSC00042   Copy

2. I sanded all the surfaces that would need to be painted. Use a fine sandpaper for this, like 220 grit. You don't want to ruin the surface of the metal.

3. I taped off all the areas that needed to be protected from the paint (the light sockets and the connection points for the wires). For this particular fixture, I hung the light sockets out of a tree to paint them.  DSC00044



 4. I painted all the parts of the light fixture using a good quality spray paint that would adhere to metal. I used Rust-Oleum Universal Satin Black. They say you can pant any surface at any angle. I've had good luck with this product and think the coverage and durability seems good. DSC00043 

5. I stripped the wires to clean up the connection points. This is always a good idea, but be sure to leave enough wire to allow for connections.

6. The hardest step, I reassembled the light fixture without breaking the glass or getting fingerprints all over it. Helpful hint: I wear thin material gloves, like the super stretchy kids gloves. I normally "borrow" the kids. If you do this, make sure they are clean!  Wearing the gloves keeps the glass from getting fingerprints and smudged. 

7. Finally, I installed the light fixtures at an angle. Instead of lining up the straight lines of the fixture with the straight lines of the shelf or the cornice, I placed the fixtures at a 45 degree rotation to the straight line of the surrounding structures, to accentuate the "lantern" look of the fixture. You can see this in the pictures below.


Here are the completed fixtures in place:

DSC00420 DSC00423


Cost for 2 Light Fixtures
Light Fixture 1 $7
Light Fixture 2 $3
Spray Paint $6
Sandpaper $0

Total Cost for 2 Fixtures $16



The time cost of this project was very little. I was able to complete the steps above in a couple of hours. There was a dry time of an additional couple of hours, but I don't count that. The savings in this case is huge. I was looking at a pair of  flush mount light fixtures at a big box store and was going to spend $61 on each fixture. I initially thought, $120 isn't too bad, I'll pay that to have the look I want in the kitchen. I like this Rehab fixture so much more than the new ones I was going to buy, and love the savings. Savings for 2 fixtures = $106! That's money I can spend on a manicure and another project!


To find out how our kitchen turned out, keep reading.