Upgrade a Ceiling Light with a Drum Shade

I have a thing for these lights… getting rid of them that is. Over the years, I’ve had a few of those “boob” lights as I call them, in my sights a few times. And, they don’t often last long.

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

This one had a immitation red spray-paint looking finish to it. Trying to be bronze maybe? Not sure. Whatever it’s trying to be — it’s not working. It’s time to break up — Let’s upgrade a ceiling light with a drum shade!

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

So here’s the thing. Once I started to take the light apart, I thought there HAS to be something that can be done with this light. Once the shade is off, its just a couple of burning bulbs sitting in a fully-functioning light fixture. No more “boob”. But how do I cover up the bulbs?

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

A-Ha! A lamp shade. I had a couple of those taking up space in my storage room. Win-win. Pop a shade on there and badda-bing, new light AND more room in my storage room.

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

Hmm. First attempt was kind of a dud. The shade colour was off, and without a diffusing panel on the bottom, the light looked like it was about to “beam me up, Scotty.”

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

So, that gave me two main problems. I really want to be able to flip the shade over, so the metal “spider” frame is on the bottom, and can then hold a diffuser panel. And, second, improve how the fixture base looks with the shade.

Then, my a-ha moment. I had switched out a light in the hallway that was strangely identical to this light, only… wait for it… smaller! Perfect! That meant I should be able to switch the light base to the smaller one, and it will tuck nicely into the shade. Much better scale.

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

But what about the weird red colour? Enter paint! Two quick coats of some black paint I already had kicking around, took care of this, quickly. (*I was careful to keep the paint to the outer edge only. Away from any electrical and away from any heat source*).

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

Okay, it’s getting better… but the shade… how do I flip the shade?? The post in the centre of the original light fixture was way too short to reach the bottom of the shade.

Off to the hardware store I went. And I found EXACTLY what I needed! Yes. Love it when that happens. Go figure, the lighting section carries accessories and parts you may need when fixing/creating lighting.

Like… extra long metal posts, and a new decorative screw cap to hold the shade in place. Under $10 later, and I’m done.

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

Once I got everything home, I dry fit everything one more time.

Post…

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

Shade…

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

I took a little measurement of what needed to be trimmed off the metal post, and marked it with some tape.

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

The hacksaw took care of trimming the post. Another dry fit, and decided –– I didn’t like the shade I was using. Boo. Lucky for me, I had another one kicking around…

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

Mmm… much better…

Now, to find the diffuser panel. Right… THAT they did not have kicking around the hardware store. I wasn’t sure what to do. I was obviously worried about it being a material that was suitable for the heat from the bulbs, and did not pose any fire hazard. Then… I passed by the giant fluorescent light panels… for $4? Seems promising…

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

I traced my shade, and made my cuts. Wait… I made that sound easy. I traced my shade, and tried 3 different tools to test out how to cut through this strangely fragile… plastic? I’m not sure what it is.

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

I shattered my way through the panel with the first few cuts. I was definitely headed toward an epic fail.  Then, success! Tin snips. But even they only worked in one direction, and with a very gingerly touch.

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

We got there (even if there is a few lingering imperfections). I was able to file down most of the rough edges. It’s not perfect, but shhh! If you don’t mention it, no one will ever notice. If I find myself repeating this project in the future, I will definitely find something else to use.

Ok, so the hard part is over. Now, it’s just time to assemble this baby, and we’re done…

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

 

Transform a boring builder-grade, ceiling light into a pretty, flush-mount drum shade, in a few easy steps!

See? Paint, longer post, and diffuser panel. Done, done and done. Now I have a “new” light for… about $15. (Of course, I’m not including the cost of the shade, or paint, as I already had them around the house).

How to add a drum shade your your ceiling light. AKA boob light. Get rid of them on the cheap! www.freshcrush.com

**FUN UPDATE** To see a new post of what this ENTIRE room looks like now, CLICK HERE! My little light even got a little update to match the new black and white decor…

ceiling-light-final


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