Curb Appeal Chronicles – Lights

I probably took this one too literally.

Let me explain.  Our monthly challenge from Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine was to improve our curb appeal.

And of course, me being ultra-literal, walked out to the street and looked at our curb.  Appealing?  Not really.  Just a standard ole curb…if you can call the transition from asphalt to our faux paver concrete driveway a ‘curb’.  It’s funny how we have a really really big lot in a neighborhood, but the amount of true curb is about 20 feet.  That’s it.  Living in a culdesac gives us a pie-shaped lot and the point of our slice meets the street…not giving us a whole lot to work with when it comes to curb-beautification.

On one side of the driveway we have a stone pillar that has our green mailbox (urgh) and a light that is fine in function and pretty standard for looks.  Yes.  I know you can see our house numbers.  I realize that you crazy stalkers might be thinking this is a fine time to come to our house to get your crazy on.  Let me warn you.  I am Italian.  I live in Loganville.  We go to church armed.  And there is no question in my mind that I am more psychotic than you.  So please do not email me about my house numbers.  Do not come to my house.  Do not come in my yard or my streeet.  This isn’t a threat…this is a promise.

Good.   Now that I got that outta the way…let’s move on.

Besides the light fixture and the green colored mailbox with the ugly stickers, we also were dealing with a broken stone (you can see on the far right side where it fell off and left a spot with lots of dots) and of course, the wonky transition between our pavers and the neighbors (not my choice but hey….you can’t tell your sweet also armed neighbor how to hardscape their yard, right?!)

The other side of the driveway has a flanking stone pillar…this one with only a light.

So when Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine gave us this curb appeal beautification challenge – one of the first things I thought of was to improve the looks of the lights.  The lines and the style isn’t old or horrible or anything….it just looked dingy.  And also there was an issue with the birds.  as in…they kept using these as their personal litter box.  So I figured that with a quick cleaning, a coat or two of spraypaint, and the removal of those weird putrid-colored plastic thingies at the bottom – it would give us an entirely subtle but updated loook.

Jeremy (and the Tinkler) were able to get the plastic things out in a jiffy.  They were actually really brittle and broke and just fell out… so I was able to grab a smaller ladder (c’mon, you know there is no way I am getting on anything higher than a stepstool!)…and pull out my favorite Frog Tape and an Xacto knife to cover the glass.

Okay….about an hour later, I had both lights looking like Halloween decor.


Then I laid out some paper and pulled out my spraypaint of choice – Rustoleum’s Indoor & Outdoor in Hammered Black.  I went with this because:

  • I already knew flat spraypaint would end up looking like dingy again
  • The hammered texture would cover any imperfections of an older light
  • The black would really pop off the stone and would be easy to touch up
  • This particular spraypaint brags on stopping rust (which we have!)

A quick couple of coats later, we have a much shinier light fixture.

Note – if the inside arms of the light fixture were really dingy, I probably would have taken the glass out and spraypainted the fixture completely disassembled….but since they were pretty protected from the lid and would have a layer of glass making them harder to see, they were not as vital to get shiny with a new coat.  But if you plan on doing this at home – you gotta assess the situation for yourself, know what I mean?!

Then came time for the lids.  The little finials look like pineapples, don’t they!?  Which is funny because I keep finding little pineapples all over the house (not real ones…although, I wouldn’t put it past me to overlook some old fruit laying around somewhere).

Anyhoo….as you can see, the hammered paint really puts a bunch more shine onto the finish.  It looks so much newer and nicer.

And here she is all cleaned up and appealing to curb-walkers.

Yes – the difference is subtle and not really high impact but I’m thrilled with how they turned out.  Totally worth the $5 of spraypaint and the $6 roll of FrogTape.  Set of new lights for $11?  Yes please and thank you.

The best part about this driveway makeover is that there is more to come.  We gotta tackle that mailbox, the broken stone and hide that drainage paver transition…plus, I gotta show you how we made our house numbers pop on a new plaque.

p.s.  See the plantings behind the mailbox?  Those are the same ones we put in the ground less than a year ago!  Click here to see em as newborns :)



  1. Meg says

    I love subtle changes like these! The lights look great. Did you know pineapples are a sign of hospitality? Someone told me that in college…. it could be true, it could be false. Either way, I like to think you’re a pretty hospitible gal (who’s armed to the gills, apparently!). So, it’s fitting you have been finding pineapples all over.

    • Chrissy says

      Pineapples do represent hospitality! And “welcome,” I think. Maybe that’s why Williams-Sonoma has a pineapple logo.

      Things are looking great outside! I love nice, sunny weather and curb appeal posts. Helps to get in the summer mood. :-)

  2. Allison says

    I freaking love you. “we go to church armed” is pretty much my favorite line in your whole blog. :) looks good!

  3. Theresa Tolman says

    I heard pineapples are a symbol of swingers, which could be associated with hospitality:)

  4. Procrastamom says

    I love the look that shiny spraypaint gives the lights. I’ll have to try it on a few things at my house.

    And don’t worry, I won’t be seeking out your house, because:

    A) You live too far away; and

    B) I’m Canadian, so the only thing I’d be armed with is maple syrup and donuts :)

  5. says

    Great quick-fix! I came across your blog via Young House Love a month or so ago and I’ve stayed :) Can’t get enough of you and your family (in a totally non-creepy way).

    Can’t wait to see what else you’ve got planned!

  6. Nicole says

    It is looking great so far! You are so handy and a great paint taper. Is it crazy that I heart you more for not just weilding a glue gun, but also some heat?

  7. says

    It’s the little piddly things like this that can really make a place look spiffy. I ♥ their Hammered Silver BTW for door knobs and etc around our place :)

    LOL@ going to church armed.
    I lived in TX for a long time, and that’s how they do it there, too.

  8. Aimee says

    Amen, sister! We also go everywhere armed. This Italian South Carolinian gal promises you don’t want to mess with her family either!

    Oh… and love the look of the new light! We’ve used spray paint to revamp some old light fixtures around our home as well. A $6 can of paint beats a $50+ new light fixture any day!

  9. says

    Really does make a huge difference. And I agree with the previous poster about pineapples and hospitality – it’s a nautical thing. When we were in Newport, RI there were pineapples everywhere and I looked into the symbolism. So interesting!

  10. Jenn says

    Katie! It makes a HUGE difference. Honestly – looks great. LIke WAY more than $11.

    ALso – the pineapple thing – I remember being told pineapples are a symbol of hospitality and welcoming. Not sure why… but I think I learned that in Key West – they are on a lot of outside decorations there – shutters, woodwork, etc.

  11. christina spargo says

    I know you said no posts about the mailbox but I am really conerned about you. I located your house address in 5 seconds. I know your husband is gone during the day. Please (even if you only do it for me), remove your mailbox #’s

  12. Lisa E says

    Love your post as always, especially the armed comments. However, having said that, I have to say I did cringe when I saw your house #s. Please don’t make light of the crazies out there. I happen to work in a prison and unfortunately have job security because of the many crazies out there. Be safe………..

  13. Sherri Young says

    The lights look great! Love your blog!

    Just out of curiosity- did you do the spray painting yourself? I remember your not pregnant to do list included spray painting and I was curious if that is now off limits? I did a little googling and didn’t come up with much but if it is off limits I have some spray painting to get done before we start trying ;)

  14. says

    you slay me, kb! I am oddly attracted to a gold pineapple doorbell at The Home Depot… if only it came in black or ORB… then I’d be sold.

  15. says

    Your lights look great! I hope you don’t end up with hornets in there now that they have openings in the bottom. We have hornets currently building a nest inside the covered outlet by our front door. I have no idea how I’m going to lift that cover to spray them without getting stung.

    • Gil says

      I was hoping someone would mention…those ugly plastic chunks were there for a reason! Some little creature is going to love building a nest in the shelter of your lights. Perhaps you could put some dark fabric mesh to block it?

      • says

        Well – the bottom is already open…like the spaces below the ‘ugly plastic chunks’…so I’m not quite grasping how the critters would now be more inclined to come in…maybe I made them feel more welcoming?
        xo – kb

  16. says

    “This isn’t a threat. This is a promise.” Haha…. that was an awesome paragraph. Said with such conviction! I believe you! Burglars be warned!!! loved it :) Also the whole post is great. Love what you did with the lights :)

  17. Anne says

    Why not just blur out your numbers? I find the number of guns in the world disturbing, not hilarious.

    • says

      CC – that changes everything :) let’s just call ahead so I don’t inadvertantly wound you and spoil the pork, mmkay?!
      xo – kb

  18. Ammie says

    It’s a bummer your house numbers weren’t 5150 – that’d be a great coincidence since “there is no question in my mind that I am more psychotic than you.” You’re too funny KB!

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