Adding New Light to the Garden

August 21, 2014 | 14 comments

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I think you’d agree that there is nothing like spending an evening on the patio sipping a glass of wine by the glow of soft twinkling lights.


When I was setting up our patio this spring I knew I wanted to add more warm lighting to our outdoor space.


And I was going to do it with three of these faded, rusted and ugly lanterns!

This is what these lanterns looked like when I purchased them 5 years ago, but they had certainly seen better days.

red lanterns

The red paint had faded badly and several panes of glass were cracked.  And frankly they were a pain-in-the-ass to light candles in!  You had to take them down from their hooks, open the top, pour out any water in the candle and try to light them.  Then close the lid, hang them back up and pray the candle didn’t go out!  Way too much work!

So, armed with a can of black matte spray paint (my favourite), I transformed them into beautiful accent lighting.  Here’s how:

Step 1:

Step 1

I cleaned up the cobwebs and old wax off the lanterns.   I removed and discarded the broken, foggy glass.

Step 2:

Step 2

I then got my “spray-paint” on, applying 2 coats of spray paint, then let them dry for a couple of hours.

I used a set of battery operated candles that have a timer that I picked up at Costco.  The timer is set to turn on the candles at 8pm, just before it starts getting dark and they run for 4 hours.

And voila!



Now I have just a little more light while I sit in my favourite spot on summer evenings … under the lights, with a bottle of vino, my iPad and wireless speaker for Songza tunes.


Do you have a favourite spot to enjoy summer evenings?



14 responses to “Adding New Light to the Garden”

  1. Cindy says:

    Hey Donna,
    love the painted lanterns!!! I have a bunch in different sizes and I bring some in for winter to use in the family room. As a result of the outdoor time, some are getting a bit rough looking. I’m going to paint them up as soon as the weather cooperates. Thanks!!

    • Donna says:

      It’s amazing what a can of spray paint can accomplish Cindy! It can revive the worst looking trash into a brand new treasure! Good luck with your lanterns … and the weather :)

  2. Meredith says:

    We’re going to have to take turns sitting in each other’s happy outdoor spots! So pretty! Getting rid of the glass is the best idea…so much easier. And a candle on a timer is genius. Maybe someday I’ll torture myself with a Costco membership.

    • Donna says:

      Oh I have a love/hate relationship with Costco Mere – love the products, but hate that I can’t get out of the store without spending way too much $$$. Love outdoor spaces! Just wish we had much more time to enjoy them ;)

  3. I love the lantern revamp! Fantastic!
    Cheers to you… and cheers to me for having the smarts enough to come check out your blog for ideas… now where is that spray paint!?! ;)

  4. Oh my goodness! So pretty. I would be sitting outside every day/night. I love the little lights too.

  5. Love it Donna! Flameless candles are the best! Such a lovely job on the lanterns and outside space.

  6. Your lanterns look great in black and your patio – lovely!!! What a nice spot to enjoy some outside time!

  7. Lisa Goulet says:

    I love spray paint! What a great transformation! Practical and pretty! I have about four sets of those candles, they are wonderful.

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