DIY · Home Depot · Painting

Et de Deux – Light Fixture Change-Up


There it is – The second of the two traditional ceiling light fixtures transformed!

Jogging your memory for you:

IMG_0830 IMG_0829

Lovely if you like traditional.  Not so much if you don’t.

One day, perusing through Pinterest as I tend to do far, far too often, I came across a blogger who made her rental unit more her style by changing the ceiling fixture.  She did a beautiful job, I watched the video, start to finish.  It was veeeerrrryyy long.  She made the shade from cardstock – clamped and glued, covered it with wall paper- clamped and glued, put in decorative brad clips on the seams like cute little buttons.  She made the diffuser (that thing that covers the bulbs so that when you look up you don’t burn your eyeballs ) from a strong plastic sheet of something that she painstakingly taped the edges of and slowly cut so it wouldn’t chip and shard into splinters and then she still covered the plastic with linen fabric and Mod Podge.  All this would probably take quite a few hours.  And then it hit me. I am SO not that girl.  She has patience I could only hope to one day (when I’m dead, probably) attain.

So being the shifty short-cutter type that I am, I began to devise my plan on how to get the look, for less work, less money and less patience!

Here’s how I pulled it off.

Old lamp shade. Can you tell it’s mint green?  Why did I ever buy a mint green shade?  MUST have been on sale.  Again, nice if you have pastel colours in your home.  I don’t.


Let your imagination go here.  You could do any pattern you like.  Stripes are easy.  I eyeballed them but if you care more than me, you can measure.  Big polka dots would be awesome too.  You could just go with a solid colour or divide it horizontally in two and paint two colours, or like my patient fellow blogger you could cover it with wallpaper or a map or fabric.  Whatever you have on hand!.  It’s pretty limitless.


Spray or brush on the paint of choice. I bought this cool little device from the Home Depot to help keep that paint from sticking to my fingers.  Works like a charm on any brand of aerosol paint.  Around $6.00. I won’t include that price in my total cost, since I will use it every single time I spray absolutely anything.  I’m sure it would work out to pennies a project.

IMG_0916 IMG_0917

Dont forget the bottom rim that you’ll be looking up at – although you probably never will actually look at it.

IMG_0920 IMG_0922

For the diffuser, trace the bottom of your shade on some inexpensive core board.  Score the edge first go round, then cut through.  Be sure to use a cutting board or something under the core board so you don’t wreck the table (such a cautionary tale I could tell…).

IMG_0923 IMG_0926

Remove the old light fixture cover, leaving the guts and bulbs in tact.  Attach the lamp shade.  In my case, I used the old fixture’s existing screw-in middle post (bonus!) slipping it through the centre hole of the lamp shade frame and tightened the bolt as high as it would go.

Unfortunately for me, my hallway and livingroom still have popcorn ceiling – the only places left in the house.  Even with protective eyewear, I still managed to get some in my eye.  Be careful, people.  It hurts.

IMG_0930 IMG_0931

Insert the core board diffuser.  See how your eyeballs are protected?  Nice.  And a pretty stripey pattern when the light’s on.


Now, Patient Blogger said to leave space for air to circulate so it won’t overheat, but if you look at the old light fixture, it was tight to the ceiling, so I’m not sure that’s necessary.  As it turned out, I had space between shade and ceiling because the lightbulbs wouldn’t let the wire frame any closer.

But here’s what I found, dang it all.  I need to do two coats to have a more solid finish when you turn on the light.  A little too transparent for my liking…but that’s an easy fix.

The total cost of the project, you ask?

Lampshade, left over paint, tape : free – from my stash

Core Board: $4.00

The time invested, you ask?

If you don’t count the time waiting for the paint to dry, maybe an hour and a half actual “labour” – (if you call sitting in the sun painting, labour) taping, painting and installing.

Now all my light fixtures are un-traditional…like me!





47 thoughts on “Et de Deux – Light Fixture Change-Up

  1. Love what you’ve done. If you say that girl on the video has more patience than you, then I have even less patience than You 😉😄😀. I have a spare room with just a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling, and I keep putting off finding a shade for it. Lazy, lazy me! 😆

    1. Ohhhh okay – you win! Maybe I’ll think of a painless, inexpensive, super-fast solution for you…WALMART! but only if you live where Walmart exists. If not, replace that name with your closest super cheap store. You can do it AlyZen!! I got your back!

  2. Wow, that looks amazing! I love that whole hallway & surrounding area, actually. The light really works perfectly there.

  3. I love this! Core board is such a great idea for the diffuser. I had no idea the light would filter through so well, and attractively. I need to know what that gorgeous dark gray paint color is! Please tell. Do you have the paint colors you’ve used in your house posted anywhere on your blog?

    1. The gorgeous gray colour is no longer made, but Benjamin Moore Metropolis is a pretty close match (I always colour match my paints – B.M. Is too expensive for me). I have a few different whites, all yellow or grey undertoned -I should really keep track! And the blue/green/grey in the kitchen is Peppertree by Dulux(or ICI or Glidden- all under the same umbrella but I get it mixed at Home Depot). Thanks for asking!

  4. How fabulous is this! I’d love to totally steal this idea for my girls bedroom. I think this is a really creative and inexpensive way to get rid of ugly fixtures. Even in a rental. And I agree with everyone else, your hallway is pretty fab.

  5. Je pense que c’est terrifique! (If we’re going with French.) And I love the geometric patterns on the blonde wood!

  6. I don’t have many ceiling fixtures but the few I have definitely need updating. Such great ideas: this post and the one before with the wire cage. I know it’ll be something with paint and on-hand gear. Thanks for the inspiration. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  7. The old lamps would *almost* fit our decor (the house was built in 1957 and retains most of that era). If your new look would fit in my house I’d be doing it – especially this one! BTW…in your background photo, is that map thingy a tray or a table top? My husband would LOVE that!!

  8. It is so pretty and cool now, such a great idea and I just shared it in my “DIY, JUST DO IT” Board in Pinterest 😉

  9. I absolutely would try it! I don’t get why this thing is not letting me know when someone has answer my comment. I’m a bit overwhelmed still with the blog thing and understanding how it works. I posted this in one of my pinterest boards. I’m not sure how to do it properly so it links here, I asked wordpress and they sent me some links to read, so I’ll tackle those these weekend! Have a great weekend, sorry I didn’t see your comment! xx

    1. You are too funny! I wasn’t ever offended! Blogging is a weird thing to get used to. Some of the blogs I follow were dropped from my list but not by me. Strange indeed! I very much appreciate your pinteresting my stuff 😉

      1. 😊 I guess I have to take it easy and be patient with it! Thank you for the advise! Do you recommend to upgrade to Premium instead of free with WordPress ? I’m about to!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s