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{bad, bad brass = fake schoolhouse light}

I have slowly replaced almost all the builder lights in my house with those that fit my style more and have a little more character – one of the last rooms being kdin’s room (my 11 year old son).

I come across a ton of cheap chandeliers @ goodwill that have potential and a ton of 80’s brass crap with zero potential (at least for my style anyways).  So when i saw this cute brass fixture for $8 bucks i snagged it up.  It has all the lines of the old galvanized schoolhouse lights that i love.  I love anything galvanized….sigh….

santihome, hometour 041

Anyways, i painted it with a silver metallic spray paint (no primer, just a few light coats of the spray paint so it didn’t bubble).  After it was dry it was a little to “new” looking, so i took some American Tradition black glaze and wiped it over the entire fixture and then wiped it off with a paper towel.  It toned down the silver and made it look a little older.  Sorry, i didn’t take a pic before i glazed it…

kdin light 010

I love this light, i love the little holes around the top and i love that its BIG.  We have 1o ft ceilings in the kids rooms and Kdin’s room is fairly big as far as kids rooms go, so this light is definitely able to fill the space well (it probably measures about 20 inches wide).  Much better than the builders “tit” light that was previously in the space (my dad’s name for builders lights, you guys know the ones!)

kdin light 007

Well, i love almost everything about the light except for the actual “light”.  There is a spot for four light bulbs but no cover for the bulbs, its not missing – its just made not to have one.  I looked at home depot and lowes for some type of cover for the bulbs but had no luck.  So i am going to need to rig one up myself, i just need to get creative with it, i have a few ideas but haven’t tried anything yet.  Right now it looks like cow udders – not cute to look up at!  Any ideas?  I don’t mind seeing the bulbs and i love the amount of light that he gets, but i need to make it look not so “udderish”.

kdin light 017

The round part that the bulbs screw in to is about 10 inches – so if you guys have any awesome ideas let me know.  The light covers at lowes or home depot were too small, both width and height wise so its going to have to be something home made.  Or should i just embrace the “udders” and move on?

Post by Sausha

46 Responses to {bad, bad brass = fake schoolhouse light}

  1. Xina August 23, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    A glass?…Plastic?…bowl? Drill a hole in bottom of bowl and attach a long screw in middle to the middle of the four bulbs? I can't explain it better….But LOVE the look! So, the paint don't fleck off of brass??

  2. Anonymous August 23, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    Use different light bulbs, something with a little interest? I did some quick googling

    http://houseofantiquehardware.com/s.nl/sc.9/category.33/.f

  3. Tanya August 23, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    Cute! Maybe a screen made of wire (chicken wire or that sturdier stuff that's rectangle shaped — can't think of the name of it) might disguise the udder situation without blocking the light? When you talked about the size of the inner circle, a pie plate popped into my head. Maybe you could piece holes into one in a decorative pattern, spray it to match the rest of the fixture and then mount it below the bulbs? Good luck!

    • Amanda September 12, 2012 at 11:19 am #

      This is exactly what I thought! Chicken Wire. It would mask but not cover.

  4. Niki August 23, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    Please don't embrace the udders. The least you could do is use vanity bulbs…or something.

  5. Courtney August 23, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    You could get one of those large rectangular covers (just a large flimsy plastic rectangle) that are made for kitchen fluorescents and trace the round shape, cut it out and pop it in? We recently replaced our plastic cover things and they were under $10 from Lowes (near the window section, for some reason)

  6. Amanda @ Serenity Now August 23, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    I love it!!! I also like the idea of using a tightly woven mesh/screen.

  7. Suzanne@Meridian Road August 23, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    If you could find an embroidery hoop that will fit inside the light, could you just glue the outside of the hoop to the inside of the light, and then glue some window screen to the inside of the hoop and then attach it to the inside of the light? Does that make sense?

  8. Ali @ Honey and Maple Syrup August 23, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    That light looks great! Love the finish. And yes, I know what you are talking about with the builders' lights =)

  9. Renee August 23, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    I agree with a previous poster, Some clear Edison style filament bulbs and that thing is set!
    Great job!

  10. clustres August 24, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    If you don't come up with a solution that you like, maybe someday put it on a longer chain and hang it low over a table and the bulbs really won't show. I have a pulley light over my breakfast table and I keep it low. Anyway, great job and thanks for the tip. I have a brass pendant that I want to change and it has a huge milkglass globe shaped like your brass part. I can paint it like yours!

  11. Bette August 24, 2010 at 12:55 am #

    Here's a thought… chicken wire… maybe the tight mesh one… cut to fit.

    I love the light too and what you did with it.

  12. Bette August 24, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    silly me… just went back and read the other coments, and it's been comented a few times already. :-()

  13. Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys August 24, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    The finish is super cool! Great find. Try it with the clear bulbs with the cool filament designs inside.

    http://houseofantiquehardware.com/Tungsten-Squirrel-Cage-Bulb

    Perhaps a round bulb so it won't look so utterish. :)

    I'm sure whatever you come up with will be fab!!

  14. Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys August 24, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    The finish is super cool! Great find. Try it with the clear bulbs with the cool filament designs inside.

    http://houseofantiquehardware.com/Tungsten-Squirrel-Cage-Bulb

    Perhaps a round bulb so it won't look so utterish. :)

    I'm sure whatever you come up with will be fab!!

  15. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper August 24, 2010 at 2:37 am #

    that looks awesome! i am in love with the finish you gave it!

  16. Emily @ Finding My Aloha August 24, 2010 at 4:57 am #

    Lucky girl!! What a find! Love the finish. I got a good chuckle out of the udder comment! I would just buy some round, clear, filament bulbs. Excited to see what you do!

  17. Belinda August 24, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    Wow! I really love how that turned out. I'm interested to know which suggestion you like regarding the bulbs.

  18. Tamra August 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    Try using "Edison" bulbs or the old style bulbs with the filament in them. They won't look so white and since they have that old look it should look ok without a cover.

    They can be a bit pricey but worth it in my opinion.

    http://www.rejuvenation.com has a nice selection or you can google "Edison bulb"

    Love the finish on this BTW!

  19. Tonia @Chic Modern Vintage August 24, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Embrace the udders. It's a fabulous makeover.

  20. the cape on the corner August 24, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    oh no, no…why did it have to be udders! i loved the whole thing til i felt uncomfortable about the udders. please cover those puppies up! great redo, really.

  21. Amanda@The Hand Me Down House August 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    WOW, Sausha! That is amazing! I love the finish on it — it turned out just perfect! Great job!

  22. shara August 24, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    how about some sort of screen or chicken type wire. you could afix it to the edge. sorta industrial. just a thought, but i do love it and the finish is awesome!

  23. porter place cottage August 24, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    I love the light fixture. Maybe some vintage light cages you know the ones from old mechanc trouble lights. That would sure make it look cool! Anywho, love your ideas…such a talented person!

  24. Anonymous August 25, 2010 at 2:55 am #

    i would use clear light bulbs and add metal screening to the bottom

  25. Erin August 25, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    Looks great! I also love the idea of chicken wire :) Very cute!

  26. Pamela August 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    That is a cool light! You did a great job. Maybe make some kind of "box" of bowl type thing made out of wire. It won't conceal the lights but maybe add an extra element to them so you do not hate them so much. Have no idea what it would look like but it is a thought maybe.

  27. Happy Homemaker UK | Laura August 25, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    Loving that lamp and loving your blog all summer! In an effort to grow, it would be an honor if you would considering following me too : )
    Laura
    http://www.HappyHomemakerUK.blogspot.com

  28. Classy Clutter August 26, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    I love these bulbs!!

    http://www.lightingsupply.com/incandescent_bulbs/decorative_bulbs/novelty_bulbs/edison_bulbs.aspx?gclid=CNGlnKnL16MCFQInbAod9Frhtg

    your fixture is to die for though! SO CUTE!!!!

  29. Erin August 26, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    what about some frosted plexi glass??

  30. Katie August 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    LOVE the light! Maybe a frosted glass filter and chicken wire? I have an imagine in my head, but can't seem to find a picture. Something like I've seen at Restoration Hardware, I think…

  31. Andrea August 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    Love the light – the color is perfect. You could attach an old wire basket, like an egg basket or something, to make a cage around the bulbs. Or you could get one of those simple globe pendant lights and re-wire/string it through your light (remove the existing bulbs and fixtures) so that the metal part of your light is like a shade over a globe light.

  32. Lisa August 29, 2010 at 2:17 am #

    Wow that is a fab brass makeover! Love the end-color! No – don't live with the udders! I just did with my last kitchen table light and it's all I would look at – the lightbulbs hanging down at me. Love the chicken wire – easy to shape with wire cutters too. Great job!

  33. Deb August 31, 2010 at 4:52 am #

    Great makeover…love the light! Too funny about the udders, I vote for the chicken wire too!

  34. hansen family August 31, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    omgosh I LOVE the light, and I actually love it without something covering the bulbs. If you go to antropologie most all of their fixtures have nothing covering the bulbs…and thats my favorite store in the whole world.
    way to go.

  35. Ms. A September 1, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    Use different light bulb styles – maybe one of those "thomas edison" style bulbs from the late 1800's, a completely clear style round bulb, maybe the traditional 40-watt bulb, and another one, just to give it something different? I love what you did with the makeover — changing from brass to that beautiful "older" look is dreamy!

  36. Malena September 2, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    A big colander?

  37. Michelle September 22, 2010 at 2:25 am #

    Here is another link to a company that specializes in reproduction bulbs and fixtures – they aren't cheap but they are cool looking!
    http://www.rejuvenation.com/location24/typepageReproduction%20Bulbs/templates/houseparts_group.html

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  45. Pia @Jello July 26, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    I love this!! I just picked up a cute brass light fixture I'm turning into a candleholder, so I googled brass to galvanized and found your post! So happy to have found it- love everything you've created! You've probably found a solution already, but just in case- I agree with a lot of other people with using filament or cool bulbs- but what about going industrial and getting the light bulb cages? Not sure where they sell them, but I have some here at the beach house and they can't be too expensive. I know I've seen them somewhere- probably HD or loses. I think they're also called shop bulb covers….
    anyway- love it! Thanks for the info… and hope you're thrilled with your new light! New follower..
    ~ Pia

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