Before & After: Overhead Light Gets Luxe Starburst Treatment for $13

published Jun 22, 2015
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(Image credit: Overstock)

In terms of basic overhead lighting, Alison’s fixtures were unoffensive and unobtrusive. But that didn’t mean she didn’t want more style from them. Inspired by a $750 fixture, she used some spray paint and skewers to create a flush focal point:

(Image credit: Alison)

From Alison:

Our condo came with
standard builder-grade light fixtures (the same as the one in the “Before” picture), which were inoffensive but also super boring. We replaced most of them with pendant or hanging lights, but our hallway needed a low-profile flush mount for clearance reasons, so I decided to try to upgrade the one already there.

My inspiration was the
Global Views Sunburst light fixture in gold. I loved it when I saw it online, but it costs a stomach-churning $750 (yeah, hell no). Over the past few years, a bunch of high-quality-looking DIY starburst mirrors and lights have popped up on the web that use paint sticks or bamboo skewers, so I decided to try that technique with my ceiling light.

I bought a 75-pack of 12” bamboo skewers (~$5) and a can of Rust-Oleum Bright Coat Metallic Finish (~$8) in gold, then spray-painted the skewers and the circular collar of the light fixture. I knew that I wanted the sunburst rays to be as thickly clustered as possible since that would make it look richer, so I roughed out a pattern with 12 terminal points (like a clock), then clipped the ends of the skewers to approximately the right lengths.

Then I reattached the electrical and the fixture base, leaving the base slightly loose, then stuck in the skewers by hand, starting with the 12 terminal points and then back-filling the Vs. (I was originally going to glue them, but they ended up staying in place just by pressure.) When I was finished, I tightened the screws holding the fixture up as much as possible, then made some small adjustments to even out the pattern.

The arranging did take a couple of hours and caused some neck cricks, but I really love the way it turned out! It’s low-profile so people don’t always notice it, but nobody ever guesses it’s made of such simple materials! And $13 beats $750 any day of the week.

Thank you Alison!