Thrifted Chicken Wire Light Fixture

Hi y’all! I hope everyone is having a beautiful Memorial Day. Thank you to the many men and women who gave it all so that my family can live safe and sound in the Land of the Free.
Today, we’re having a big cookout, so we have been a whirlwind of energy knocking out a ton of projects to prepare for everyone. And this one is my absolute favorite out of all of them. If you like all things rustic industrial, hang with me for a few. You’re gonna love this one.
A few days ago while I was thrifting at my usual digs, Goodwill, I was looking in the lighting section as I usually do (one of my fav parts of the store because there are always great fixer-upper opportunities there). Pushed to the very back of a shelf nearly hidden was a box of four old 80s brass flush mount light fixtures.
I remembered back to some gorgeous lighting I had seen from Shades of Light, and I instantly knew what I wanted to do.
Chicken Wire Shade Ceiling Light - DIY hack?? convert hall lights?
Right then, I had an idea to give our boring builder grade hallway, for both upstairs and downstairs, a facelift. I needed exactly four, perfect!
See what I mean by boring?
Yawn. Since I had given the foyer a lighting upgrade a few weeks ago, they were really looking out of place anyway. Their short 5 month life span was quickly coming to an end.


Did I mention these were $3 each? Makes these diamonds in the rough even better. 🙂


First thing I did was take it apart by unscrewing the bottom plate and sliding out the glass panes. I recruited Robert for some of this since some of the panes were being stubborn, and I needed his manly strength.



Then, I went to ol’ trusty, my go-to Zinsser spray primer.


After they dried an hour or two later, I sprayed on two coats of Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze. I’m starting to discover that I’m more of a Rust-Oleum fan than a Krylon fan. The coverage is thicker and requires fewer coats (and spray-happy me is less likely to end up with a drippy mess.)


While the fixtures dried, I used one of the glass panes to measure the size to cut from a sheet of chicken wire. All it took was a Sharpie to mark the places to cut and a pair of wire cutters. Then, I sprayed on a combo of flat black, flat brown, and satin espresso spray paint I already had on hand to give it more of a worn, rusty look.
Then, I just slid the wire “panes” into the slots where the glass ones used to be and secured the pieces by twisting wire around the metal spokes on the light. I popped the metal plates back on, screwed in the screws, and they were good to go! I chose to do the chicken wire on the downstairs lights and leave the glass in the ones for the upstairs hallway just to give them a different look between the two spaces.



I’m so thrilled how they turned out!


Check out that cool pattern they make on the ceiling! So much more visually interesting. And with the cost of the $3 fixture and about $1 per light for paint and $1 per light for the amount of chicken wire I used, I’d say it’s pretty spectacular for a total of $5.

And now they match our living room ceiling fan and our foyer light. The amount of light is even better than the builder grade ones that made the hallway so dim and depressing.


I can’t get over how awesome this transformation is. Lighting upgrades always amaze me.


Now I have Robert on the lighting upgrade bandwagon. Yesterday, after he installed these (love that man), he looked at the nickel builder-grade kitchen lights and said, “Wanna take these down and paint them?” Do you really need to know my answer to that one? Don’t be too surprised if you see more lighting DIYs again. 🙂
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  1. HI! Saw this DIY project about a year a go. Jump to today…hosting thanksgiving tomorrow…4 new fixtures went up this week…nothing for the pantry and hating it against all the new fixtures. Remembered this post, husband suggested gutter guard i/o chicken wire, picked up some spray paint (with primer in it), and those brass fixtures are exactly what I just took down. Upcycled and pantry is ready for company! Oh and while I was looking for a ‘how-to’ on a mason jar upgrade, I happened to stumble upon your post for that as well. You have walked us through two light fixture updates today. Loving it thank you!

  2. Lauren Love what you do. At 67 and disabled I will never get enough of what I call my “projects” I have just finished fixtures similar to your chicken wire lights and a contractor wanted $1,200 to “hard wire” them for me. How do you finish wiring and hanging lighting such as you have done. Living below poverty level never hinders me from being resourceful and using what I have { which is ALOT} of Stuff, but even if I were rich I would never think of paying some $1,200 for something I could do myself with a little advice and instruction. Please help. I have to keep on going to keep on going. A kinder spirit . Judy

    1. Woah! $1,200?! That is definitely way too high. My husband is really the electrician guy, and he only limits that to light installation, so I really wouldn’t be able to feel confident in safely instructing you on how to do that. But here is a YouTube video that might help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFsjjhh_KWg Hope that gives you a little better visual.

  3. This is an awesome post! I actually have these same brass 6-sided light fixtures in my upstairs hallway!!! I am so going to do this project!!! TOMORROW!!!! We replaced the ones on our first floor with recessed lighting, but this will look so much more updated upstairs! Many Thanks! Love your ideas!!!!

    1. Thanks, Deborah. I’m so stoked about this one. Goodwill upcycles make me totally giddy. 🙂 I will definitely stop by your blog to check out what you’ve been up to too!