How to Paint Your Recessed Lighting Baffles

Robert Russell

Recessed lighting adds to a room's decor. This type of lighting involves lights installed strategically around the ceiling to enhance the ambiance of the room. Installing recessed lighting requires cutting holes in the ceiling. Once the lights are installed, the final touch is to place a baffle around the edge of the light so it blends in with the ceiling. When the time comes to change the color of a room or to repaint the ceiling it is necessary to paint the baffles as well.

  1. Shut off the power to the baffles. Allow the light bulbs to cool and then remove them.

  2. Set up an area to work on the baffles. The area should be well-ventilated and well-lighted. Place newspaper down on the workbench prior to painting to protect the work surface.

  3. Pry the baffles loose by inserting a screwdriver or the edge of a putty knife between the edge of the baffle and the ceiling. Gently pry the baffle up. It is secured in place with a spring or clip. Carefully unhook and remove the baffles.

  4. Spray the baffles with an all purpose cleaner and thoroughly wipe them clean with a cloth.

  5. Lightly sand plastic baffles with 400 grit sandpaper. Sanding the baffles provides better adhesion for the primer and paint. Skip this step if the baffles are metal rather than plastic.

  6. Spray the baffles with two to three coats of primer. Use self-etching primer for metal baffles. An acrylic latex primer works well on plastic. Shake the can well and hold the nozzle 6 to 9 inches above the baffle as you apply the primer. Spraying light coats prevents the primer from running or building up too heavily spots. Allow the primer to dry before applying another coat.

  7. Lightly sand the baffles with 800 grit sandpaper until they are smooth to touch.

  8. Paint the baffles with acrylic spray paint. Follow the same technique used in Step 6 for priming the baffles. Apply several light coats, allowing drying time in between coats.

  9. Replace the baffles in the ceiling and replace the light bulbs. Turn the power on. Switch the lights on and examine your paint job.