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How to Paint a Bathroom Light Fixture

This post will show you how to paint bathroom light fixture, including how I made over our cheap vanity light fixture for only $16! Spray painting metal bathroom light fixtures is an easy way to make them look brand new.

How to paint a bathroom light fixture

Hello all, and welcome to the second week of the $100 Room Challenge hosted by my friend Erin at Lemons, Lavender, and Laundry. If you missed week one, you can check it out here. I shared before pics, talked about patching and painting, and shared the shelving for the room.

Here are two before pics (the oval mirror has GOT to go), as well as the open shelving we put up. As you can see in the mirror pic with me, the wall where the shelving was was blank before, so this is a huge upgrade. And no other closet or storage in this little powder room—the shelves are great.

small bathroom before pics
Minimalist powder room shelving

How do you paint a metal fixture?

This week we’re tackling the light fixture. Yuck. Here’s a shot of it the way it came when we bought the house. Both of the powder rooms looked like this one—silver with those awful lamp shades.

Obviously a new light fixture wasn’t in the budget this go round, so I removed the shades and bulbs and grabbed ol’ trusty: my flat black spray paint. (If you’ll recall from last week, I also painted the shelving brackets and the toilet paper holder.)

woman taking a photo of a light fixture

To paint this fixture, I loosened it a bit from the wall and slid painter’s tape underneath. I also taped off the socket area for the light bulbs. Then I covered the rest of the area in the disposable plastic drop clothes that are next to the paint area at Lowe’s/Home Depot.

Now some of you are probably wondering: Why didn’t you just take it off the wall? Well, I always advocate DIYing to your own personal comfort level, and I am not comfortable working with electric. It’s on my list to learn some minor electrical skills from a professional, but I am not keen on DIYing plumbing and electric. Besides, this wasn’t that bad.

Painting a Metal Bathroom Light Fixture

How to spray paint bathroom light fixtures

If you want to remove your light fixture from the wall, make sure you turn your power off first and have someone with you who knows what they’re doing. If you get it off the wall, you can easily coat this with a few coats of spray paint. Remember to do several thin coats to avoid drips.

If you use a spray paint that has a primer built in, you don’t need to prime the light fixture first. I also didn’t sand the fixture first, but I know a lot of people recommend using very fine-grit sandpaper to “rough up” the metal surface before painting. Since this wasn’t a high-traffic piece and I wasn’t worried about scuffs, I opted against it.

To keep the spray paint from going EVERYWHERE, I just painted in small spurts. I had the fan on in the bathroom and wore a mask since air circulation isn’t great in a small powder room. Once everything was dry, I removed the plastic and tape and retightened the fixture to the wall.

Finding new shades

Then it was time to tackle the light shades. Ugh, I hate these things. HATE them. I ended up using two new shades from Lowe’s. Nothing fancy, but enough to beautifully upgrade this piece on the cheap.

Once I popped the new shades on, it was done. What do you think? Massive upgrade in my opinion! You can also see I upgraded the mirror already, and I love it. It’s this mirror from Target, except in black. Unfortunately I don’t see the black one on their website anymore. I chose Target for the mirror because I had a $20 coupon to put toward it, which helped defray my costs!

ugly old vanity light shade
vanity light shade
painted bathroom light fixture
painted bathroom light fixture
painted bathroom light fixture

For more quick projects to improve your home, see my post about how to recaulk wooden stairs, how to decide whether to DIY or hire a pro on a big project, installing luxury vinyl plank flooring downstairs, and how to hide TV cords in a wall!

Also make sure to check out the whole finished powder room. Here’s a peek at it! We were able to give this tiny powder room a huge makeover for not that much money 🙂

painted bathroom light fixture

Pin my tips about how to paint metal bathroom light fixtures!

collage that says update a powder room light fixture

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  1. This is our Bliss says:

    Looks SOOO good!! And that mirror…oh yes!!

  2. Erin- Lemons, Lavender, & Laundry says:

    I need new globes too… While it may not seem possible, mine are worse than yours. Seriously. They’re awful. Hoping to find some cheap (BETTER looking) replacements this week.

  3. Wendy says:

    Wow, it’s amazing how much impact just changing the shades make! I also love that mirror!

  4. Meredith at The Palette Muse says:

    I love the flat black accents, what a difference already! And that’s a great idea to loosen the fixture a little to tape behind it. I never would have thought of that. It’s looking great!

  5. Kate says:

    What a difference, Brittany! The spray paint and the new shades make SUCH a difference. I am amazed, time and time again, that seemingly small decor changes can make a huge impact. Looking forward to seeing your full reveal!

    • Brittany Goldwyn says:

      Thanks Kate! I agree! I was almost too lazy to paint this one, too. Glad I went for it.

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