When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. A few weeks ago I ordered a pair of swing arm sconces from Overstock, thinking they would look exactly like their advertised picture. Silly me. Instead of a beautiful antiqued brass finish, as advertised!!, they were oil rubbed bronze. I.e matte black with an almost unnoticeable hint of shine around the curves. Two lessons came out of that purchase. One – I’ll never share sources for my own purchases on the blog unless I’ve received my product and am happy with it (I know I should have done that anyway, but I was exited about my finds and wanted to share with others looking for similar fixtures for a bargain). Second – be more careful with discount sites like Overstock. In the end you get what you pay for.?
Still, I loved the shape (which is why I ordered them in the first place) and at $36.5 they were a steal. If you’ve ever done some light fixture shopping, then you know you can’t beat that price. Sooo…. I decided to keep them and the way I saw it, I had three options – leave them alone and be happy with dark sconces, move them to our bedroom, or paint them. I left them alone for about two weeks pondering carefully what to do. They didn’t look bad but the walls in our living room are dark and I needed some spark to bounce off the light and bring in more shine. An antiqued gold look was my initial design plan so the idea of painting them kept creeping back in.
But I’m not big on DIY. It is usually my last resort and I have never used metallic paints before so I was afraid I was gonna mess it up. I had read some horror stories about gold paint in a can and how it looks nothing like the real thing, The words KITSCH and CHEAPO were tossed around.There’s nothing worse than cheap-looking, platic-y ?brass on any fixture / hardware, in my opinion. As it turns out, there are many bloggers reviewing metallic spray paints and I read all I could find on the subject. I’m glad I hesitated and took the time to do some proper research. In the end, I decided upon Rust-Oleum. I love their products, I’ve used their high-gloss black spray paint for a project last year in Urbana, and the coverage was awesome, the flow was just right and the can had enough paint to cover a hippopotamus.?
Armed with research, I was now pretty confident so, on my next trip to Walmart, I picked up a can of Rust-Oleum 2x Ultra Cover, Paint + Primer in Metallic Gold. It bonds to wood, metal and plastic and it’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Be careful though, the pieces you paint may be used indoor or outdoor, not the painting itself. You should always spay paint outside or in a well-ventilated area, preferably with a mask. Those fumes are toxic.
I had a small metal curtain rod in a similar finish as the sconces so I tested my paint before spraying the sconces (I’m not completely crazy). It worked!!!! So, I carefully unscrewed the sconces, removed the lamp shades and started spraying.?The whole process lasted less than half an hour + dry time and I am so happy with how they turned out!! They are perfect and the gold is so warm and pretty, it doesn’t look cheap at all.
Of course, I had to update the shades first. I love the look of Empire shades on anything really, and I had previously ordered two shades from Amazon. As I was checking the link to include it in today’s post, I noticed their price went up (I bought them for $12.96 each, they are now $19.99). Boo.?
In the end, I won’t say that I prefer these DIY sconces over, let’s say, Circa Lighting or Visual Comfort’s glorious swing arm fixtures because I don’t. I’d much rather buy the real thing. And I will one day, when we’ll had settled on one continent or another, but for the time being I’m happy! With $50 spent per sconce, plus a little elbow grease, I have a pair of lovely fixtures above our living room sofa that not only didn’t break the bank but came with a story and a lesson.?I’m down with that.