I’d never really given these old light fixtures much thought beyond “geez, are these ugly or what?” Once we started on the project, I was going to replace them, but in looking around at fixtures, I find they are very expensive, expensive but feel cheap, or cheap, and look not-quite safe. I looked at vintage fixtures on eBay, and YIKES! decided they weren’t for me. Then, seeing all the lovely shades available on eBay, I thought, why not just paint ours and buy new shades?
And so that’s just what we did. Shades, $3.97 each at Big Orange Box, and one can of Rustoleum, $4 and change at local hardware store. Over the weekend, we took the fixtures down, I scuffed them up with some sandpaper, and we gave them several light coats of paint, beginning with primer. Dan brilliantly pioneered the use of a cardboard box as a spray booth, which worked great. We took them outside to paint, then brought them into the laundry room to dry.
It took a few coats of paint, and I still need to paint the screws securing the shades, but we have lovely new lights, and for about $50 less than the cost of one new light fixture.