Sunday, February 12, 2012

Budget Bathroom Lighting Makeover

Gosh, where does the time go? Yes, I've been neglecting The Frugal Tree blog but not without good reason. The main website, Frugal Interior Design needed some attention and I've been busy working on projects for The Frugal Tree at Etsy. After a few, mini-snow "storms" and completing a few home projects, I decided I had better write a post before a Search-and-Rescue party ensues for yours truly.

So, what did I do this weekend? I finally decided to do something about the lighting fixtures in my bathroom. I'm almost embarrassed to show these images. Funny how we find time to help others with their "upgrades" but seem to neglect our own.

Out With The Old

Yes, there was a time when this lighting fixture was cool. Amazing how dated it looks to me now. A few years ago, all the fixtures in my bathroom were converted to an oil-rubbed bronze finsh. My bathroom has some semi-Old World charm. Does this say "Old World" to you? "Ummmm, nah, not so much!" It was the last remaining nickel finished item in the room; albeit, rarely noticed perched up high on the ceiling, but the blue shades? I was OVER IT!!!

I can't say enough good things about this paint's finish. I was truly amazed. It actually DOES look like oil-rubbed bronze. At $8+ a can, it better be good! I was on the fence as to whether or not I was going to do this (use paint) or just buy a new fixture. I saw a rather nice one with a bit more Old World Charm, especially due to the style and shades for a mere $40.00 at Lowes, but seeing as this is a "FRUGAL" blog, I decided to attempt the spray paint process.

Aluminum foil easily covered the sockets to keep them free of paint.

The bad part of the project? Ummmm, near 32 degrees outside with snow spitting and having to work in my basement. Now I hate spray painting inside. For safety reasons, I turned off the heat, opened a nearby outside door, bundled up and sprayed quick short bursts. The house still STUNK for hours despite my efforts. This spray paint definitely has a different odor than normal spray paint but hey, it looks WAAAAAY better than regular spray paint too.

Check out the likeness between the cap color and the lighting fixture's base.

The drying process seemed to take forever and I was so antsy to get the thing back up in place. While it was drying, I decided to work on another project . . .  the crazy vanity lighting (see below). The cabinets in this bathroom were hand-made and as such, things are a bit "customized" and sometimes, not in a way we would like. The two, giant, globe light-bulbs scare the crap outta me. I've disliked them since day one. No other lights would fit up into those sockets because the hole drilled through the wood is a bit on the narrow side and these MEGA GLOBES apparently have just a narrow and long enough neck to reach (lucky me).

Well, I recently have been fascinated with the nod toward "Edison bulbs".
Clear bulbs with a vintage look in which you can see the numerous filaments. I saw the one-and-only style available at Lowes and scrutinized the diameter of the neck. Would it fit? Yes, I could always drill the cabinet holes to a larger diameter but was I that ambitious? Not really, so let's give these bulbs a try. "YAY, they fit!"

A "Scary Bulb" (left), a new "Edison bulb" (right).
Now, what kinda of shade do I want? In a lot of the applications I've seen with these bulbs, you want to "show-off" the filaments and not mask or hide the overall appearance of the bulb.

Seeing as I've been working on projects lately that utilize reclaimed, rusty metal springs, I knew a "spring fixture" would be the perfect answer. After numerous trips from the basement (my work area) to the bathroom for adjusting the metal and the mounting points on my new "fixtures", We Had Success.

These pictures make it look a bit BLAH but I'm quite happy with the outcome. It definitely seems more "vintagey" and better fits the Old World influences and colors of the space.

I can't stop running to the bathroom every few hours to admire the new look. Guess those creepy globe bulbs that reminded me of Mr. Bill's head (see the "Scary Bulb" pic a few images above) had subliminally traumatized my psyche. I'm glad THAT'S over!

In With The "New"
Note, the Frosted White shades.  "Bye, bye blue."

So, for now, a spray painted track light and a rusty spring shade make things
"well in my world".

Sharing this at:
Coastal Charm - Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
At Home With K - Terrific Under Ten Tuesday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Tuesday Treasures
The Brambleberry Cottage - Time Travel Thursday
The Shabby Creek Cottage - Transformation Thursday


  1. OH MY, what a great new lighting the reused metal spiral "hand-created" shade's. Looks amazing. Your creative idea's never cease too amaze me. I need to consult & pick your brain for projects needed at my home.

    Thanks for the updated idea's. Keep them coming:) NonnaG a very loyal follower :)

  2. Great transformation! I would love for you stop by and link up at my linky party via:

    Mrs. Delightful

  3. Johm, very funky and cool...I needed to hear the feedback re that particular spray paint as I am contemplating using it and also have clients that may use it. AWESOME!!! Just found you on "At Home With K". Am now a follower :)

  4. Very cool - those ginormous globe lights scared the bejeebers out of me too so glad to see you replaced them! Love Edison bulbs - and those spring around them are too cool! Glad you liked my wine jug lights - I can't wait to see what you do with yours. I use very thin bulbs in mine - think they are for picture lights. Maybe they will be thin enough for you.

  5. Love the old springs light fixtures!
    Your newest follower, Mary Alice


Show me some love! I always enjoy your feedback and read each and every message!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...