Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fading light fixture finishes

A while ago I noticed that the finish on the top of our post light fixture was fading to a horrible orange colour. I have no idea why the finish colour (a dark brown-black colour like an aged bronze) came off, exposing the primer underneath. Because so much of the colour came off, it was really obvious, and obnoxious, and it looked like I would have to do something.

The trigger for doing something was the failure of the light sensor. The post light has a sensor on it, so it turns on at dusk and off at dawn. About a week ago, I noticed that the light was not shutting off in the daylight. I purchased a new sensor (the gray unit in the front center of the photo), and installed it. It turned out that the round threaded part of the sensor was about 1/16" bigger than the old one, so I had to get the drill and slightly enlarge the hole so I could install it.

When I purchased the replacement light sensor, I went down the paint aisle to see if I could find a spray paint that would be a good match for the original light fixture finish. I couldn't find anything that was like the antique bronze but I found this spray that was called a 'stone' finish. It had sort of a light brown undertown, with flecks of black and dark brown in it. I think it looks pretty good, although not a perfect match for the original finish.

We had rain forecast when I took the fixture off so I could paint it, and also replace the light sensor, so I covered the bulb receptacle with a plastic bag. We had rain for 3 days, so this is what our post light looked like for that duration.

This is the post light after it was reassembled. You can see that the top is browner than the rest of the fixture, but fortunately it's still a fairly good match.

The other light that was losing its finish was the outside light by the garage door. This is the photo after I had taped up all the newspaper to prevent the overspray from getting on the house, the door, etc.

Here you can see the result after I applied a light coat of the stone spray paint to the top of the fixture.

And this photo was taken several hours later, so I could let the paint dry and then take the newspaper down. As you can see, this fixture looks pretty good and the colour of the top looks closer to the rest of the fixture than the post light. I attribute this to the fact that the post light had more of the orange coloured primer showing through.

As I was writing this post I thought I should check that the post light was working after my repair. So I looked out the window, and couldn't see the light. So I went outside -- hmm, no light!! I was thinking, darn - I'll have to take the post light off again and see if there is a loose connection or something. And then it dawned on me that I had not turned the breaker back on after I fixed the light. So I went down to the breaker box and flipped the breaker back on, and voila - we have light! That's great that I don't have to 'fix' the light. :)

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