Complete the look of your living or dining room with new lighting.
Turn off power
The first step for any project involving live electricity is to disconnect the power at the circuit breaker. Use a circuit tester where the new fixture will go to make sure there is no power to the circuit before proceeding.
Remove old fixture
Remove the canopy to expose the electrical box, and disconnect the wires.
Note: There should be an electrical box attached to either the ceiling joist or a piece of bracing. In this example, no electrical box was present and one needed to be installed.
Install new electrical box
Trace a circle on the ceiling where you want to place the new fixture. Use a drywall saw to cut a new opening in the ceiling. To attach the box securely, use a special expandable bracket, which installs between the ceiling joists.
Cut a hole in the wallboard for the electrical box. Pass the bracket through the hole, position it perpendicular to the joists on either side, then rotate the expansion bar. The ends of the bracket will expand outward and the sharp ends of the bracket will dig into the sides of the ceiling joists, holding it in place. Pass the small bracket (with two bolts attached) through the hole and position it over the bar. Slide the electrical box through the hole in the ceiling and tighten the bolts to fasten the electrical box securely in place.
First, pass the electrical wires of the new fixture through the threaded nipple, then through the strap on the electrical box and bring them back down. Separate and identify the wires and strip about an inch of insulation from the end of each wire.
Bring the ground wire (usually, this wire is exposed copper, or has green insulation) around the grounding screw so that it is attached to the fixture. Lastly, make a connection between the wires coming out of the ceiling and the ones going to the lamp. Usually the black wire is the “hot” line, and white is neutral. Connect the white lines, then the black. Add a wire nut to cover each connection, fold the wires and tuck them up inside the box. Slide the canopy up and tighten it in place.
Patch the hole
To patch the hole in the ceiling, use a small strip of wood about as wide as the hole. Drill two holes in the center of the strip of wood and apply glue to the side of the strip that will face down. Pass a piece of wire through the holes in the piece of wood. Carefully push the wood up through the hole in the ceiling and pull down on the wire so that the glue comes into contact with the ceiling sheetrock.
Apply pressure while the glue dries by tightening the wire around a dowel and twisting it tightly against the ceiling.
Once the glue dries, the hole can be patched. Spackle can used for shallow holes, but for a deeper hole, use joint compound. Fill the hole with a putty knife. The wood strip will serve as backing to hold the compound in place.
Four other ideas
Install long window treatments Add long drapes to make your dining area more elegant.
Oriental rug Nothing completes the dining room more than an oriental rug for under the dining table.
Hang a mirror Create the illusion of a bigger room with a large mirror.
Seat covers Give your dining table the look of new chairs without spending the cash.