$30 diy dining room light | via: chatham st. house

What do you do when you want a home that looks straight out of House Beautiful, but your budget is more in line with Target pricing? You get crafty! During a recent sample sale I scored an oversized dome light for just $10 bucks, the issue? It was a hideous shade of aqua! Instead of passing on the deal, I decided to put my art degree to good use and reinvent the lighting. A couple of coats of paint (and a lot of lessons learned) later, it's the crown jewel of our dining room.

My first course of action was to wash the light and shorten the massively long cord to a more reasonable length. To do this, I unscrewed the closure at the crown (where the light connects to the ceiling) and pulled it through to my desired length. I then tightened the screw back up, cut the cord about 6" away from the crown, and used wire strippers to clean off about 1/2" inch of the cord for mounting.

$30 diy dining room light | via: chatham st. house

There was a lot of trial and error with this project. I first tried painting the light with gold metallic paint, ignoring everything I know about painting (i.e. prime the surface before painting). It peeled off almost immediately. I then tried using DecoArt's Metallic Lustre Wax Finish first, followed by the gold paint and this stuck much better. The paste hardens really quickly, creating a seal.

It did not however look like a real metallic fixture....Back to the drawing board.

$30 diy dining room light | via: chatham st. house

I finally caved and decided to go the spray paint route, using the metallic wax finish as a top coat. This gave it the burnished brass look I was looking for. Finally I cut off the worn out fabric casing on the cord and carefully wrapped it in electrically tape, keeping it the original black.

So, a couple of notes for those wanting to attempt this at home:

  1. Prime your surface first
  2. Spray paint will give the smoothest, more finished look
  3. I highly recommend DecoArt's Metallic Lustre Wax Finish as a sealant. It dries rock hard and looks divine
  4. Thin the wax finish with water before applying, a very small amount will do. This will allow the spray paint undercoat to partially show through
  5. Polish the finish after it dries. The more you polish, the shinier it will become

I'm very happy with the results and will be on the hunt for more thrifty light purchases in the future. It only gets easier with every project, right? right...? - b. 

$30 diy dining room light | via: chatham st. house
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