A Labor of Lantern Love

Ever since Mom and I replaced the kitchen light fixture, I began dreaming of bigger and better things to light my way while I cooked and baked.

We replaced an awful “mushroom light” with a more presentable “boob light.” Yes, I said it. Unfortunately you won’t be able to think of anything else when you look at these lights from now on (but you might also be surprised you never noticed it before!). The light was certainly an improvement, but I couldn’t help myself from drooling over Pinterest kitchens like these, and eventually convinced myself that I too deserved to have a lantern in my kitchen.



Source: JacksonBuilt Custom Homes


It’s important to note that most of these lanterns are hanging over an island. Do I have one of those? Nope. They also aren’t hanging from a popcorn ceiling. The most critical thing I should have noticed about these kitchens, is that they have recessed lighting in ADDITION to their lanterns.

My Lantern Love blinded my ability to reason, and set me (and my Mom and Dad) on a dreadful DIY course.

Mom and I found this fixture at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for 14 dollars.


It reminded me of the lanterns in the second inspiration photo above, and I loved its interesting details and flair. Mom warned me that this was an outdoor fixture and that it wouldn’t cast light down, but I said I didn’t care. I knew HGTV magazine had lanterns just like this in their kitchens…why shouldn’t it work in mine?!

She decided to let me go for it (for 14 dollars it was certainly worth a shot!) and we took it home to Dad to nicely ask him to spray paint it for us.

To help him out a bit (since he was busy doing a BUNCH of projects for me), Mom and I took the lantern apart for spray painting. I decided to chronicle the complicated process so that I could remember to how to put it back together blog about it later.

First things first. These balls (#1 is already removed, #2 is partially removed) unscrew to separate the top, the center rod and electrical component, and the chain from the rest of the light fixture.


With the fixture in two pieces, we could begin to deconstruct the outer section of lantern.


The top metal piece now simply rested on top of the glass panels and screws. Removing this piece took away the structure of the lantern and allowed us to carefully jiggle out the pieces of glass. IMG_1525m IMG_1526m

We debated about leaving the pretty flower off the top of the fixture when reassembling it, but decided to go ahead and spray paint it, so we could make the decision later. I love the frilly detail, but whether it belonged in our kitchen or not was debateable.


I couldn’t believe how many separate components we had by the end of the deconstruction.


  1. Lower Frame
  2. Candle Covers: We replaced these yellowing covers with fresh white ones. You just have to cut them to size!
  3. Glass Panes
  4. Top of Frame
  5. Rod and Electrical Components
  6. Finishing Beads
  7. Frame Edge
  8. Ceiling Dome
  9. Floral Detail
  10. Chain

My Dad had an ingenious way of spray painting the intricate metal pieces:IMG_2190a

Twist Ties and Trees…good thinking Dad!

He used Rustoleum Spray Paint to take the metal from shiny gold to oil rubbed bronze:


As usual, we forgot to take any shots of it painted and reassembled. (Someone was pretty antsy to get her pretty new fixture up and lit).  Here’s the best I can do.


I’ll let that shot be a preview of the next lantern saga: The Dreaded Installation.

So much more stress frustration arm numbing fun to come!

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