Life has been a little crazy recently and thus I’ve been slightly MIA. There are a lot of changes coming in my near future on the job front, the home front, and the friends front. I’ve been preparing for all of them which hasn’t left much time for writing and sharing.
Lets start with the home front…
Since I’m a renter and don’t want to invest more money and time into something I can’t enjoy long term, my plans and projects have drifted to Brian’s house. Thus, the projects I share with you from now on will mostly take place at Brian’s house. His house is kind of a blank slate, tons of opportunity. That also means that sometimes you get lost in all the possibilities and Pinterest does not help at all, so many great ideas. We have been putting together a plan. We still haven’t nailed everything down or have a set timeline yet but we have started on some of those small no-brainer projects. Those small projects that need to get done that we both agree on. So, we’ve been taking care of those and I just haven’t taken the time to sit down and share with you guys. Case in point, I still haven’t finished sharing the microwave install. I’m finishing the final touches, the post will go up next week.
One of the small projects we recently accomplished was inspired by Katie over on Bower Power, her Front Lights Makeover.
One of the perks of being a contractor is that you occasionally are able to bring home “leftovers.” Things they ordered too many of, things that were ordered by mistake, things that were messed up while shipping, etc. Brian brought home a set of black decorative outdoor lights one day. They ended up being the perfect size to hang on either side of the garage. In our haste to hang these bad boys I didn’t get a great before picture. This was all I could find…
All you can really see is that the old ones were small and brass.
Brian installed the new ones…
They look great! From my research we saved roughly $80 by not having to purchase them. Dolla dolla bills yo!
If you notice in the really old picture, the lights by the front door were a matching brass along with the numbers on the house (seriously, I know you can’t see the numbers, but believe me, they were brass.)
Here is where the inspiration came in…
Katie over on Bower Power shared how she painted her outdoor lights and they looked great. Instead of purchasing new lights for the front door, why not paint them? Worse case scenario, we spend $5 on paint, we hate it, and then we buy new lights. Only $5 wasted with the potential to save roughly $60. So Brian and I got to work.
Katie didn’t remove her outdoor lights for painting because she has stone behind her lights and she didn’t want to risk taking them down and creating instabilities with remounting. Due to the fact that our lights are smaller and on siding we decided to take ours down to paint them. Make sure to turn the power off to your lights before removing them.
Yea, these were looking pretty bad, needed some TLC.
Using painters tape I taped over all the glass. The curved edges were a little tricky. In order to get crisp edges I used an X-acto knife in some locations.
When we unscrewed and removed the top of the fixture our lights set up perfectly when turned upside down. This meant that I didn’t have to tape the inside of the glass for the first phase of painting.
Here is Brian in action for phase I..
You might notice that we took the brass numbers off the house and gave them a little makeover too!
You can also see how I taped completely over the back of the light where the wires are, I didn’t want to risk paint messing anything up. When doing this make sure that you notice where your screw holes are. They all need to be covered so paint doesn’t get through the front or back side of the wire casing. Also, don’t forget to paint the heads of your screws/caps as well because they will be showing when you re-install your light. There are two choices on this front: 1. paint the screws when you paint the light, apply lightly being careful not to get too much paint on the head and hardly any on the threads because that will make your re-install a little more difficult if not impossible; 2. you can always touch them up after you remount the lights with some spray paint on finger or paper towel action. Our screws were more like caps with internal threads, so we set them out on the cloth next to our lights and sprayed them at the same time. We ended up using option number 2 at the end to do some touch up.
We went with plain black Rust-Oleum or “canyon black” to match our “leftover” lights by the garage.
After the first coat was done drying we flipped over the lights and using more painter’s tape we covered the hole on the top. I don’t have any shots of this particular step, sorry. I essentially created a sheet of tape slightly larger than the hole. I stuck the sheet through the hole with the sticky side up and then with some finagling got it to stick around the rim of the hole. Very scientific. Phase II of painting was just painting the top of the main fixture section that was touching the ground in phase I.
Once that paint was dry we were ready to re-install. In the end it took one coat of paint just in two phases to make sure everything was covered (2 coats on the numbers). I promise next time to take more progress photos, my head wasn’t on strait that day.
Here they are re-installed…
Mounting the lights was just as simple as reconnecting the wires, screwing the base into the wall, and then screwing the top of the fixture back on. Nothing difficult.
There is a whole panel that is brass instead of glass on the inside. You can see it in the picture above on the house side of the fixture. We didn’t paint the brass on the inside because we felt like the gold inside wouldn’t be that noticeable. With the house being cream it just blends in to us. If that panel were black it might look a little odd. You agree?
How it all came together…
Yes, it was snowing when I took these pictures, so, pardon the little white flecks.
When we removed the house numbers we realized that the painters didn’t paint behind them. This meant we had to re-install them in the same locations even though that meant that the garage light overlapped them a bit. A problem for another day…
Here are some shots at night.. (Beware, I haven’t mastered our camera’s settings for night time yet.)
All and all, I count this project as a success. Thanks Katie for the inspiration and money saved.
Next time I’ll do better with before shots. That way I can have an amazing before and after shot showdown because this just doesn’t do it for me….