How to Update Outdoor Light Fixtures to Add Instant Curb Appeal

How to update outdoor light fixtures to add instant curb appeal to your home. Easy weekend DIY project without having to remove the light fixtures.

Outdoor light fixtures play a crucial role in enhancing your home’s exterior aesthetic. Over time they may lose their luster and become faded and dull.

This can easily be remedied with a bit of spray paint and a few other trick we learned to update our outdoor light fixtures.

With good weather and a few free hours you’ll have outdoor lights that look like new.

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Table of Contents:

Whether you’re looking to refresh the light fixtures’ appearance or just update the color, this simple method allows you to achieve stunning results with little effort.

All without having to take the light fixtures down.



  • Outdoor spray paint
  • Painters tape (to mask off any glass and surrounding area)
  • Razor blade (to cut any overflow tape on the light fixtures’ glass)
  • Newspaper or cereal boxes (to mask off surrounding area from overspray)
  • Cleaning supplies (soap and water to clean the outdoor light fixture)
  • Ladder (so you are spray painting straight on and not at an upward angle)
  • Safety gear (gloves, goggles, mask as necessary)

Outdoor Spray Paint- Make sure you are using an outdoor spray paint that is appropriate for your light fixtures’ material. Using a paint plus primer will give you the best results.

For this project we used Rust-Oleum 2x Ultra Color in Satin Canyon Black, that can be purchased on Amazon. This paint plus primer works on wood, metal, plastic and more. It’s also fast drying and able to be used for indoor and outdoor settings.

Spray painted outdoor light fixture.

How To Clean The Light Fixtures

Using soap and water, clean thoroughly with a damp cloth. Remove dust, dirt, cobwebs and rinse with clean water.

Allow to dry completely.

Faded outdoor light fixture ready for an update.

How To Protect The Surrounding Areas

Carefully use painter’s tape to mask off any glass and areas you don’t want painted.

Take a combination of cereal boxes and newspaper to mask off the surrounding areas from overspray. The cereal boxes provide a thick barrier, while the newspaper is able to tuck around tighter areas surrounding the light fixture. Use tape or similar to secure from movement.

Masking off glass and surrounding areas.

Best Spray Paint Practices

Hold the spray paint can approximately 8-12 inches away from the light fixture. Apply a thin coat of paint using short, even, strokes.

Begin at the top of the fixture and work your way down in a sweeping motion, getting into any groves as necessary.

Allow to dry and apply a second coat as needed.

Spray painting an outdoor light fixture without taking it down.

Tip- By using a step ladder you’ll be able to spray paint the outdoor light fixture straight on and see the top of the light clearly to check for complete coverage.

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Remove Painter’s Tape

Carefully remove painter’s tape once paint is dry to the touch but not fully cured. This will prevent the tape from pulling off any new paint along with it.

Clean glass once more to remove any smudges or finger prints.

Inspect the light fixture for any imperfections or missed areas and touch up with a small paint brush as needed.

Tips and Tricks You’ll Want To Know

  • Choose a high-quality outdoor spray paint that is both paint and primer. Make sure that it is specifically designed for your light fixtures’ material.
  • Check the weather forecast. Choose a day that is mild in temperature with no rain in the forecast. You’ll also want to choose a day that isn’t windy as a windy day is not ideal to spray paint and can become difficult to manage overspray.
  • Be patient. Allow coats of paint to dry in between application.
  • Remove painter’s tape before the final coat is fully cured.
  • Wear appropriate safety gear to include a mask,and old clothes for painting.

Before and After

Before- Faded outdoor light fixture.
After- Beautiful spray painted outdoor light fixture completely transformed and made new.

By masking off the surrounding areas you can effortlessly update your outdoor light fixtures and add instant curb appeal to your home. Giving it new life and admiring it every time you pull into the driveway. You’ll only wish you’d done it sooner.

Reusing our existing light fixtures saved us a lot of money at the home improvement store and only for the cost of spray paint.

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2 thoughts on “How to Update Outdoor Light Fixtures to Add Instant Curb Appeal”

    1. Hi Lori, That’s a great question. For this project we only spray painted the outside of the lights as that had the most fading from the sun. Although it does look like we might have done both! Once we cleaned up the glass these lights looked brand new.

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