How to spray paint a brass light fixture or the RED chandelier in my bathroom (Beach-inspired bathroom makeover part 3)

I am on a mission to replace all the boring, brass, builder-basic light fixtures in my house (with thrift store and yard sale light fixtures I find).  And my guest bathroom was not exempt from this list.

Man, I am failing as a blogger with this bathroom.  How I have no before pictures of the light fixture that was up there, I have no idea???  It is sort of hard to get on camera since the room is small and I did hurry and put up my new spray painted fixture late at night the night before we left for vacation.  So maybe that is why??

Anyway, just imagine an ugly brass light fixture exactly like this:


I had picked up this light fixture at Goodwill a while back for $4.04.  I wanted a light fixture that had that “lantern on a ship look” and I thought this one fit pretty well.


When I was finally ready to paint it, my husband and I discussed a few colors – white, black, gray, and RED!  We had just gotten done watching Design Star on HGTV so I was a little inspired to do something out of the ordinary.  In the episode we had just watched one of the designers wanted a turquoise chandelier and was bemoaning the fact that she didn’t have time to find one – my husband and I were both screaming at the TV – “Just spray paint one!”  Ha!  (Which she totally did end up painting a chandelier turquoise for her space. Smile)

So let me walk you through how to take a boring, brass chandelier into something fun and much more modern for your house.

Depending on your light fixture or chandelier you will need to tape off or remove any glass.  If you are working with a paned glass chandelier like this usually you can usually remove the glass panes very easily (MUCH easier than taping it all off.)



Just undo the screws (mine had them on the top and bottom – I unscrewed the screws on the bottom.)  When you do that it will loosen the metal “arms” holding in the glass.  Then you can remove the glass panes one by one.


After all the glass is removed, screw the light fixture back together.  Then you are ready to paint!  Make sure your light fixture is completely clean from dust or grime.  And stick a paper towel or newspaper in the light socket to prevent paint from getting in there.


I hang my light fixtures outside on a garden hook (aka: “my light fixture paint booth”) to paint them.  That way I can get all angles.  I always prime metal with spray primer before painting it.  If I am painting it white, I will use white primer.  If I am doing a darker color, I will use gray primer.

When you prime or spray paint LIGHT, even coats and multiple coats is the key!  LIGHLTY spray a coat of primer – do not completely cover the original color in this coat – you should still see tons of the original finish after this coat.  Depending on how hot it is outside – it will dry quick.  So you can easily do another LIGHT coat in 5-10 minutes.  Check the back of the can for detailed instructions.


I did 3-4 light coats of primer before I had the entire thing covered in one good coat.  Then do your top coat the exact same way – LIGHT, even coats.  DO NOT try to cover the primer in ONE coat – you will get runs in your paint.

Here is the RED going on the light fixture – this is probably the 2nd or 3rd coat.


Let your light fixture dry to touch before removing it from your paint area.  Then let your paint cure or rest overnight or even 2-3 days.  This will help get rid of the “spray paint smell” and also help your paint to harden so it won’t chip or get damaged as much when you install your newly painted fixture.

I would have a hard time describing to you how to install a light fixture.  Maybe one day I can do a video or step by step tutorial when I have 2 people to help install and take pictures.    I actually put up this light fixture all by myself one night in about 20 minutes Smile  One tip: I ALWAYS turn off the electrical breaker to the room I am working in just to be safe (they say you can just turn off the light switch but that makes me nervous.)

So now to see it in the room.  Light fixtures are hard to photograph especially when they are on so believe me when I say it looks much better in person! Smile  And you can see some much better pictures of it in the entire room in my final reveal.

I LOVE it! Smile  I never thought I would have a red light fixture in my home (or that I could even convince my husband to have a red light fixture in our home but he totally agreed!)


Here it is with the light on.


Now, if you are observant, you will notice some other changes in these pictures (even though I cropped a lot of it out).  And this is where I get mean Winking smile  You are going to have to wait until next week to see part 4 (and the final reveal) of this beach-inspired bathroom makeover.    I had decorated this bathroom almost 2 years ago (except for the light fixture that I just showed you), but as someone commented on my dining room makeover, just because you decorate a room and call it done does not mean that it is DONE forever and you never make any changes or updates to it.  THAT is how rooms become outdated and stale.  Now, I am not saying that you need to constantly redecorate every room in your house all the time or even every year.  Sometimes it just takes little changes here and there to update it.    Especially if you can do it for NO money or very little money.

So come back next week when I show you the before and after of how I updated my bathroom again! Smile    And don’t forget to be back on Friday to check out my frugal finds from last week.  I found some fun flea market and yard sale finds that I can’t wait to share with you.



  1. Kelly Palmer says:

    Love it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Kathy in NC says:

    Looks great ! Thanks for the details – I’ve been wanting to paint some brass, but thought it would be much more complicated !! 🙂

  3. I love the red color pop! What a great find an a awesome makeover!
    Donna @ My Sweet Things recently posted..Stop to smell the flowers {Gibbs Gardens}My Profile

  4. This is definitely a great idea! I have never thought of these ones before.. Anyway, thanks for the photos and the great instructions as well..
    Karmi recently posted..Sharepoint HostingMy Profile

  5. Margaret says:

    trying to convince my husband that just because a room is “done” once doesn’t mean it’s “done” forever. I bought new things for our bedroom and he moaned so much that the old things are still up and the new ones are in the closet. Maybe if I can get him to go to our daughter’s for a day or two for some reason, I can just change it???

  6. Lucinda White says:

    This was exactly what I was looking for to direct me on how to paint my thrift store brass light fixture to get ready for a party. I think I want to paint it red now.

  7. Love this! I’m doing the same thing for our new house and would love to know what type of spray paint and the color you used? I’m looking for something that’s a deeper ready like yours. Thank you for the inspiration!


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  2. […] a picture).  But here’s a few other ones I have already done and blogged about – guest bathroom, hallway light […]

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