carriage light Looking for a quick update for lighting fixtures without buying new? If the lights still work, it is amazing the transformation you can make with a can of spray paint.

Instead of replacing the dated shiny brass light on my back porch, I bought a can of exterior spray paint made to adhere to metal. I chose Krylon’s H20 Latex in black – but there are MANY choices – even hammered finishes.

You might be wondering, as I did, if using spray paint at all can be considered a “green” choice. Here’s an article that convinced me that my project met the criteria for being both lean (reusing rather than buying something new) and green (environmentally-friendly).

krylon h20  Krylon’s H20 Latex™, the first 100 percent acrylic latex spray paint, contributes 55 percent less to smog pollution than most solvent-based spray paints. It can be safely sprayed indoors with ventilation.


Krylon’s new EZ Touch 360°™ Dial Spray Tip, on cans of Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Spray Paint and Krylon Brushed Metallic finishes, features the industry’s first adjustabledirection fan-spray tip. When properly used, the tip provides greater coverage per pass and reduced overspray compared to traditional spray paint tips.

Contributing to the reuse of plastics, Krylon’s Fusion for Plastic® spray paint allows consumers to refresh old, worn plastic items with a new finish. By extending the useful life of plastics, the amount of plastic waste flowing into landfills can be reduced.

So, here’s how I completed my project.

  1. Turn off the power to the light fixture.
  2. Tape a brown grocery sack or cardboard box to the house below the fixture to catch overspray.
  3. Carefully remove the glass from the fixture and set it aside.
  4. Unscrew the fixture from the house. I didn’t disconnect the wires basically because I wasn’t sure how to do it. I just taped the wires to the house so there was some slack and let the fixture hang down. This could be an electrical no-no… I’m really not sure – so try at your own risk. : )
  5. Spray away according to the instructions on the can.
  6. Voilà! A new light fixture!

I even used the leftover paint to spruce up a couple lamps with excellent results. I not only saved money – which made my hubby extremely happy – I feel good that my desire to redecorate (which I sooooo blame on HGTV) isn’t contributing to the landfill.

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