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Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals. I'm a recovering former vegan and vegetarian, now healing with a nutrient-dense mostly Paleo diet, and love at-home CrossFit and yoga workouts. I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

New mom to baby Otto born April 2018!

Super budget DIY light fixture update for the breakfast nook!

I really feel like I'm going back to my roots with this one! If you look at the "spray paint" tag on this blog you will find posts from ~2009 featuring rust-toned vintage lamp makeover projects (I'm pretty sure plural is correct there) and lots of other very crafty things from the days that birthed Pinterest. I've spray-painted a lot of things that I no longer own.

But, spray paint can be a great tool when used appropriately, and I recently updated a 70's?? light fixture that is just perfect for our breakfast nook!


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Here's the deal. Someday, hopefully in the next year or so but who knows, we'll update our kitchen. New flooring, lighting, cabinets, everything. Our breakfast nook is right off the kitchen so it'll get new flooring too, and I'm sure I'll want the lighting to coordinate with what we use over the sink and in the kitchen. But, our breakfast nook is a really special part of the house and we are making progress on it (lots of old woodwork to paint) and I did buy some cute chairs for it, so it's close to being a spot in the house that feels "done for now" and I want to enjoy. That means, I wanted to remove the 2000's era brushed nickel and modern glass light fixture. (See all the before photos here.)

But I didn't want to spend big bucks on something I will probably replace soon. So I looked at the Habitat for Humanity Restore hoping to get lucky. The one near me gets Rejuvenation donations, particularly lighting, and I did find some great Rejuvenation pieces but no whole light fixture that would work. I actually bought this shade cause I love it, but no pole or cord kit to go with it.

I also bought this brass nautical-look vintage one - I think I paid $5.50 cause all the lighting was half off. I shared both on my Instagram stories and you guys actually liked this one better than the Rejuvenation one! And it was ready to go, so it won.

But the dated brass was not my look. I've been planning on doing some antique brass fixtures in this house, to go with some of our legit authentic antique brass knobs and such, so I tried spray painting it a softer brass.

So why doesn't it look brass in those photos? Well, let me explain...

DIY pendant light spray paint project for the breakfast nook


Here's what we started with. First step was to measure how long it should hang down. We had plenty of chain and cord to work with. I googled it and sounds like ideally you want the light 30-34" above the table, plus an extra 3" for each foot in height over 8'. This ceiling is pretty low so we didn't need to go higher than that. 

Then I took it apart and washed all the pieces (they were dusty).

I bagged the cord so I didn't get spray paint on it, since it was already gold.

Sprayed it gold with whatever gold spray paint I had in my collection.

I didn't take a picture of it after this stage, but..... I didn't like it. It was a sort of green-ey gold, really similar to the same color it was before except a brushed look. Not good.

I had thought a brass look would be more appropriate for it because of the nautical look shape, but I looked around and saw others with that harness look that were black, too. I also am down for black light fixtures in this house! Especially if temporary.

So I spray painted it black--matte black, not the glossy stuff. (You can tell by the sheen of the spray paint container lid, and of course by what it says on it.) Took several light coats. I flipped the chain over a few times to get all of it, and this time I only taped off the unwrapped ends of the cord and sprayed the rest black.

Put it back together, and there it is!

In some of these pics you can kind of see the arched doorway to this cute room, and the fridge sticking out on the side. (It blocks the symmetrical view by 8-10" which is why I'm dreaming of moving it when we redo the cabinets.)

This room gets great light, of course!

It's far from done (still need to paint the built-ins you can see in this photo are still the old ivory), would like a new table, need some window coverings cause it gets so hot in here in the mornings)... but it's feeling very pretty in here.

I always say light fixtures are a fantastic way to update your space for not too much money and it's so fast and easy, but this is the first one we've done in this house, I guess cause while the labor isn't too bad, it takes me forever to choose them!! I hope to replace the ones in our dining room, bedrooms, and hallway soon, but... can't choose!

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