Upgrading a Brass Light Fixture for Under $10

I’ve mentioned before that the previous owners of our home did a few updates to take it out of the 80s and into the 21st century, but this last year we’ve been changing quite a bit out in order to make it a bit more modern.  So far in the last year we’ve changed out all the cabinet hardware, door handles and faucets and bath fixtures to ones that have an oil rubbed bronze finish.  We were looking at replacing the light fixtures as well, but after spending so much money on all those other things, I just couldn’t bear to spend more right now.  One day when we were at Lowe’s I saw a can of Rust-Oleum spay paint in an oil-rubbed bronze finish and thought “we can spray paint the light fixtures ourselves!”  Now keep in mind we’re not really a family of DIYers, so this was actually kind of funny

So we decided to start with the back 1/2 bath light fixture that is right off our kitchen, I figured if we screwed up badly, it would be the cheapest one to replace.  The lowest priced oil-rubbed bronze similar bathroom vanity fixture we found was $24.98 and it didn’t even have any ‘bronze’ accents, it was just a flat black finish.  You can see in the picture above how tarnished the fixture actually was after 27 years.  The finish was really starting to peel off in some places.

We began with taking it off the wall and removing all the pieces.  I washed the glass shades in the dishwasher so they came out clean and sparkly   I thought for sure I had taken a picture of it before we took it off the wall, or while it was on the floor waiting to be painted (that only took us a number of weeks ).  But alas, I cannot find it.  So here is a picture of it just prior to us painting it.

This was so easy! (says the woman who only took the pictures .)

We taped up all the electrical parts with painters tape.  Set up some cardboard and Styrofoam out on the driveway and went to town spraying everything with the paint.  Following the instructions on the can we let the first coat dry for a while and then did a second coat.

Then we waited a few days to ensure the paint was set and dry completely and we took some Bronze Metallic acrylic paint and with a child’s plastic paint brush, we brushed it on to complete the ‘bronze’ finish on the fixture.

And Ta-Da!!


And it matches the rest of our store-bought fixtures (faucet, toilet paper holder, towel ring, cabinet hardware, toilet handle) so well for a fraction of the price that we paid for all of those!  Don’t you think?!

oil-rubbed bronze bathroom makeover

Old Shiny Brass Light Fixture – Free
Rust-Oleum Oil-rubbed Bronze Spray Paint (purchased at Lowe’s) – $7.32 (including tax)
FolkArt Metallic Solid Bronze Acrylic Paint (purchased at Hobby Lobby) – $1.42 (including tax)
TOTAL = $8.74

What kind of inexpensive DIY projects have you done around your home?

17 thoughts on “Upgrading a Brass Light Fixture for Under $10

  1. Love it, Tammy!! You've inspired me to do that to our bathroom fixtures! 🙂 Our home was built in 1999, but you'd think it was from the 80's as well! LOL The original owners picked out gold fixtures and doorknobs for the entire house, and it's just not my taste. Excited to try this. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Looks good, and much nicer than the shiny look it had originally. I have lots of DIY projects I mean to do around the house, but I never seem to get around to them.

  3. I did this with some of the things and fixtures in my home when we bought it to update them and make things go with my decor. It's so much cheaper, and just as nice than buying new.

  4. Debra – we didn't use electrical tape, just painters tape. My husband just taped up the wires using the painters tape. Whether we should have used it is another question…which I don't know the answer to 😉

  5. Your update turned out great, and I can't believe the cost! I'm a little too timid to take on tasks like that so I appreciate your admission you started with the cheapest to replace.

  6. I first saw this upgrade done on Pinterest a few years ago and have vowed to do it to any and all fixtures on the new home we plan to purchase. Such an affordable way to stay in style.

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