Outside the house are a nice matched (or at least close) exterior lights – three at the doors, and two lampposts on the driveway. Before moving in I was sure we were going to replace them. I had even gone so far as to pick out what I thought we would get. But as we got into the interior renovations, we realized that one of the key colors of the house was black – black metal interior railings, black metal supports for the back patio, and black exterior lighting. Cleaning and repainting the railings really made me realize how good they look if you just clean and paint them. Most of these also have an accessory outlet in them, making them super convenient if you need electricity in the middle of the yard (for say, a weed whacker.) So off I went to try my hand at getting these looking awesome.
As you can see in the first couple of pictures, they were pretty whipped. I actually repainted these once back in the late 90’s. Somewhere in the interim, my Grandmother also asked my aunt’s husband to do it – he did it about as quick as you could with a can of spray paint, hence all the overspray on the glass. For this go-round, I took the lights completely apart and scrubbed them, giving everything a good steel wool (000 fine) wipe-down, including the glass. I then hit all the parts with the classic go-to: Rustoleum protective enamel in gloss black – the same stuff I use on everything. As a renovation note: I find you get far superior results brushing on the paint than using the spray paint version. The coverage is thicker and better, and the finish has a much better gloss qualities. Most of these old fixtures are also made of lightweight aluminum, which is easy to maintain and does not rust and therefore is good to keep.
I’m pleased with the results. Of course there are five lights…so I have a bit more work to do:
I have two very similar light post that are in need of repainting and on my list of summer projects. I love when I can grab quick tips off your blog for my projects.
Glad to help! I’m taking your advice on how to automate these lights – I bought some light sensors, so another small project is to drill an appropriate hole in the pole to install the sensor. It then just wires inline to the bulb socket wiring. Since these lights have frosted globes inside putting a screw-in sensor doesn’t work well with it.