Ban Your Boob Lights! 2 Easy Ways to Update Basic Flushmount Fixtures

How to update a builder basic flushmount light - 2 ways @Remodelaholic

Hey Remodelaholics!  Heather from Heathered Nest here, and I’m just gonna dive right in and let you know that this post may make some of us feel a bit awkward.  So, sorry in advance.  But we’re talking about boobs today on Remodelaholic.  Specifically, boob lights.  (Because, yeah, you’re not the only one that calls those basic flushmount lights by, er, that name.) And I’m gonna give you A PAIR of knockers knockout, five minute, zero tool methods to help you banish the ceiling cleavage in your home.  PSA before we go any further…please know that I am not anti-boob.  Breasts are very useful and brilliantly designed anatomical features.  I just don’t want my home to be illuminated by them.

Alright guys, let’s get down to business.  Apologies if this photo offends anyone.  But we have to show the before…

2 ways to update basic flushmount lights I know, I know.  It’s a little hard to look at.  Not only is this stairwell exceedingly ugly (and dirty), but… the light.  Whoa.

2 ways to update basic flushmount lights

OH MY WORD…not only is there another of those LIGHTS hanging from the ceiling in here, but this whole room is a TOTAL bust!  (Did anyone else find that funny, because I’ve read it five times and my inner 10-year-old is still laughing). If you wanna check out the AFTER of that room above, CLICK HERE.

Are you ready to make your home a STREAK-FREE ZONE?

How to Update Basic Flushmount Light Fixtures (aka boob lights)

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 ways to update basic flushmount lights

  • Boob light fixture
  • Capiz shell shade -OR- drum shade with “spider” (shown above), “uno” or “chimney” fitter will work best (google these terms if I’m not speaking your language right now)
  • Three zip (cable) ties
  • Scissors (or if you wanna get fancy, linesman pliers as shown above)


Remove the glass shade from your fixture.  Typically, this will be done by unscrewing the shade from three little screws on the side of the fixture, or, alternatively, one screw at the bottom of the shade.  If your boob light unscrews at the bottom, you *may* have to drill three little holes (use a very small bit) into the side of your fixture in order to use this technique (only if your fixture does not have these holes).

If you LIKE the finish of your fixture, you’re ready to rock and roll.  If you DON’T like the finish, then you’ll need to uninstall the fixture (this requires some knowledge about electricity…please don’t DIY unless you’re sure you can be safe) in order to spray paint it.  As you can see, our boob fixture needed some help.  We spray painted ours with Rust-oleum’s metallic spray paint in Gold.

 Once you are happy with the finish/your paint has dried, re-install the fixture.

Now, choose your own adventure…remember those books?  Are you going to use a drum shade or a capiz shell shade??  Decisions, decisions.  Let’s start with the drum shade option.

How-To Hang Drum Shade:

*Please note: the diagram below shows the fixture UNINSTALLED.  It doesn’t matter if your fixture is installed yet or not.  The installation will work EITHER way, just fine.  For clearer pictures, I’m just showing it this way.

2 ways to update basic flushmount lights

1. Align (roughly) the arms of your drum shade with those holes (where you removed your glass, or where you’ve drilled) on the fixture.  If it doesn’t line up exactly, no problem…you can adjust the zip ties to allow the shade to hang correctly.

2. Zip tie through a hole, and around an arm of your shade.  Secure loosely.  Repeat for each hole in your fixture.

3. Once your zip ties are in place, make sure the shade hangs level.  You can alter how it hangs by tightening your zip ties.

4. Now that your shade hangs level, snip off the excess tie material. DONE!

Below is an image of installation of the shade with the fixture already mounted.

Ban your boob light! Change it to a drum shade fixture in as little as five minutes, no tools required!

Ta-Da!  No more ta-ta!

Ban your boob light! Change it to a drum shade fixture in as little as five minutes, no tools required!

If you get tired of your drum shade, you’ve got another option!  How about a beautiful capiz shade?  I’ve always loved capiz chandeliers.  And have used a bunch over the years.  Thing is, they can be VERY pricey!  Like $300+ pricey.  Luckily, our version is going to be MUCH more affordable!

But first, you’ll need a shade.  You can MAKE a capiz-inspired shade.  Here are three online tutorials if you decide to go that route:

  1. Remodelaholic
  2. Design Sponge
  3. Classy Clutter

Me?  I’m terribly lazy.  And luckily I had my capiz already.  It was bought for my first child’s nursery, and had been tucked away in the garage for years.  But you can find these for a fairly decent price here and there…especially if you search for a capiz windchime, instead of a light fixture!  Check out these options:  

For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links, which allow us to continue providing you lots of decorating and DIY ideas at no cost to you. Learn more here.

  1. World Market
  2. Amazon Wind Chime 

How-To Hang Capiz Shade:

2 ways to update basic flushmount lights

It’s really the same technique as above, but slightly easier because the capiz shade will have a round (usually) metal  rim at the top, and you can affix your zip ties anywhere you need.  Here’s a close-up of the top of my capiz.

Ban your boob light! Change it to a drum shade or capiz fixture in as little as five minutes, no tools required!

That’s it folks, it’s done!  And I think this baby is just gorgeous!  I would totally sink some money into this if I saw it somewhere…but luckily, we don’t have to!!

Ban your boob light! Change it to a drum shade or capiz fixture in as little as five minutes, no tools required!

The only problem with this project is that after you dismantle those boob lights, you have a perfectly good glass shade leftover!  So, I’ve racked (get it? Again with the jokes) my brain, and come up with two possible solutions for you.

1. Start a new side job?

Ban your boob light! Change it to a drum shade or capiz fixture in as little as five minutes, no tools required!OK, that’s a NO.  Hmmm…I GOT IT!

2. Fancy Trick-or-treat candy bowl!

Ban your boob light! Change it to a drum shade or capiz fixture in as little as five minutes, no tools required!

Happy upcycling everyone!  Cheers!


More lights that need updated?

Try this crystal flushmount update:

How to update a standard ceiling flushmount light

or with Heather’s easy install tips, you could also hang a pendant shade, like one of these:

DIY Pendant Lamps via Remodelaholic

Website | + posts

Former doctor of physical therapy, Heather, and her engineer hubby, Dave, blog at the colorful, slightly off-kilter DIY and home decor blog, The Heathered Nest. Definitely a contrast to the mostly neutral world of home decor that currently abounds, Heather and Dave's home is full of pattern, punchy colors, and tons of DIY, all done on the cheap, though it may not appear it. Their work has been featured in magazines to include This Old House, USA Today Home Magazine, Reloved, GreenCraft and Cottages & Bungalows. They've made appearances on several DIY network TV shows, including "I Hate my Bath" and "I Want That". And their work has been featured all over the www in spots such as Better Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, The Today Show, Washington Post, Huffington Post, USA Today, Apartment Therapy and more.

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  1. I’d love to do something like this, but I’m in a rental house, plus it has low ceilings in my bedroom, so I can’t do anything that hangs too low.

  2. Good morning! I recently shared your makeover in a round-up of lamp revamps and tutorials. Thanks for sharing your creativity–those dreaded boob lights can have a better life now!