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Updated Outdoor Garage Lights

This past weekend Brad and I decided to update our two outdoor garage lights that flank our garage door.

Plan A was to buy two new lights for $20 each and swap them out with our old, haggard-looking lights. But after taking one light off and attempting to put up a new light in its place, we realized the electrical aspects didn’t match up and the part of the new light that touches the brick wouldn’t entirely cover the electrical box. No good.

We didn’t feel like messing with all the electrical nonsense so I proudly announced Plan B– I’d spray paint the lights.

Check out this old gal. Assuming she’s original to the house, she’s 14 years old. I don’t know if she looks good or bad for a 14 year old outdoor light. Regardless, she’s clearly seen better days.

And we’ll skim over the 1/2 inch of dead bug carcasses in the bottom of the light.


Unlike fine wines, outdoor garage lights don’t get better with age.


Oh look, it’s our handy helper!

His newest thing is to say “Cheese!” when he knows I’m taking photos. We’re still working on the look at the camera AND say “Cheese!” part.


I started by taking the light fixtures apart, making sure to save all those little doodads. I’m sure they have a specific name but I’m going with little doodads.


Once I took off the top, I was able to slide out the glass pieces.

Then, after I took this photo, I removed the bottom doodads and the glass-stabilizer-things.


After cleaning off all the parts it was time for spray paint.


I’m a Rust-Oleum girl all the way so I went with the Universal black satin spray paint. And for reference, I used two cans.


Here’s everything after one coat of paint.

I spray painted the doodads separately.


After the spray paint had dried, I put both lights back together, and we reinstalled them.

It’s like I gave the light a facelift, neck lift, tummy tuck, AND a new haircut. Welcome to The Swan: Outdoor Garage Light Edition.


50 times better, right?


Side by side time!

Not bad for a $12 makeover.

Outdoor light makeover! How to make your outdoor lights look like new without breaking the bank!

Now go spray paint all your 14+ year old outdoor lights!

Outdoor light makeover! How to make your outdoor lights look like new without breaking the bank!

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  1. Sara Warfel says:

    it’s amazing what a difference paint can make!

  2. Literally every time I am on our front porch or coming in the house I look at our darn lights (that I am pretty sure are the same design as yours) and tell myself they really really need sprayed and it is still on our to do list three years later. I need to bite the bullet and just do it!!! Yours look great!!!

    1. It took us 7 years, so you’d be ahead of us. Hah! It’s a great fix if you’re not wanting to shell out $20-$150 per light for new ones.

  3. Dorinda Selke says:

    Ok now Chelsea – you have inspired me to grab a spray paint can and get going on my outdoor lights !!!! Hugs, Dorinda

  4. The light fixtures turned out great.

  5. Those lights look awesome!

    Also, remember when you said the podcast would be back after the holiday season? Pepperidge Farms (and Kelsey) remembers. Seriously, I miss it and wish you would bring it back.

    1. Hah! I’m actually working on bringing it back. After talking with John from YHL at Haven last month, I felt even more encouraged about bringing it back. First, I need to figure out why my old episodes disappeared from iTunes and Stitcher and get those back on there.

  6. Cheryl Newton says:

    You’ve inspired me! Outdoor lighting fixtures, here I come. Especially you, super-utility (read: ugly) one by the garage back door.

  7. Now why didn’t I think of this???
    I’ve been wanting new lights for a couple years but don’t want to shell out $50+ per light…I’m thinking a couple cans of spray paint should tide me over for awhile….thanks!

    1. Exactly! We were trying to go the cheapo $20 per light route and that didn’t even work for us. No shame in using a little paint to extend the life of the ones you already have. 🙂

  8. This post came just in time for us. We purchased a beautiful but older home that has been neglected. We’re working on fixing things up a little at a time and this is a much cheaper way to breathe new life into outdoor fixtures. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Congrats on the new house! Exactly, no sense in going out and spending $100+ on new lights when you can shell out $12 to make over the ones you already have.

  9. Oh they look great! That paint really is the best. We just moved and I immediately bought oil rubbed bronze rustoleum spray paint to spruce up the cheap looking white lights we had! The difference is always so amazing and rewarding!

  10. Patricia E. Thomas says:

    I love the makeover! Absolutely a fantastic job. I can’t wait to get your emails and read more posts. Thank you for sharing.

  11. This is a great idea! Just curious, what did you clean the parts with before you painted?

    1. Thanks, Cara! We used our air compressor to blow out all the dead bugs and webs (holy grossness), and then we used off-brand Windex to clean the parts. We’re big My Big Fat Greek Wedding fans. 😉 (Hopefully you saw the movie and get the reference. Hah!)

      1. Haha! Yes! Totally got the reference! Thanks for the info! This might become my next weekend project!

  12. Very nice they turned out great~Thanks for linking up to Merry Monday! Sharing on Twitter! Have a great week!

  13. Pat Strange says:

    These look fabulous!! Exactly what I need to do!!

    One question. How does this paint weather? One light is protected from weather on the porch but the other two are exposed on both sides of the garage door.


  14. You are amazing!
    I have lights that have seen better days….I bought new ones….(of course one was actually broken and no longer safe)
    Great job….

  15. The lights look great. I have the same style and you have given me the incentive to paint mine.

  16. Spray paint is a real miracle worker isn’t it? Great save!!!

  17. My outdoor light fixtures could use a makeover like this! I didn’t know they may come apart, I’m going to have to try it. Yours turned out looking better than new! #HomeMattersParty

  18. Looks good. We have been known to spray paint things around our home for a fresh new look.

  19. Now you’ve got me thinking. I think our lights are closer to the 25+ yr old range. I just may need to give them the pain facelift too!

  20. Christina says:

    Great job!!! It look so good. I’m loving your blog!

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