If you have been following my blog, you may remember this light fixture that I
rescued bought at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
Originally I thought about using it as a light in our foyer, but that plan changed after I found myself drooling over these lanterns at Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. I love going into PB & RH, but rarely have the nerve to plunk down the money they want to
claim from my wallet.
Instead, I decided to transform my dated light fixture from the ReStore into a stylish lantern.
This is a relatively easy project that anyone can do! Yes, that means you.
Begin by removing the glass from the light fixture. (A note of caution: You should wear gloves. In other words, do as I say, not as I do!)
My light fixture had little metal prongs that easily bent to release the glass.
Next take apart your light fixture. Just start trying to unscrew parts. If they resist, grab your pliers.
I decided to save the wires, ceiling canopy and other wiring parts. Who knows, perhaps I will want to use it as our foyer light some day.
Okay, okay, also because I am a bit of a pack rat. I’m admitting one of my faults here: not being able to throw anything away. Don’t get me wrong, the producers of Hoarders are not knocking down my door, but I would prefer to Craig’s List, FreeCycle, reuse, or recycle anything I can’t use.
When all the parts were separated from the lamp, I needed to break the chain to the top of the light fixture. Here is an easy way to open up links in a chain that is not soldered together.
Place two screwdrivers inside the link you want to break. Lean one to the left and one to the right and apply pressure in opposite directions. The link should separate enough for you to remove the chain.
While the lantern is in pieces, you can rough up all the metal surfaces with sand paper. I actually did this to all the parts so I could paint them and potentially use them in the future. Wipe off the metal with a damp rag to remove any particles.
Now, you can re-assemble your light fixture (using only the parts you need to make your decorative lantern.)
I used brown Rustoleum spray primer. I like using a darker primer when my top coat color will be dark.
Be sure to rotate the parts and the lantern so you get all the sides coated with primer.
Now the most gratifying step, spray your lantern with your finished color. I coated the lantern with 3 light coats of a satin black spray paint to allow the lantern to look less new and more like old rustic iron.
And here is my new (old) Pottery Barn inspired lantern! $5 for the lantern + $6 for spray paint = $11
What do you think of that, Mr. Pottery Barn merchandiser who wants to charge me $59 for the same size lantern?
Update: I received several emails and comments on this lantern and a few of you have been inspired to create your own! If you post it in your blog, I’d love to share your results.