Why Buy When You Can DIY?: Turquoise Kitchen Lantern

LANTERNS make me swoon.  And while I love seeing a beautiful, shapely lantern under a covered porch, I’m a total sucker for an oversized outdoor lantern illuminating a dining table or kitchen island.  At our first place there was a sad excuse for a light above our kitchen sink; making it the perfect place for my very own lantern.  There was actually a weird cylindrical looking thing that covered up the fixture that I removed almost immediately after we bought the house, leaving this lovely little number: 

I combed the internet for a long time trying to find a photo of kitchen lanterns to gauge how my project might look when it was done.  After browsing for quite some time I finally came across this beautiful kitchen, which has two unbelievably gorgeous vintage turquoise lanterns hanging above the kitchen island.

Although I already had visions of a turquoise lantern dancing in my head, this picture sealed the deal.  I would have a lantern above my kitchen sink, it would be turquoise and it would be awesome.

Easier said than done.  I couldn’t find a turquoise lantern anywhere!  Can you believe that?  I mean, one would think that a turquoise outdoor lantern is on everyone’s home wish list and that the stores would be brimming with options!  Nope.  All of my internet searches came up short.  Stupid paper lanterns for parties, lanterns with candles in them used for centerpieces at weddings, lanterns that looked like they were spray paint…..er, wait a tick.  Spray paint!

The solution was right under my nose the whole time.  I already knew from my button monogram project that Valspar made a beautiful glossy turquoise spray paint called Tropical Oasis.  So I went right over to Lowe’s to pick up another can and to check out the lanterns.  To my surprise, there was a great selection of the outdoor variety.

I ended up taking home this guy, which I took apart piece by piece and spray painted.  The process was tedious because there were itty bitty screws and screw covers that had to be sprayed.  Also, the chain was tricky because I wanted to make sure I sprayed it from all angles.  I actually attached the chain to a hanger and hung it from a low branch on a tree in the backyard before I sprayed it.  Ingenuity at its best, people.

After applying several thin coats of paint, I let the pieces dry thoroughly before putting the lantern back together.  Although I thought my husband was going to kill me during this step (love you, Matty!), the lantern did eventually look like it did when it came out of the box, just bluer and BETTER!   Here’s the before and after:

I have to tell you that I’m a snob when it comes to fixtures and finishes.  Usually, the stuff at Lowe’s and Home Depot doesn’t float my boat because it’s builder grade, i.e., over done!  But in this case I didn’t seem to have the option of buying a turquoise lantern without putting in a lot of time to find it and shelling out a ton of dough to buy it.  I wanted my lantern on the cheap and I wanted it yesterday!  This was the perfect solution.  Here’s how he looked hanging above our sink after he was blasted with a shiny new coat of turquoise paint.

We finished him off with a big fat, Edison style light bulb.  As for hanging the thing, you’ll have to go to another blog if you want advice on the installation of lighting fixtures because you won’t find it here.  What’s that old joke about lawyers and changing a light bulb?  Whatever the actual punchline, I’m certain it equates to “they can’t.”

Have you incorporated an outdoor light fixture into your indoor space?  Do you think you’ll give spray painting a light fixture a shot now that you see how it will give you a custom look?  I’d love to hear about your adventures with lighting and how you’ve given a builder grade item a unique twist!

xoxoSara

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