Downlights are a type of recessed lighting installed within holes in the ceiling. Often, there is a frame around these lights, which is left exposed. Painting this frame allows the downlights to blend better with the ceiling. Unfortunately, because downlights are metal, they reject paint. A quality metal-etching primer guarantees lasting coverage. The proper application method ensures a professional finish, free from noticeable brush marks.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Degreasing soap
- Dust sheets
- Masking paper
- Painter's tape
- Dust mask
- Galvanised metal-etching spray primer
- Flat latex spray paint or spray enamel
Turn off the downlights in the room. Access the downlights using a stepladder.
Wash metallic portions of the downlights using a sponge soaked in degreasing soap and water. Harsh cleansers may contain chemicals that could affect adhesion.
Rinse the downlights with rags damped with water. Allow the downlights to air-dry, or use towels to dry them.
Shield the light bulb and adjacent ceiling from overspray by carefully applying masking paper to these areas, using painter's tape.
Wear a dust mask and goggles to protect your face from wafting spray-paint particles.
Condition the ceiling downlights with galvanised metal-etching spray primer. Apply in a side-to-side motion. Maintain 8 inches between the downlight and the spray nozzle. Allow the downlights to dry for three hours.
Paint the ceiling downlights as you primed them. Use a flat latex spray paint or spray enamel.
Tips and warnings
- Use a flat latex spray paint if you'd like the downlights to blend in with the rest of the ceiling. Use an acrylic spray enamel if you'd like them to stand out.
- Never finish unprimed ceiling downlights, or peeling will result.
- Ordinary primers won't adhere to ceiling downlights. Always use an etching base coat.