Skip to Content

How to Paint an Exterior Light Fixture

Learn how to paint an exterior light fixture for a fast and simple update to a tired looking exterior.

how to paint an exterior light fixture
I can’t believe it.

I’m finally sharing the final project from the potting shed makeover!

Did you think the projects would never end?

We worked on this, and we’re SO super proud how it all turned out!

The final project, to paint an exterior light fixture next to the potting shed door, is a great way to add a pop of color and is a great way to create an instant update.

But if you aren’t sure how to go about that, I’m going to show you how today!

potting shed makeover
As if you haven’t seen this photo enough, this is the before of the potting shed.

Very blah, very basic, and very black and white.

how to uninstall an exterior light fixture
How to Uninstall an Exterior Light Fixture

The first thing to do to paint an exterior light fixture is to remove it from the wall.

When you pry the fixture off, the wires will look something like this.

You need to separate them to remove the fixture.


FIRST, make sure the power is off!

We simply kept the light switch in the off position, but you can always turn the breaker off if you’re afraid someone will come along and flip the switch on.

When you are sure the power is off, remove the caps from the ends of the wires.

The wires running from the light fixture and the wires running from the wall are twisted together under the caps.

Simply untwist them all and you can remove the light fixture.

clean the exterior light fixture
Clean the Exterior Light Fixture

Before you get to the painting, you need to thoroughly clean the light fixture.

Most likely, since it’s been outdoors, it’s going to be pretty nasty.

I went to town on this one with some Clorox wipes.

take apart exterior light fixture
Take Apart Exterior Light Fixture

Next up, take apart as much as the fixture as you can.

This will enable you to to get an even coat on all of the parts.

This also provided an excellent opportunity to really clean the glass well.

how to paint an exterior light fixture
How to Paint an Exterior Light Fixture

Tape off any parts that don’t need painted such as where the light bulb get screwed in and where the wires are located.

Spray even coats allowing each coat to properly dry.

I used 2 coats of  Rust-Oleum’s Painter’s Touch in Apple Red, the same color I used on the shutters.

Once all of the pieces of the light fixture are completely dry, carefully put it all back together again.

how to paint an exterior light fixture
Before reattaching the fixture wires and rehanging, double check that there is no power going to the light.

Twist the wires back together and place the caps back on (the wires are color-coded so you just need to match the colors together to know which wire goes with which).

Snug the light fixture back in place

Now you have a fun pretty-much-like-new light fixture!

I love the pop of color I have outside the door now.

I wish I realized earlier how easy it is to paint an exterior light fixture.

It’s a great update that costs very little money.


>> See where I party! <<


If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy these other projects from the potting shed makeover:
potting shed makeover old drawer flower wood table top install rain barrel window flower instant makeover paint door build brick patio diy shutters


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Tuesday 20th of February 2018

Use your camera's phone to take pictures of the wiring before disassembly, then use that to make sure you get the wired connected correctly.

Beverly {Flamingo Toes}

Monday 9th of June 2014

This is so great Michele!! The red is so much more fun - thanks for the tips on how to paint it! Definitely pinning this for our dream home! :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.