You know those brass-and-glass sconces that always wind up in apartments? The ones with a cluster of grapes etched into the frosted, fluted shade? Like these. Gross, right? Well, there are four of those suckers in our apartment. FOUR! You can see two of them in this photo.
Not wanting to get too spendy with hardwired light fixtures in a rental (but being completely unable to live with the sconces as-is), I did a little brainstorming and came up with a solution. I removed the shades and put them in storage (we’ll put them back when we move out), then spray-painted the brass glossy white. Happily, they came out looking like porcelain—very much like the ceiling fixture in our bedroom at the house.
Rather than mess around with shades, I ordered four silver-tipped round glass bulbs and called it a day. Not bad for a total investment of less than $20!
And before anyone asks, NO, I don’t feel badly about painting the sconces. They were grimy and had multicolored spatters on them from years of sloppy paint jobs. They look a million times better now. As I’ve said before, the day I encounter a landlord who puts care into their own renovations and maintenance work is the day that I start caring about whether or not I’m “allowed” to make my own real improvements to the space I’m paying to live in.