$5 Ceiling Light DIY Makeover
When we bought our new-to-us house, I told Jason that it was basically move-in-ready for me…but that wasn’t really a whole truth. Friend!!! I try my best to be content…and I think I do a pretty good job at it. There’s just one little thing. If I can figure out how to do an update to our house, that isn’t going to cost us much money, I’m all over it. That means, you can often find me cruising thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales, and the Facebook marketplace, looking for items I can do a little DIY makeover on to help make our house feel more like “us”.
These vintage light fixtures are one of the things I found this summer that I just KNEW would make such a huge difference in our space! I found them for FREE on Facebook marketplace, although the picture on the listing didn’t do the lights justice. They looked much smaller than they are, which was a huge win for me! We grabbed them on a Sunday afternoon and then they just sat in our garage. I was busy with other things and didn’t get around to even really looking at them much, for at least a month.
I finally decided it was time to push forward with this DIY light fixture makeover, so I brought the lights in from the garage, took pictures of the top and the bottom of the lights, and started taking them apart. I took pictures so I would know how everything needed to go back together. The two main things that needed to happen for these light fixtures to be used in our house were: rewiring and painting. I wasn’t sure at first if we’d be able to do the rewiring part, but it was ended up being super easy! We grabbed the porcelain light socket we needed from the local hardware store—they were only $2.50 a piece! You can find something similar HERE. That’s the only investment in these lights that we made…other than elbow grease.
After the lights were pulled apart, everything got a fresh coat of matte black spray paint, including the porcelain part of the light socket I’d purchased for each of the lights. The only part of the light fixtures that didn’t get painted was the underside of the light. I didn’t want to paint that because it needs to be white in order to reflect the light from the bulb. Otherwise, it would have been too dark. After spray painting the light fixtures, I realized that there had been some over-spray that had gotten onto the white part of the light. I used cotton pads and nail polish remover to clean it…and it came right off!
Once the paint had dried, it was time to put the lights back together. I referred to the pictures I had taken before I took them apart, so I’d know exactly how to do it. After that, the rest was in Jason’s hands. Eventually I’d like to learn how to install lights, but just haven’t gotten there yet. The only snag we ran into with the lights was that we had to use the old threading nipples that had originally come with the light fixtures, instead of using new ones, because they had apparently been shaved down to work with the lights to begin with. The new ones we’d purchased weren’t going to work, so a little finagling and we were able to use the original ones!
Jason got the first light up and I was so excited!! It’s amazing when something you visualize comes together and, not only works, but looks so good! These vintage light fixtures sold me with their scalloped edges. The remind me of something straight from a Pottery Barn catalog, but instead of costing me over $200 each…the whole DIY makeover project only cost me $5!
The next time you’re feeling like you want to make some updates to your house, but that you don’t have the money to do it…start looking at some second-hand pieces! You really can find so many great things, if you just take the time to think…and look…outside the box!