Thursday, August 11, 2011

If you give a mouse a cookie... (or a light fixture)

Since we moved in to our house, I've wanted to replace the light fixture above our kitchen sink. It would be fine if say, it were still 1980, but (thankfully) it's not. My neighbor confirmed for me today that it is in fact the original fixture, only, it was an upgrade, because hers was just a plain white milkglass, and mine was textured. Wooooooo-wheeee! If I were to try to sell it today, the I would describe it as "art-deco" code word for "ugly." (Sorry all of you art-deco lovers out there. I just don't get it.)

Back to the story. I've been wanting to upgrade it to a pendant light, but didn't want to dish out the moo-la for it. Instead, I've been checking the Habitat Re-Store hoping to find one there. This last trip, I found one! One I actually liked too. Only the mounting plate was missing. I figured I cou go next door to Lowes, and pick one up for a couple bucks, so I went ahead and bought it. I thought wrong.

You see, the light fixture manufacturer hates me. This particular pendant light, is hung on the mounting plate from the sides of the canopy, which means that it needs a special mounting plate. Grrr... While waiting (...and waiting...and waiting.....) for someone at Lowes to help me, I happened to notice in the clearance section that there was a light similar to mine, that had the mounting plate that I needed. Not cool man, not cool- having what I need, but attached to something I don't. When Mr. Lowes Helper Guy told me that he didn't have anything like what I needed, and didn't know where I could get one, I showed him the plate attached to the clearance light that I'd found to explain to him that that is what I need. Mr. Lowes Helper Guy then told me that since I only needed the mounting plate, and not the whole fixture, he could mark down the clearance light from the $13.99 that is was priced at, to just a couple bucks, just for me, and that's exactly what he did.

I thought that now I'd be all set to put up my new lamp. How wrong I was. After taking down my old light, I discovered that the old electrical box in my ceiling was no longer completely in the ceiling. It was hanging out past the ceiling by about 3/4 of an inch, which meant that putting up my light had to wait yet another day.

Yesterday, on my way to the gym, I stopped at OSH (my favorite of the three home-improvement stores because I never have to hunt down a Mr. Helper Guy- they (plural) come to me) to pick up an old work box for the ceiling, and then this morning while William took his morning nap, I put it in, and finally got to put up my new light.

This is what is left of the old box. I broke it out with pliers because that's how I roll. There's probably a better way to do it, but I have, at this point, a limited number of tools, so this is how I do it. Don't worry, I wore gloves since there was insulation falling out of the ceiling. Into my sink.

The new box all put in and flush with the ceiling. Imagine that! As you can see, the ceiling still needs some work. The old light fixture had damaged the ceiling, so I patched that already, but now I need to patch around the box and do the whole spray-the-texture-stuff thing to make it all blend in before I paint it. Oh, and I need to get paint. Minor detail.

The new light, all semi-flush like it's supposed to be. Just think how much better it'll look once I finish painting around the canopy? I left the tag on so that I know what kind of light bulb to get, but after I get one, it'll be coming off. Next kitchen project- painting the cabinets. I'm thinking fall would be a good time for that. You know, when it's below 100 degrees?

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