DIY

The Easiest Way to Paint a Light… Use Spray Paint!

I’m Zoe.
My mission is to teach you to  confidently build magazine-worthy DIYs. I used to be terrified of power tools, which is why I'm a firm believer that ANYONE can DIY.
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Price

>$25

Time

>4 Hours

Difficulty

Easy

This post was sponsored by Krylon. All opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Click here to read our full disclosure.

how to paint a light fixture - close up of gold spray painted light fixture with glass shades

Ever wish you could just paint a light fixture? Maybe you found the perfect light, but it’s the wrong color. Or maybe it’s just time to update a light you already have. 

Whatever your reasoning, I have good news for you: you CAN paint a light! In fact, it’s actually really simple to do. Today we’ll walk you through exactly how to paint a light.

What kind of paint do you use on a light fixture?

Before diving into exactly how to paint a light fixture, let’s talk about what type of paint you should use. I recommend using spray paint because it’s easy to apply, it has great adhesion, and you won’t end up with a bunch of brush strokes or drips.

But don’t just grab any spray paint! Krylon Fusion All-In-One and Krylon COLORmaxx are the best spray paint options for a light fixture. Both adhere excellently to metal (and nearly any other surface) and are a paint and primer all-in-one.

For our light fixture, we opted to use Krylon COLORmaxx in Metallic Gold. It’s more of an antique gold rather than a bright yellow gold, which is perfect for the style of light fixtures I picked out.

Alright, let’s start DIYing!

What You’ll Need

How to Paint a Light Using Spray Paint

New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!

how to spray paint a light text overlay on photo of light fixture painted with Krylon Colormaxx in Metallic Gold

STEP 1: REMOVE YOUR LIGHT FIXTURE

If you are spray painting a light fixture that’s currently hanging, turn off the electricity to the light and carefully take it down from the wall or ceiling.

Taking down the light fixture will ensure you paint every angle of the light fixture and get nice, even coverage. It also requires less prep work because you don’t have to worry about taping off and covering furniture, countertops, walls, etc.

STEP 2: TAPE YOUR LIGHT

Tape off any areas of the light that you don’t want to paint. Tape off the lightbulb socket and the wire compartment on the back of the light fixture.

taping up lightbulb socket on bathroom vanity light

There also might be certain design elements that you want to leave the original color. If so, wrap them up with tape as well. 

STEP 3: PREP YOUR LIGHT FIXTURE FOR PAINT

The great thing about Krylon spray paints is that they require minimal prep work.

Depending on the age and condition of your light fixture, you might want to first wipe off the light fixture with a degreaser like TSP. If your light fixture is new and clean, you can just wipe it with a damp cloth to remove any dust.

If you’re using Krylon COLORmaxx spray paint, you can also first prime your metal with Krylon COLORmaxx Primer for increased paint adhesion and durability if you choose. We skipped the additional primer and still had great results!

STEP 4: SPRAY PAINT

Place your light fixture on a tarp in a well-ventilated area.

Apply your spray paint in light, sweeping coats. As you’re spray painting, always keep your paint can moving for a smooth, even finish.

I applied a total of 3 light coats to the entire light fixture. Once I finished the first coat, I immediately went back to the beginning and started the next coat.

spray painting metal bathroom light fixture with Krylon Colormaxx in Metallic Gold

After spraying every angle you can get to in the current position, wait 20 minutes and then flip the light fixture over.

Apply multiple light coats to the rest of the light fixture. As you’re painting, look at the light fixture from every angle to make sure you’ve evenly covered the entire light.

backside of light fixture with tape covering all wires

One thing I love about Krylon COLORmaxx is the anyway spray capabilities. You can spray at any angle, which makes it a lot easier to get every angle and in all the nooks and crannies without having to reposition the light a million times.

From start to finish, spray painting two light fixtures took us approximately 30 minutes. Once we finished painting, we let the spray paint dry for an additional 30 minutes and then took them upstairs to install.

side by side of original chrome light next to spray painted gold light

STEP 5: REINSTALL YOUR LIGHT FIXTURE

Before going to reinstall your light fixture, confirm that the electricity to the light is off. Once it’s reinstalled, enjoy your “brand-new” light fixture as normal!

gold painted light fixture with glass shades hanging in bathroom

There you have it! Now you know how to paint a light using spray paint. The process is quick, straightforward, and inexpensive. You can transform any light fixture for just a few dollars! The question is…what color will you choose?

For more inexpensive and impactful home projects, check out these other spray paint ideas!

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