Quick and Easy Vanity Light Update (Plus Black Paint Reveal)

Quick and easy update for a builder grade vanity light fixture

Bam! Four posts in one week! Just like old times. Pre-toddler times, that is.

Above the big old messed up builder grade mirror in our master bathroom hung this not so messed up chrome vanity light:


I actually kind of like the shape of it….it has some art deco-esque kind of waviness going on at the edges that sets it apart from most examples of builder grade vanity lights. We’ve already replaced the other two lights in here (you can see one of the replacements reflected in the mirror up there), and this is supposed to be a BUDGET bathroom makeover, so we opted to work with what we have in this case.

I first got the idea to paint it and add Edison style bulbs nearly a year ago, and, at the time, I thought to myself, “I bet I’m not the first person to come up with this idea.” And, sure enough, I googled and found that the fabulous Shavonda from A Home Full of Color had already done this. Great minds, right? So I didn’t get to be original, but I did get to proceed (uhh, eleven months later) secure in the knowledge that someone else had done this and had it turn out great.

I won’t lie….I was a little conflicted about this project because 1. Edison bulbs are CRAZY expensive and 2. they use up a ton of energy and aren’t the most environmentally friendly option in the world. More on that first one later. As to objection #2, my rationalization is that we really don’t use this light much at all. As I mentioned, there are two other light fixtures in the room (and 2 big windows). Dave turns it on when he shaves, and I turn it on twice a year or so when I attempt lipstick. So it’s not really on the same level of energy consumption as some hipster restaurant in Manhattan running these bulbs 8 hours a day. What’s that quote from The Big Chill about how long you can make it without a rationalization? Anyway.

Okay, so we took this down when we painted the wall, and I hauled it down the garage (because it won’t stop raining lately), scrubbed it down, and painted it with Rustoleum’s Champagne Mist. I can’t remember where I first saw this color recommended, by the way, but I’m a big fan. It’s a great subtle, not too shiny, antique-y gold.

So about those bulbs? I went to Home Depot and bought eight of these:


….for nearly $10 each. I’m sure you can do the math here. This means my cheapo lighting update (I already had the spray paint) cost me EIGHTY DOLLARS. Now, I likely would have spent a good bit more on a light fixture or fixtures that would look good over that giant vanity, and there would have been wall patching and maybe wiring stuff to deal with, but still…..

In my defense, I did stop and check Amazon while I was at the store, hoping to find a cheaper option. The best deal I could find was this pack of six (affiliate link) for $35 plus $11.50 shipping. But since I needed eight, I still would have had to buy two individual ones at Home Depot like prices and then hope they were all identical when they showed up….and this would have completely destroyed my mad quest for four posts in one week like old times. So. I bought my Home Depot bulbs.

Here’s the part where you can learn from my mistakes. That’s why I’m here! Later on, after opening all eight of my new, overpriced bulbs and putting them in my champagne mist light fixture, I did a little more googling. I discovered that this place sells Edison bulbs that look like the ones I got for $3.83 each with very reasonable shipping! Oops.

So I was just going to say, “I guess that means no one’s going to be using my Amazon affiliate link up there, since I just told you where you could get the bulbs way cheaper than Amazon” when I happened to do one MORE quick Amazon search and turned up THIS six pack of bulbs for $3.25/ bulb with FREE shipping (another affiliate link, only this one’s better). Doh!

So I am kicking myself for my impatience and poor googling skills now, and I can only hope that I will save someone literally TENS OF DOLLARS by passing along this hard earned information.

But. My light looks really pretty now, so it’s all worth it. Well, I mean, it’s not WORTH it, since clearly I paid way too much for my light bulbs. But I guess maybe it is, because I was willing to pay that, so apparently the market supports charging three times as much as another company for cool light bulbs because of suckers like me and isn’t that what capitalism is all about? Supply and demand, baby!

Before I show you 100 more pictures of my cool new hipster light bulbs, I should mention that, as you can see, we picked a black paint for the bathroom wall and then….well, painted it. We went with Benjamin Moore’s Jet Black, and I’m pretty much in love. You can see it in these pictures, and I’ll give you a better look at it and talk about it more in yet another bathroom post (on a roll!) next week.

vanitylight05s vanitylight02s vanitylight04s vanitylight03s

Upgrade your builder grade vanity light with spray paint and fancy light bulbs


Linking with:

Link Party Palooza at I Heart Naptime


Quick and Easy Vanity Light Update (Plus Black Paint Reveal) — 28 Comments

  1. Love it. I think I am going to copy you and paint my guest bathroom black. But no one will no because really no one goes in there. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the tip. I use the vintage style for floor lamps when i don’t have the right shade or globe. The black walls look great with the light.
    BTW, if you are planting bulbs this year , check out Colorblends.com. Much better quality and price than locally available.

    • Thanks for the tip! I don’t think I’ve ever planted bulbs, but I should give it a try. I’m better at keeping things that move, like dogs and kids, alive 😉

  3. Look at you on a blogging and bathroom reno roll. I see you girl. Sounds like you need the amazon app on your phone. I’m always scanning things and checking amazon while I’m at a store. I mean with prime it’s not like you really even have to wait for things anymore. Wait what am I saying I just search amazon instead of even going to the store. Steps to becoming a shut in…new blog post.

    • I have the Amazon app on my phone, and I STILL managed to overlook the cheap lightbulbs! Which are not Prime eligible. I hate when things aren’t Prime!

  4. Yay! That is awesome. I, too, went with the expensive Home Depot Edison Bulb. But, I only needed one, so there’s that. And I was way too impatient to wait for shipping.

    And look at you and all of these posts… w2g!

  5. SO brilliant lady!!! It looks fantastic…and completely vintage I might add!! You totally rocked this one and congrats on knocking out so many posts!!! Wishing you and the crew a great weekend! Nicole xo

  6. Pingback: Rise And Shine! Bathroom Vanity Lighting Tips | Club Oferteproprietari.ro

  7. Pingback: Rise And Shine! Bathroom Vanity Lighting Tips | T&M

  8. Pingback: Bathroom Vanity Lighting Tips

  9. So. I was thinking a few weeks ago that I couldn’t be the first person who thought of painting that ugly strip light, either! Ours is a much older style, early 90s antique brass, but I think between your post and the one that egged you on…I’m going to give this a go. Thank you!

    • Yep, they’ve been great! I think I mentioned in the post that we don’t use this light fixture super often, but so far we’ve had no problems and haven’t needed to replace any of the bulbs

  10. Thanks for sharing this! It is exactly what I did to a fixture in my half bath that I have hated from the moment I bought the house! No one could believe it was the same fixture after just a little paint and new bulbs.
    For anyone wanting a deal, I found the bulbs on Amazon for way less than anywhere else. About $2.50 per bulb! Bought them in a 6 pack and had to wait 3 days to get them but the wait saved me $24.

Like all human bloggers, I love comments :)