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DIY: Upcycling an Ugly Fixture You've Replaced

Last Updated on March 09, 2017 by Angela V | 0 comments

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Part I – An Arch Enemy: Bad Bathroom Lighting

We’ve all seen them. Those ugly, low-cost lighting solutions brought forth by the generic big-box stores. So plain, so abundant, and in way too many bathrooms – including the local 1-of-1,000 pizza joint chain.


Making the switch to upgrade your lighting - and to get more value/appearance - isn’t very consuming (since no one wants a bathroom with fast-food lighting).

It’s choosing the right fixture for you that can be mettlesome (we have over 30k items for instance). If you need help, we have on-hand style experts ready to live chat with you below, as well as a litany of how-tos and best practices in our extensive blog.

Bathroom lighting is an experience, often overlooked, that shapes the way you start your day. Having beautiful, and even, lighting is a great way to start off a day. Uneven lighting, with harsh shadows from a horror movie, can negatively impact one’s outlook without them even realizing it.

Have a beautiful day (with beautiful bathroom lighting).

Part II – DIY Fun with an Old Fixture

You made the switch – now what?

What do you do with the old light once removed from the wall? Sure, you can toss it in the trash, but you’ll also be throwing an excellent opportunity for a DIY masterpiece. Plus, the local landfill could use a break.

UP-CYCLING your old bathroom vanity light is an excellent way to make something from almost nothing. The first act in this lighting renaissance is giving out the structure to bare bones. Chances are, it’s already ready to be reworked, as most of these lights need to be taken apart for removal. Once you have a blank slate, the options are all yours!

Let’s look at a recent Lamps USA project as a demonstration of what you can do.

The Circus/World’s Fair inspired light

For this project, it meant buying a cheap light fixture I would never use the way it was intended. This light was a perfect replica of the ugly thing from a fast food chain posted above.

Here are four steps I went through to create the new accent light.

    STEP ONE - Measure and mark the distance on center between each light socket on a piece of wood. I used a 6' long, 10" wide pine board from the local lumber yard.  

        STEP TWO - Using a 2" hole saw, cut out the holes. 

        STEP THREE - Paint the board how you'd like it to look. I opted to paint with low-cost acrylics that easily sand down. If you do this, a can of spray-on polyurethane is a must.

        STEP FOUR - Attach the lighting hardware to the backside of the board and hardwire it to a replacement lamp cord.

          At this point, you have a floor lamp you can lean on a wall to really grab some attention. You can do all kinds of personal touches from here - special trims and an enclosed backing would be nice touches. I added some sweet Edison Vintage Bulbs from Lamps USA.

          Alternatively, you can keep the hardwire assembly as is, and make a highly unique wall sconce in an artful representation of an era that saw world's fairs and larger than life entertainers - like Harry Houdini.  



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