let there be [better] light

Back sun-room light fixture
One thing our house definitely did not come with was noteworthy light fixtures. In most rooms, you will find a non-nondescript brass fitting with nothing but a naked bulb glaring down at you. Charmingly simple? Industrial? Shabby Chic? Maybe not...

The one that plagues me the most is in the back sun-room at the entrance we use daily. Even though we rarely turn the light on, the barren bulb still greets me right when I come in the door.

Since this is one of our homiest rooms, I wanted to find an equally welcoming light fixture, without spending hundreds of dollars. Naturally, the first place I looked was Restore. I just so happened to wander in on day when all light fixtures were half off. The little lantern I had my eye on was a whopping $8 before the sale.  :)

I bet a lot of people walked right past this poor little lantern without even giving it a second glance. My husband was quick to voice his opinion that it looked "old" (even though our house was built in 1922...), but I saw pure potential in this little gem.

$4 lantern before the makeover.
I thought the brass and frosted flower designs on the glass were what really made it look dated, so I was planning to spray-paint the brass parts glossy white and frost the glass over completely. It would be a plain and simple makeover.

BUT THEN...during a fitful cleaning frenzy in the basement, I came across the leftover scraps of window film from our upstairs bathroom project. "Why did I save these pieces!?" I grumbled and flung them over my shoulder into the trash, just as the light-bulb went on over my head. After some quick measurements, I realized I had literally just enough (down to the inch) to cover the glass of this lantern. I pinched myself and then got to work.

Here's what I did:

- I disassembled the lantern as best I could. I had really hoped I would be able to get the glass panels out, but no such luck without breaking something. This was as "disassembled" as I could get it.

Sorry for the blurry photo, but I was excited to get started.

- So I taped it all up with painter's tape and pieces of paper painstakingly cut to cover each glass panel
- Spray-painted the whole thing white with white Rustoleum
- Traced and trimmed out the glass shapes onto my window film
- Applied window film
- Squealed with delight at the result
I realize the suspense is agonizing, but you'll just have to wait for the "after" because my work here is done. (AKA I don't trust myself to mess with electricity, so I'll need to get help hanging it.) Stay tuned!

So here it is!

Quite an improvement, if you ask me! :)