DIY · Home

Happy Accident Light Fixture

This isn’t really a project. It’s a happy accident.

I’ve never really liked the master bathroom light fixture that came with our house.


You can barely see it here in the photo from this post about painting our bathroom. It’s an oil rubbed bronze fixture with a bit of an Arts and Crafts flair and amber colored globes, similar to these:

amber globe-001



And I liked it even less after we painted the bathroom last summer. In contrast with the bright, light gray, the glass – even when freshly cleaned – just looks dingy, dirty, and yellow.

But I’m not going to change the fixture until we embark on a full bathroom remodel, and that’s not in the budget this year. Or possibly decade. (We just got an estimate to replace all of our windows. Holy Bleeding Bank Account, Batman! I had no idea!)

So, my plan was to find clear or milky white replacement globes at Home Depot, but I hadn’t made it to Home Depot yet to look.

Then, on Monday, I saw a paint smear on one of the globes. Now, I have recently discovered that magic of nail polish remover in taking off stray drops of paint from a variety of surfaces. You have to be VERY careful, because acetone will totally remove the finish on many things, smear paint, and make a gigantic mess, but so far, using a light hand, I’ve been able to clean up many a random paint spill with a cotton ball and polish remover. So, I flipped off the light, removed the globe, and started cleaning it.



The nail polish remover actually took off the amber tint!


That’s not dirt, folks – the globes were fairly clean. It’s taking the finish off the glass!


I spent about half an hour scrubbing the inside and out with acetone-soaked cotton balls, and it worked! Clean, slightly milky white glass light fixture globes. FOR FREE!

Now, I may have killed a few brain cells along the way, but…




Now my light fixture looks fresh and bright and it makes me smile every time I flip the light switch. Happy Accidents for the win!

PS – I just remembered that I’ve quoted Bob Ross before in this post. I’m going to repost this video here because, well, it is still fantastic:


10 thoughts on “Happy Accident Light Fixture

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I used your acetone trick to remove the yellowed/amber color from my frosted light fixtures. It did not remove the frost, just the ugly color, which is exactly what I wanted. They are now white and beautiful!

  2. Thank you! I had the same dilemma but my happy accident was putting the dusty globes in the dishwasher. About half of the amber came off and the result was just what I wanted! I put them through the dishwasher again (this time without dishes!) and more came off, but not all. I didn’t want to run numerous cycles, so I began looking for another method. This did the trick!


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s