Since the lights in the kitchen were all taken down during the ongoing rewiring project, I thought I’d try my hand at refinishing them. Sure, I love the looks of the shiny fixtures at, but at about $70 a fixture to replace the ones I have, it’s not a viable option right now.

The one on the left is pretty much a before picture. I found a blog suggesting boiling the fixture in water (with some baking soda thrown in). I tried that, letting the water boil with the baking soda, then throwing in the fixture. The pot then boiled right over, all over the stove, like one of those “volcano” things you make with vinegar and baking soda. I gave up on boiling the fixture to get the paint off.

The fixture on the right is somewhat of an after pic. It’s after I used conventional (nasty) paint stripper and a scraper to remove the paint. Not just one layer of paint either. First, the chunky, thick and drippy white layer. Followed by an easy layer of harvest gold. Finally, an extremely stubborn layer of avocado green paint. Not all the paint came off.

I then tried scraping off the paint on the somewhat-boiled fixture, since the paint on that one did seem not as tightly adhered. A lot did come off, but enough remained to make the effort seem not worth it.

What to do next? Go to the hardware store and spend some money! I got a spray can of Citri-Strip, some assorted grades of steel wool, and some wire brushes. I soaked the fixtures overnight in the pleasantly-scented stripper. Then I wiped off a lot of the residue, and treated the stubborn spots to some course steel wool. I wasn’t worried about scratches since I was looking for a brushed steel finish anwyay. The wire brushes helped get in the crevices. Once the paint was finally gone, I cleaned the fixtures, and sprayed them with glossy clear enamel to prevent rusting. I should have gone outside or in the garage to do that though, since I really stunk up the place with that spray paint.

Here’s the result. Only two more to do, after these!