Simple Solutions

How to Protect Light Fixtures When Painting a Ceiling

By: Joe Truini

Before painting the ceiling in a room, it’s a good idea to cover chandeliers and other hanging light fixtures to protect them from paint. Here’s how to go about covering a hanging light fixture before painting:

  • Remove Light Bulbs from Fixture: Take the light bulbs out of the ceiling fixture before covering to prevent overheating and fire should the light fixture accidentally be turned on while covered.
  • Lower Light Fixture Trim Ring: Lower the canopy trim ring on the light fixture, which covers the electrical box, by loosening the nut holding it in place and sliding the trim ring down the chain.
  • Cover Light Fixture with Plastic Bag: Pull a large plastic trash bag up over the light fixture from the bottom to cover it.
  • Secure Plastic Bag Around Light Fixture: Hold the plastic bag in place with a twist tie at the top around the chain.
  • Remove Plastic Bag from Light Fixture: After the paint has dried, remove the twist tie and plastic bag, then put the light bulbs back in the fixture.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Print   Video Transcript

Whenever you’re getting ready to paint the room, the first order of business of course is to clear the room of all furniture and remove paintings from the wall. But what do you do with something like this – a hanging light fixture? You don’t need to remove it entirely, but there is a way to protect it when you get around to painting the ceiling.

The first step is to lower the canopy, that’s this disc shaped piece against the ceiling. Loosen the nut holding it, and drop it down. It doesn’t have to go all the way down, just enough to expose the electrical box holding up the light fixture. Then get yourself a large plastic trash bag, and just put it around the entire fixture, pull it up tight to the ceiling, wrap it around. The idea of course is to seal up the fixture so you don’t get paint on it.

Then I like to just hold it in place with a twist tie. You can use tape but a twist tie is easier to install and easier to take off without damaging the bag. Now, when you do this, be sure to take the light bulb out of the fixture. This way, in case someone accidentally turns on the light, it might heat up and burn the bag.

Now, you just keep the bag in place, paint the ceiling and the rest of the room, and you won’t get any paint on your light fixture.



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