My husband and I recently bought our first house. Nothing fancy, but perfect for us – a townhouse with an unfinished basement that we’re transforming into a nerdcave.  While we’re having the basement professionally renovated, getting the rest of the house together is all in our inexperienced, but capable hands.

Right now we’re focusing on the main floor, which consists of an entryway with a closet,  powder room, and a combined kitchen, dining, and living space.  We have a lot planned, but today I’m excited to share with you my first completed project – refurbishing the overhead light and chandelier in our kitchen/dining space.

Our house is a lot of features that are original to when it was built 20 years ago; we believe these lights are one of them. The chandelier and flush mount ceiling fixture were originally a bronzey-brown color, and had tinted glass bowl covers.  The chandelier’s bowl was tinted an amber yellow, which of course made everything in the room turn a sickly yellow color when the light was turned on. The flush mount ceiling light had a bowl with a grey marbling effect, which looked like a lot of dirt and dust had gathered inside of it. Not very attractive.

I wanted to keep the fixtures, because they are fairly unique looking, but only if we could fix the light covers. Because the light fixtures are so old, and not standard size, there were no available replacement pieces.

But, after a bit of googling, I found a reddit thread that recommended using isopropyl alcohol and a little elbow grease to remove the offending color from the glass.  We were a bit skeptical; it sounded like it was too easy a fix. But it worked like a charm, and under all those layers of paint we found lovely, white, frosted glass. A $5 bottle of isopropyl alcohol saved us $300 or so in new light fixtures.

For the light fixtures, I decided to use the same paint that I used for my Silver Millennium Silverware Chest and Dungeons & Dragons Serving Trays – Martha Stewart chalk paint in Eucalyptus (darker) and Antique Sky (lighter), which I got from Michael’s. I’ll also be using this paint for the back of our kitchen island, and our kitchen backsplash, which I’ll do write ups for once they are all wrapped up.

I did two coats of antique sky, then went over the raised portions of the fixture with eucalyptus. Once the paint was dry, I took a round brush and dusted some gold wax paint over the raised portions of the fixture to give it a bit of shine.

Normally I seal my chalk paint with furniture wax, but I didn’t fancy the idea of trying to re-wax a light fixture every few months. So, I sealed the fixtures with the same Benjamin Moore Staysclear in low lustre that I am using for our kitchen cabinets and island.

Overall, I’m really pleased with how this light fixture face lift came out. Removing the amber yellow paint from the glass bowl of the chandelier really made a world of difference, and with all the money we’re shelling out to finish our basement it’s a bit of a relief not to have to spend more money on something we weren’t planning to spend on. Life’s already full of enough surprises as it is!

House progress feels like it’s moving slowly, but when we’re done with all the major changes in a few weeks (maybe a month?) I’m sure we’ll be very happy that we took this time to create a comfortable, and attractive, living space. Then we can decorate with all our cool nerdy stuff!

Anyhoo, that is all I’ve got for this week, but I’ve got loads of new projects (and old projects) on the go. I don’t know how consistently I’ll be posting new blog entries, but I do hope you’ll check back again soon for more art, crafts, and nerdy nesting!