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Before & After: Kitchen Light Makeover

Last Updated on October 6, 2012 by Kristi Linauer

For several reasons that I’ll explain in a little bit, I had grown to really dislike my kitchen light, so I decided to give it a little makeover.  Actually, I decided to use a completely new light base, keep the old shade, and give the shade a fresh new look.  I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, and I love that it now adds some color to my ceiling.

Here’s now the light started out…

I longed for a little color and pattern up there, but there was something else that I disliked about this light.  It uses fluorescent bulbs.  And I guess I’m just politically incorrect, but I absolutely hate fluorescent bulbs. I hate the light they put out (so very institutional), I hate the way they make a room look, I hate they way they make ME look, and I hate they way they make me feel.

When I purchased the light, and it said that it came with two fluorescent bulbs, I thought I’d be able to switch them out with another kind of bulb.  Somehow, I missed the fact that the light was designed to ONLY work with these specialty fluorescent bulbs…that cost $15 each.

I had been living with this light because I paid about $150 for it, and I absolutely hate paying that much for something and then not using it.  But I decided I had had enough after I refinished my countertops and realized that these awful fluorescent lights were making my newly refinished countertops look yellow.

So out with the fluorescents, out with political correctness, and in with incandescents…which made my countertops look gorgeous, by the way.

To remedy the fluorescent-only problem, I went to Home Depot and purchased the cheapest two-bulb “boob light” I could find.  I think it was about $19.

They did have some that were cheaper, but I had to be sure to purchase one that had the…ummm…well…the hole for the nipple right through the center.  (I swear to you, that’s what it’s called!  I’m not making this stuff up!)  😀  I only used the base from the new light.

Then I gave my shade a quick  makeover.  The inner plastic liner of the shade had yellowed over time, which is normal for those plastic liners.

Since I didn’t want that discoloration to distort the color of the new fabric when the light was turned on, I decided to wrap the shade in blackout drapery lining first, before adding my fabric.

As you can see, I just used spray adhesive to attach the drapery lining.

After it was wrapped, it looked like this…

So obviously I just trimmed off the excess fabric as close to the edge as I could.  Then I did the same thing with the fabric.

With the fabric attached and trimmed, I used my hot glue gun and some small bias tape to line the edges.

My lighting makeover needed one more thing.  The old light had a plastic diffuser on the bottom.  But since incandescent lights burn hotter than fluorescents, I couldn’t use the plastic diffuser.  So I headed to a local glass place and had them cut a new diffuser out of glass to fit the bottom of my shade.  They didn’t have any frosted glass on hand, and I didn’t want to wait for a special order, so I just had them cut it out of clear glass, and then I used frosted glass spray to give the glass a frosted look.

And just as I had hoped, when the light is turned on, the color of my fabric stays just as it should.  No distorted color from the discolored plastic liner on the shade.

Now I just have to do a little touch up on my ceiling.  Have you ever noticed how one project leads to another?  No wonder I can’t seem to finish this room!!  🙂

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon @ LilikoiJoy
    October 3, 2012 at 9:54 am

    That turned out fantastic! LOVE that fabric! What a colorful custom touch to your kitchen.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 3, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Brilliant (get it? lol) idea and it looks a whole lot better. I too have one of those lights with the fluorescent bulbs and my white cupboards look yellowish, yuck.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    So smart! I love it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    [email protected] This Top That
    October 3, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    you sound like me although I have never tackled lights. Yet!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Wow, you are really getting things done! Good on ya! It looks great!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 3, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    What a great idea! I love how the light turned out. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Shannon Fox
    October 3, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Saw this on pinterest today! (pinned it of course)
    Love it. SO SUPER cute girl. Adore :)))

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Diane | An Extraordinary Day
    October 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Slam Dunk! I am completely wowed!! Love the green fabric, too!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 4, 2012 at 8:14 am

    What a great idea to spruce up the shade like that! I really like that =]

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Kristi, this is beautiful! I know what you mean about the energy saving lights. I have to have incandescents in my bedroom table lights so I can easily read and in the bathroom because it is so not a pretty sight in the mirror with energy savers… 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 5, 2012 at 6:10 am

    Nice work! It looks really nice. LOL- we’ve called those fixtures ‘boob lights’ for years.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Very cute idea!!!! The green is beautiful and the design is way fun.

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    November 25, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    I’m loving all the great ideas…I will soon be able to implement them in our new home. I wanted to pass along some info that may be helpful. I received an email from a company called Skypanels. They will be having a HUGE Black Friday sale. You might wanna look into them as their product really transformed my previous kitchen. Keep up the good work! 🙂