We’ve lived in our house for exactly four years now — Thursday is our move-in anniversary — and so I celebrated a little early by doing something that’s been driving me crazy since we moved in.
I have no idea why it took me FOUR YEARS to tackle such a simple project, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes.
You see, our builder-basic house (or “builder-blah,” as I like to say) came with plain white outdoor light fixtures. I suppose the builder chose white so the lights blended in with the windows and trim, but there was absolutely no contrast against the latte-coloured siding. They weren’t even a shiny white — just a primer-y, dull white that was starting to rust. Yuck.
So one sunny afternoon, I rounded up a roll of painter’s tape, a couple of clear garbage bags and the can of spray primer + paint I’d had for ages (Krylon’s Brushed Metallic in their oil-rubbed bronze satin finish).
Fall is a actually a great time for outdoor painting projects because it’s nice and cool, and you’re not battling the humidity during the drying time. On this particular day, though, it was definitely too windy for an outdoor spray paint project. Luckily, those minor details never stop me.
I considered taking apart the light to remove the glass panes but the screws were rusted on, so I just taped over the panes to protect them. Then I awkwardly wrapped clear plastic garbage bags around the light fixture, trying to prevent overspray damage. The wind did not like this, and it kept trying to rip the plastic off so I’d ruin our siding.
After many, many pieces of painter’s tape and a lot of struggling, I had covered a decent-sized area around the light fixture and decided to go for it. I shook the can for the recommended 1-2 minutes (maybe not quite that long, because it’s boring) and started spraying the first fixture. The primer-like finish of the light accepted the paint beautifully, so I only needed one coat.
I pulled down the plastic right away and peeled the tape off the glass panes so I could admire the new light. It had taken all of 15 seconds to paint, and it looked fantastic! I shuffled down the porch to tackle the other light, and then hauled my gear around the house to do the other two.
The wind was even stronger at the back of the house, so there was no chance the plastic bags were going to lie flat against the siding. So I taped around the lights a bit, and then held a piece of cardboard against the siding to protect it from overspray — moving the cardboard as I worked.
In less than an hour, I used a single can of spray paint to get four completely new-looking outdoor light fixtures. They really pop against the light siding, and I can’t believe it took me so long to get around to doing it.
It was an easy project, too. I may have gotten a teensy bit of spray paint on the siding of the house (shhhh) but I scrubbed it off right away before it dried. Mostly. Anyway, the lights are totally worth it.