A new coat of paint can do wonders to revamp your decor. And you’ll be amazed to see how far one cheap can of Rustoleum spray paint can go.
My old and tarnished porch light, floor lamp and dresser pulls were instantly transformed. Now they look like new and I saved a lot of money by not having to replace them. And that makes thrifty me very happy!
At my local hardware store, Rustoleum spray primer and enamel each cost around $4 including tax. The coverage is really great and it comes in several different colors and finishes. I prefer enamel gloss but you can also get matte.
Spray painting is easy to do, keeping a couple of simple things in mind. Following are the step by step photos and a breakdown of how much money I saved on each project, totaling over $200.
How to spray paint metal lights, lamps and knobs
- Clean the surface by washing with soap and water or by using glass cleaner
- Lightly sand to give it some tooth
- Either mask off the area (if painting in place) or put the items on top of a large piece of cardboard
- Paint outside if possible
- Begin spraying before the piece, sweep across it and finish beyond the piece. Try to go at an even speed.
- Use spray primer first. Do two coats, letting it dry for a few minutes in between. Follow up with two coats of the spray enamel.
- Several light coats are better than one heavy coat
Porch light “before” photo
With the outside of the house being recently painted, the old black mailbox and tarnished porch light needed attention. After all, they’re right by the front door, and that’s the first thing visitors see.
I was able to get the mailbox looking pretty good by just cleaning it and switching out the rusty handle. The 15 year old porch light, however, needed more than cleaning.
Porch light taken apart and cleaned
I unscrewed the bottom so I could remove the glass inserts and set them aside. The other pieces were placed on cardboard for painting.
Light fixture masked off
Using painter’s tape, I covered up the light socket. Then I took a large piece of brown packing paper and taped it around the fixture.
Primer coat applied
The light fixture and these loose pieces got two coats of primer.
Porch light sprayed with gloss enamel
Everything was sprayed with two coats of black gloss enamel paint.
Masking paper and tape removed
Porch light “after” photo
Everything put back together. Looks like new!
Floor lamp “before” photo
This torchiere lamp is about 20 years old. The gold finish is tarnished and wearing off.
Here the shade was removed prior to being spray painted. I also masked off part of the cord.
Once again, two coats of primer and two coats of paint.
Floor lamp “after” photo
All shiny and new. Maybe it will last another 20 years!
Furniture pulls and knobs
Dresser pulls “before” photo
These brass dresser pulls are nearly 50 years old. They were really gunky and gross. This is what they looked like after being cleaned. I wanted to give them a more modern look by painting them shiny black.
Dresser knobs “before” photo
The dresser also had knobs.
In this picture you can see that the knobs are screwed onto cardboard for painting. Once again, these received two coats of primer and paint.
Dresser “after” photo with handles and knobs installed
The directions on the can of spray gloss say that you can apply a sealer on top. I called Rustoleum to find out if that was necessary. Since handles get a lot of “handling,” I didn’t want black paint rubbing off. They told me that was an optional step so I skipped it. After several months of use, I’m happy to report that there is definitely no paint transfer. I’m very pleased with the durability as well as the look.
The dresser also had a matching chest of drawers. Altogether there were 21 pulls and 24 knobs.
Breakdown of savings
Total savings: $270.50
Based on the prices in effect today, I would have paid:
$24.00 porch light
$78.00 floor lamp
$153.50 furniture handles and knobs (45 pieces)
-$8.00 primer and spray paint
$270.50 grand total
Now that’s a pretty good return on investment!