Friday, January 25, 2013

Hmm....Schoolhouse Light Fixture

As promised, a post not about the baby!

A couple of weeks ago, I came across At Home on the Bay's DIY schoolhouse light fixture, and I fell in love with it. (And, in fact, with her whole house/blog). She was, in turn, inspired by the lovely but expensive fixtures at Schoolhouse Electric.


I commented that I knew I needed one in my house SOMEWHERE, and I wasn't kidding. After thinking about it, I remembered that, in fact, my house is filled with ugly boob lights, and all of them need to be replaced! I keep meaning to do a whole blog entry giving a tour of the strange and discordant collection of light fixtures that came with this house. Some of them are great and appear to be pretty high end. Some of them have not been touched since the house was built in the mid-80's. Anyway, I decided on the fixture in the center hallway downstairs at the first candidate for replacement.



And, then, on that same trip to Home Depot, the night before Abe was born, when we bought shelf brackets, we picked up the same light fixture as in the picture above, for $29.97:






....along with a can of purple spray paint. Nothing else has been done in that hallway. It needs painting, and it needs some art on the walls, and it might just need a custom built shelf for baby toys and books in an unused corner if I can get my husband to build me one. But you have to start somewhere, right?

I opted to leave the oil rubbed bronze finish on the metal part of the light. I taped up the glass with Frog Tape, leaving a 1 1/4 inch stripe all the way around.




Then I took it outside and painted it, doing several light coats. When I took the tape off, it was....less than perfect in a few places, but I decided to pretend that wasn't happening.


Then Dave hung it up.



....which is when I noticed that my line is slanted. Hmm. Also, I had decided not to do the pretty little silver stripe along either side of the big striped like in At Home on the Bay's version, but now I'm thinking that might have been a mistake, and I might take it down and do it after all. But I'm afraid it would just accentuate the crookedness of the purple stripe. Also, look--now we need to paint the ceiling where the old fixture was! And that old yellow REALLY doesn't go with purple (I picked the purple because I like purple with my Nantucket Fog; I haven't decided yet what color that hallway is going to be. Umm, something else that goes with purple?)

So, anyway. My finished project does not quite live up to my vision. But let's just compare it to what was there before to make me feel better:



Crookeder, but still better.

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18 comments:

  1. I had a heck of a time taping my IKEA pots when I copper leaved them back in December, so I know exactly what you went through. I ended up free-handing my line...

    Still, I would say your new light is a huge improvement! :9

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  2. I would just make your stripe thicker using a laser level. It is a dramatic improvement over the boob light though.

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  3. I really like it. MUCH better than boob lights. We had boob lights all over our basement when we moved in. They were the first to go. I love the lavender stripe.

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  4. Ugh, boob lights! They are the worst! I really like the school house light - it looks so much better! I tried to paint a thick stripe on a fishbowl once and I just couldn't get it straight. I wonder what the secret is?!

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    1. I know...the original blog entry made it look so easy!

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  5. HUGE difference over the boob light. I have four hundred boob lights (not really, but almost) in my house and that is a great solution. I can promise that any attempt at a straight line I would make would look a lot crookeder than that. :)

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    1. by my count, I have at least 5 more to deal with, so I'll get a lot more chances to practice coming up with better solutions!

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  6. I just learned laser levels are like $14.

    I'm also obsessed with this DIY, so kudos for taking it on. It looks a million times better than the stripper boob going on before.

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    1. I bet at some point someone thought that old boob light was really classy. At some point being circa 1986.

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  7. I do not mind the boob lights, as long as they are in a finish I agree with. I disagree strongly with that fancy antique brass thing that was happening with that particular one. I have actually purchased a boob light or three on purpose, and I have no regrets.

    I like the new light. I like the purple! I have purple like that in my hallway too, you know, my purple bench. Grey, and purplish grey, goes with purple, and also with Nantucket Fog. And then you can carry it on into the den...

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    1. I love your purple bench! My mom says she's heard you're supposed to have one black things in every room; maybe we should change it to purple. I was thinking of painting the hallway purple or gray-purple....I'm itching for a purple room, but I don't really have a place for one; I could get my fix with the hallway.

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  8. The first thing I did when I bought my house was swap out all light fixtures for the Schoolhouse ones. I found mine at Lightingdirect.com and Amazon.com. Except that I found the globe to be too thin, so I swapped out some of the globes for the fan globe replacement light at Home Depot (for $4). I never thought of doing this with the stripe! What a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. it definitely looks better, and the crookedness adds charm. :)

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  10. This is beautiful! I love old schoolhouse light fixtures as well! I have the perfect place to put one of these!! Thanks so much for sharing! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! New follower!

    Jenna @ http://rainonatinroof.com

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