How to Paint Outdoor Light Fixtures

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Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape

  • Newspaper

  • Dropcloth

  • 180 grit sandpaper

  • Rag

  • Spray primer

  • Several cans of exterior spray paint in the desired color

Instead of buying a new exterior light fixture to match other hardware, change the color and style with spray paint. Painting an outdoor light fixture is a simple project. Exterior spray paint is the best product to use for this application. A wide variety of exterior spray paints are sold at the local home improvement center and are available in many colors. Read the label carefully when purchasing the spray paint. Different types of paint can work better for covering specific materials like plastic, metal, wood, etc.


Step 1

Turn off the power supply to the exterior lights at the fuse box.

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Step 2

Remove the screws from the mounting plate of the exterior light fixture. This will enable you to take the light down for easier painting.


Step 3

Spread the dropcloth and place the light fixture in the center.

Step 4

Use the masking tape and the newspaper to cover any areas of the light fixture that you do not want painted such as glass, hardware, etc.


Step 5

Sand the light fixture lightly with 180 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface. This will make the paint adhere to the surface better.

Step 6

Wipe off any dirt or debris with a rag before painting.


Step 7

Spray the entire light fixture with at least one coat of spray primer before painting. Allow this to dry for 30 minutes before painting.

Step 8

Begin spraying the light fixture. Hold the spray can about eight inches away from the surface and press the sprayer.


Step 9

Move the spray paint can back and forth, covering the light fixture surface evenly. Take care not to spray too much paint in a single area. This will cause the paint to drip and run.

Step 10

Let the first coat dry for about 30 minutes. Continue to evenly spray the light fixture with as many light coats needed to give the piece a nice new finish.


Step 11

Allow final coat of paint to dry for at least an hour before remounting the light fixture. Once the light fixture has be rehung, turn the power supply back on and test the light.


Be sure to use an exterior paint suitable for the type of surface you plan to cover for the best results.


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