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First DIY Bathroom Project

Donna B.
24 days ago





So I want to start updating a few things in our home. I figured I would start with the small hall bath before tackling the other bathrooms and kitchen. I want to frame in the mirror, paint the cabinets white and update the fixtures. All of them now are silver. My first question is should I keep the cabinet above the toilet or remove it and add shelves? My second question is on mixing metals. I would love to add in champagne gold but am wondering if oil rubber bronze or black would match the gold better? Or Stick with the silver color? What things should be which color? Here are photos of what it looks like now. Thanks in advance!



Comments (44)

  • summerspring
    23 days ago

    Hi Donna,

    Agree with painting cabinetry white. Cabinet above the toilet looks heavy, but not sure if that is just distortion from the photo upload. It's hard to replace a medicine cabinet because it hides all the little items, from a functional point of view, but if it's in the hall and you can get away with shelves that would be a nice change. Alternatively, is the crown moulding on the cabinet removable? Taking it off would give a fresh look, while keeping a functional storage unit.

    Replacing fixtures is the most expensive part of the project, and I would wait and see if you think it necessary after the painting and other things are done. Not sure what your budget is, but you mention this is the first of a few projects you want to do, so maybe save $$$ for those. Not seeing anything wrong with your existing fixtures, and the white will make such a difference.

    Best wishes!

    Donna B. thanked summerspring
  • P Banos
    23 days ago

    I used Mirror mate to frame my bathroom mirrors, and after a couple years it still looks perfect.

    A closed cabinet is much easier to keep looking tidy, plus you don't have to constantly clean items on the shelves. I find the bathrooms get dusty fast.

    Agree you wait on the fixtures.

    The cool grey walls and lavender curtain and towels argue with the honey counter top. I'd stick with warmer neutrals.

    Donna B. thanked P Banos
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  • emilyam819
    23 days ago

    Silver fixtures are great. Cabinet above toilet is useful. Cabinet color is not bad. Consider getting a new white countertop and painting walls creamy white.

    Donna B. thanked emilyam819
  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    23 days ago

    @summerspring Thank you! Ive seen a lot of posts where people

    actually spray paint drawer pulls/towel bars/door handles/hinges to give it that fresh look without actually buying new pieces. Thoughts on that? Also im not sure if the molding is removable or not on the cabinet above the toilet but I’ll look into that!

  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    23 days ago

    @emilyam819 great ideas! I was hoping to avoid replacing the counter top bc its granite, lol. I was trying to think of ways to brighten it up without having to replace the granite lol.

  • decoenthusiaste
    23 days ago

    Your shower looks almond and the door white. What about the orange floors and counter top? I don't think your plans will make that much difference if you don't change the floor and counter. Maybe there's an area in the home where you'd have less to do to make a real change.

  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    23 days ago

    @P Banos Ill def look up morror mates! thank you! Ill also look into switching out the towels/rugs/shower curtain to neutrals!

  • emilyam819
    23 days ago

    I hadn’t seen the floor before. I think I’d try painting the walls creamy white first.

    Donna B. thanked emilyam819
  • plf12652
    23 days ago

    What is the flooring currently there? If it were my bathroom I would…
    Leave the wood cabinets as is, change the granite top to a neutral warm white (depending on floor color), remove the cabinet for shelves, maybe baskets on them, change the hardware. I personally don’t like towel rings as I find them too small and towels never dry….I would put an 18” bar to the left of the sink. Paint walls neutral and change shower curtain to neutral with texture.

    Donna B. thanked plf12652
  • valinta
    23 days ago

    I agree with P Bano, that countertop is a warm color, all other colors are cool and those two issues are going to continue to fight each other no matter what else you do. If keeping the countertop select a new paint color, shower curtain, bath linens to compliment those warm tones. A paint store rep can help you with options and small samples to try. With those changes you may find the cabinet wood tone looks fine. Makre certain your lighting compliments all as well.

    Donna B. thanked valinta
  • valinta
    23 days ago

    Also, as far as the almond tub, when we remodeled out new purchase home we opted to keep the almond tub in the gust bath and the shower curtain hides it when not in use, our walls are white. Saved lots of $$$.

    Donna B. thanked valinta
  • PRO
    Norwood Architects
    23 days ago
    last modified: 23 days ago

    This looks like a full bath instead of a half bath. None the less since it is a small bathroom would suggest you treat is as a half-bath or powder room and my advice on powder rooms is always go wild and dramatic. Here are a couple of examples:



    Donna B. thanked Norwood Architects
  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    23 days ago

    @plf12652 Current floor is tile. Its not orange as someone mentioned earlier but more of of a sandy-ish brown? ill attach a photo of the tile. and a photo of what it looks like coming out of this downstairs bathroom.


    The same tile and cabinets that is in this bathroom is what is in my Kitchen and the girls' bathroom upstairs. The master is totally different. The laundry room is the same tile, almost the same cabinets but lighter and almost the same color on the counter but a little darker and definitely basic...not granite or anything. All the flooring in the house, outside of what i just said was tiled and the master is laminate. it has crossed my mind several times about redoing the tiled floors to something different or even changing out the lamnate for a different color? Worst part is even though i dont really know what im doing, i know what i like and i feel like the counters, cabinetry and flooring all run together.

  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    23 days ago

    @valinta good food for thought! You mentioned lighting, i dont love the fixture thats currently there. or do you mean the color of the bulb? What we have are all LED soft white throught the whole house... Thoughts on painting granite? like the epoxy they make?




  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    23 days ago

    @Norwood Architects Yes it is a full bath but on the smaller side. Its not a huge bathroom by any means. I thought i could practice on paining these cabinets white or a version of white to brighten it up bc of the flooring and countertop and if i did a good enough job, do the same in the kitchen. i just though since this was small bathroom- it could be my practice. lol. ill attach a photo of what it looks like coming out of the bathroom where it all connects with a foyer, living room, dining, and kitchen. I know i have a lot to do prob but its a work in progress once you see the photos....hahaha












  • motupeg
    23 days ago

    I’m not a decorator, but I am in favor of a lighter cabinet and floor tile and a warmer wall. I understand wanting to keep the granite, but I would emphasizing the lighter colors in it rather using the darker with oiled bronze or black.

    Donna B. thanked motupeg
  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    23 days ago

    @Jennifer Hogan Thank you!! I plan on this being out forever home. Im fine with doing things here and there and building up to the finished look vs everything at once. I only first stated the i was gonna start with that bathroom bc A. ive never painted cabinets before B. id like to do as much as i can DIY and C. its the smallest with the least amount to do. My thought process was it if looked good, keep going and if it look horrible then its not a huge room to have to go at again. My friend recommended this site to me so i thought id get fresh eyes bc i am really good at seeing what i want but not the best at getting to that point if that makes any sense.


    I posted pretty much all of the pics of the downstairs except the dining room in my comment above. hopefully you can see them? What are your thoughts on the epoxy that goes over exisiting granite to change it to a different color? or is it best to just replace all together? and in that case, what do you do with the old granite? can i sell it? or how does that work?


    No electrical, plumbing, roof, hvac, window issues at all. We have a tankless water system. Home is about 3,200 sq ft and I do have savings set aside for major repairs that we do not ever touch for anything else.


    i love my gray walls though....i dont wanna change that. I agree that the current granite looks busy. Im not in love the the current laminate color or tile color and i dont love that it differs going into the master. i know i need finishing touches in the living room/foyer/dining room as far as decor to bring it all together but thats been hard for me to figure out what to get and where to put it. I def want to change the fixture for sure in the dining room bc i hate it and from there can add a few things...whatever that may be....to finish up that room. Ill attach the dining room photo on this response bc i forgot to on the previous response.









  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    23 days ago

    @motupeg haha me either!!! i just know i slowly gotta make changes. Theres matte black on the front door and on the stairwell rods and the rods on that balcony above the fron foor and then they have oil rubber bronze light fixture in the kitchen/dining, silver or chrome or whatever in the bathrooms and all door handles/hinges (except front door which is black) so i though if i kept with the matte black from the railings and front door, kept the walls gray (which i do love) that re-painting the cabinets lighter, changing out light fixtures, and changing out or painting all the door hinges, handles, knob/cabinet pulls would work.....but it seems that unless i change the laminate out, the tile out and the granite out that it wouldnt work as well as i thought it would in my head...hahahaha

  • acm
    23 days ago

    The two things that jumped out to me were: (1) the purple tones are making the stone and tile look more yellow, so try to get toward more harmonizing colors like cream or green, etc. (2) raise the towel ring so that the hand towel comfortably clears the counter.


    Additionally, these cabinets are going to be *very* hard to learn on, given all the grooves and woodwork -- just stripping and sanding could take you eons, and you will have several rounds of priming and painting to get to a good final result, each requiring lots of hand-brushing to get into the grooves. It can be done, but don't be deceived by the small number of doors!

    Donna B. thanked acm
  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    23 days ago

    @acm i agree on that towel ring being too low! and i knew it would take some time to do the cabinets right but i have all the tools and brushes to do so but im up for the projects if it would look best! you mentioned green...i never thought about that! what shade of green? Like doing the towels and maybe rugs in green with a cream curtain? or vice versa? or match it all same color? this green is pretty but i dont know if its what you were thinking?


  • emilyam819
    23 days ago

    I’d definitely not paint those cabinets. It would be too hard - and I’ve done a lot of painting, including cabinets. Plus, your paint finish wouldn’t last long. It would be a mistake to change so much except the culprit (which is the granite).

  • Jennifer Hogan
    23 days ago

    @Donna B. Thank you for all the clarification. Beautiful home and not too much that really needs to be changed, but in my opinion the counter tops really don't work with the flooring, woodwork or paint colors.


    I think it is sometimes easier to see when we remove the patterns so I played with the picture of your kitchen and pulled some of the colors out. You can see the blocks of solid color on your photo.




    Then I placed them together without any of the patterns.





    I think these 3 tones work well together (Orange is the complement of blue and gray tricks our minds into seeing it as blue.





    Yellow is the completment to purple - your gray is blue / blue green gray. Not a violet gray.


    See how the gold color of the counter is fighting with the brown cabinet color and the gray wall color?





    I would plan on replacing the granite in the kitchen and bath.


    I have recolored countertops using an epoxy spray, but honestly, I did it about a year before I sold, knowing that I would not be around when it started to fail.


    You could spray it now and wait to change it out until you are ready to do the kitchen. The epoxy spray is usually good for a 3-5 years.


    When I replaced the counter in my master they had a deal - free install if you purchased x linear feet. I didn't need enough to qualify for the free install, but I paired it with another bathroom to qualify for the free install.. The quote for doing just the master without the free install was higher than the quote to do both bathrooms with the free install. My counters were 5' and 8' and I think the minimum install was for anything greater than 12',


    I did the same with lighting - had the electrician out and got him to install all of the lighting / electrical work throughout the house. Made sure I had all the wire, all the parts and that everything was set up so he could go room to room and just install. I even fished the wires and just had the electrician do the connections. I put lightbulbs in and shades on while he worked on the install of the next box. Saves time and time is big money when you are paying labor costs for electricians and plumbers.


    If you really dislike all the tile floors you could paint the bathroom floor as well, knowing it is not permanent, but will give you something better suited to the colors you love until you can get all the floors done.


    As for mixing finishes there are some good articles on how to do this well. Accept for a real accent piece, I like mine to match, but that is what works with my style. (MCM, Scandinavian, clean lines, solid colors). My sister has a truly eclectic mix of everything (Antique Queen Anne Furniture mixed with Industrial and rustic with unmatched chairs, and different knobs on each kitchen cabinet, and different woods, but somehow pulls it all together with just the right balance of each. She has a stunning home and mixed her metal finishes.


    Love this - but my favorite color is purple/wine and the hardware just adds one more layer of wow.


    Paran Kitchen · More Info




    https://www.houzz.com/magazine/how-to-mix-metal-finishes-in-the-kitchen-stsetivw-vs~3222120


    https://www.houzz.com/magazine/how-to-mix-metal-finishes-in-the-bathroom-stsetivw-vs~3828529


    I think your last question was the storage over the toilet.

    I think it is awfully heavy and I don't know how much storage you need.

    I would either remove, replace with some simple floating shelves or try to remove the molding (may need to be replaced with something, but that is okay if you are painting and don't need to match the finish), based on your need for storage.






    Donna B. thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • Gargamel
    23 days ago

    I’d just paint the room a light(ish) blue,change the shower curtain to match and call it a day. Your washroom looks pretty nice already

  • acm
    23 days ago

    yeah, people are really obsessed with this perfectly ok granite! relax a little, people!

  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    22 days ago

    @Jennifer Hogan THANK YOU!!!! i know i dont know much, though im trying to learn lol, but that was my first thought about this home. 3 different color metals throughout the home, and the cabinets, counters and floors just seemed to all run together. The first thing we did do after moving in was paint. They had earthy tones on the walls some cream based and others more brown and yellow based and it all just was too dark looking for my liking. We did Behr Silver Bullet in the Kitchen, laundry room, above chair rail in master and in the master bath. We did Behr Loft Space in the downstairs hall bath, downstairs hall, living room, entryway, stair well and above chair rail in dining room. We did Behr Tin foil below chair rail in DIning Room. We did Behr Flannel Gray below the chair rail in the Master bedroom. I picked from that pallette bc i wanted it to feel more bright and open and i figured even if it wasnt the perfect choice that i could make changes to house along the way. That was my thought process anyways, lol.


    What color would you suggest i epoxy the granite to that would match the color of the cabinets and floors? or would you suggest that on top of changing the cabinet color too? i think i may try that option first. if anything, itll be a trial run to make sure i like it before buying all new granite for the kitchen, laundry, and 3 bathrooms hahaha! Which would lead me into the current light fixtures/chandeliers we have. Most if not all of the glass shades have a creamy to yellow shade to them which i think is not helping the situation at all....BUT i know i dont know much. I thought maybe it would help if we got new ones that either had clear glass? or just exposed light bulbs? or maybe its just my choice of LED soft white bulbs?


    As far as the storage cabinet over the hall bathroom toilet, we dont really use it or need it. Since that bathroom door stays open, thats why i had the thought of just removing it and putting up some shelves with some type of decor stuff.






  • trendtown
    22 days ago

    This is such a great thread and the ideas are amazing. My two cents - if you love the granite (I'm a granite lover myself), keep it and paint the cabinets a few clean white. One trick is to order pre-painted doors from Semihandmade or Sherrs (and there are many other door makers out there). Quick and cost effective. Or you could paint them yourself but definitely watch some youtube videos because the prep is almost the entire battle. I would remove the wall cabinet - it feels very dated to me. Same with the large mirror. Get a cool round mirror that feels elegant - maybe a decorative frame in black. I would invest in a new light fixture - also in black (like mirror frame) Make it simple and get a Pottery Barn mirror and light. Back to cabinets - think about new hardware as well. As far as wall paint color, I love whites in bathrooms. Get a fun new shower curtain from Society 6, a fun bathmat from West Elm and you are finished! Make it fun - Pottery Barn meets Society 6!

    Donna B. thanked trendtown
  • dee_mckervey
    22 days ago

    Love the cabinet color wood but I think new granite would really change things ! Are your cabinets in good shape? Try the granite refinish in the bathroom and see what a difference it makes. I would put shelves or a nice picture instead of the toilet cabinet . And a solid shower curtain. The tile could be changed, too. The main floors look nice - maybe carpet in the bedroom? Beautiful home!

    Donna B. thanked dee_mckervey
  • Jennifer Hogan
    22 days ago

    Just a quick mock up of what your bathroom would look like with a white counter , a bluer shower curtain and no cabinet above the toilet.




    Adding a bit more blue to the room will help tie everything together - maybe blue throw rugs, towels, a blue container on the countertop and a shelf over the toilet with a pretty blue something.


    I did notice your wipes on the back of the toilet and thought I would share my solution (just didn't find the wipes really pretty). Someone gave me a latte mug that came in a very pretty box. I sprayed the box with shellac and placed the wipes in the box on the back of the toilet.



  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    21 days ago

    @Gargamel thank you for your ideas and input! Everyone is being so helpful to me!

  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    21 days ago

    @trendtown what shade of white is in your head? im definitely removing that bathroom wall cabinet. we dont use it and i feel like it just makes it feel cramped and like you said dated. I like your idea with replacing the current mirror with a round mirror and i already wanted to replace the fixture. Thank you so much for your input and advice!

  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    21 days ago

    @dee_mckervey Thank you so much! Yes, the cabinets are in great shape! As you can see i have both ideas in my head as far as painting the cabinets (which i can diy and have all the stuff other than the paint) and/or brightening up the granite too. Im also wanting to update the fixtures and stuff bc all of them have cream/yellow shades on them which makes it all feel more dark even with the lights on. We have LED soft white in every fixture too.

  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    21 days ago

    @Jennifer Hogan Thank you so much! I love the visuals youre able to give. What program do you use to do that?


    Definitely removing that cabinet above the toilet and will put up maybe like 2 shelves with decor or something. Ill def get a solid curtain too and raise that towel bar higher up on the wall. The wipes arent normally there but my daughter had them and i didnt even notice they were there until after i took and submitted the pic. haha. But putting them in a pretty box is a great idea!


    If I buy this granite countertop paint kit (pic below), it would prob pull together with the walls better, huh? From their website: "White Diamond reflects the Quartzite family of stone from the marble deposits. Its bright whites, surrounded by steel grey flecks, lend a cool, clean feel to any kitchen or bath. **This kit is cool-toned, with subtle blue undertones. This can show up more in your space depending on your lighting and surrounding colors. You can remove some of those blue undertones and make it as bright white or gray as you'd like depending on how much of the White Limestone mineral color you use. Add 1 or more layers until you reach your desired brightness.**" I did look up and see that Silver Bullet has no undertones in it...its a pure true gray. So i guess its just the bad lighting fixture, the tile, the dark cabinets and the busy granite that is making it feel dark and like there is no direction.



    If I go this route-i still feel like doing the cabinets will help even more. I also feel like it opens up so many more options. Like painting the cabinet in an accent color like maybe black or steel blue or something like that and have more options as far as hardware/fixtures go? or even going white or creamy with the cabinets and having the color come from the rugs and curtain?

  • trendtown
    21 days ago

    @Donna B. Hi Donna, I think a creamier white to tie in the flooring - SW Alabaster or Dover White. i love a super bright white - SW Pure White, SW extra white, Behr Chantilly Lace but I would worry about it clashing with the floor. And it depends on what you do with the cabinets. Pure white and alabaster are very close in LRV and the two don't "pop" against each other - at least they didn't at my house :( so I went with extra white cabinets and alabaster on the walls. One other thought - alabaster on the cabinets and extra white on the walls. I should mention, there are super skilled color people on this site and everything I have learned, I have learned from them! So please, sample the colors because it's all about the space! And I am sooooo not an expert. Just learning! Your bathroom has a lovely vibe with that quartz and the right colors will enhance and show it off!

    Donna B. thanked trendtown
  • dee_mckervey
    21 days ago

    Just remember painting the cabinet may be a hard job with those moldings, too! I did my cabin cabinets a glazed cream color, not impressive, but good enough for a cabin, lol! Just don't look too close. I definitely would not do it for my house- get it done?? It depends how fussy you are, but your house is NOT cabin-like.

    Donna B. thanked dee_mckervey
  • dee_mckervey
    21 days ago

    Definitely update the fixtures, that will make a tremendous difference! We were just visiting my daughter, who has similar lighting to yours, and we're so relieved to get home to our sparkly clear glass lights-we could actually see again, lol!

    Donna B. thanked dee_mckervey
  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    21 days ago

    I also have thought about re-doing the tile thats in the bathroom/kitchen/laundry room and either getting a different color? or just laying down the same laminate thats in the rest of the house. The previous owner left several boxes of planks in the attic so theres that as another option too? But ive also thrown the idea around of a different color all together but maybe its not as necessary with updating the granite and cabinets brighter and updating fixtures here and there?


    I also thought about removing the tile backsplash in the kitchen and just painting those areas b/c they also have the granite going 4' up so i feel like i have 2 backsplashes if that makes any sense.





    i found some pics where others that have the same granite as i do and kinda the same floors and such, what it would look like to keep existing granite and only do the cabinets. But it seems like that still wouldnt work with the walls being a true light gray. Here are some of the pics i found though:










    and i cant really do an accent color cabinet in the kitchen bc there isnt an island. and the wall behind the cabinets on the dishwasher side can not be knocked down bc the pipes for the tankless hot water system run through that wall so theres no way to make it open up or anything like that.


    i know...im all over the place. lol. I do not mind the DIY's and am not on a time crunch so i can take it a project at a time, a room at a time...that isnt my issue at all. i just want everyting to flow and make sense and look nice. Like i said, i know i still have to pull the dining room together, i feel like something is missing in the foyer to finish that, i know i still need to pull the living room together since it does flow into the breakfast area and some of the kitchen but i do know that i love the gray of the walls, i love my paintings in the living room and the curtains over the back patio doors. hahahaha

  • emilyam819
    21 days ago

    Since you’re taking down the bathroom wall cabinet, practice painting on it. I think you will realize that painting all of your cabinets is too big of a job and won’t look good anyway. But if it does work, you can at least test out color options.

    Donna B. thanked emilyam819
  • trendtown
    20 days ago

    @emilyam819 practice painting on the cabinet - that is a fabulous idea!!!!

  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    20 days ago

    @emilyam819 the one advantage i have is that i have actually painted cabinets before and have done glazing too so i know what im in for on that aspect. i also know how long itll take longer especially in the kitchen but that doesnt bother or scare me either. but i did have the same thought as far as using it to sample paint colors on or even seeing once i sand it down a smidge, seeing how a just a stain and glaze would look too since they arent currently painted cabinets anyways. if i had to strip paint first...that would be a whole different story hahaha

  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    20 days ago

    @dee_mckervey YESS!!! There isnt one fixture in here that doesnt have a yellow-y brown glass shade on it. so aggravating. but at least they all match except for the one in the dining room which i do not like at all and doesnt even match the breakfast or foyer chandeliers or the bar pendant lights LOL

  • Donna B.
    Original Author
    20 days ago

    @trendtown i love those colors too!! and im definitely taking off the fixture shades so when i try colors in lighting, that isnt masked by yellow shades, i can really get a feel for the color

  • Jennifer Hogan
    20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    @Donna B. Believe it or not, I use excel and the free snip it tool that comes with Windows.

    I have used Photo Shop and Photo Paint in the past, but I work with excel every day and since I have a large monitor on my work computer and it has no graphics programs I usually just use excel.

    How I did yours was I used Snip it to copy the picture of your room. I dropped it onto an excel page. Then I used Snip It to take a small snip of just your paint color. I copied the snip it picture to my clipboard (hit the copy icon). I then added a shape over the area I wanted to cover and used the shape properties to fill the shape in with a picture and selected to fill with clipboard. Then I went to the outline property for the shape and selected no outline. The last step to cover something is to soften the edges of the shape (another property).

    To change the color of the shower curtain I added another shape (the one that is free form vs a defined shape and followed the outline of the shower curtain. I made the fill a solid blue, removed the outline and chose to make it somewhat transparent, so it still shows the shower curtain through the blue, but just changed the color.

    Did the same with the sink - used white and made it just a bit transparent so it wasn't a solid block of white and you can see the definition through the color.

    The square color blocks over your kitchen was also done in excel with the help of the internet.

    Snipped the picture of your kitchen. Uploaded that picture to https://imagecolorpicker.com/

    I used the mouse to hover over the colors I wanted and it provided me with the RGB values that matched each of your surfaces.

    I added a rectangle shape over your picture and filled it with a custom color using the RGB Values that matched your surface.

    Paint colors can be looked at together with photos in excel as well. The RGB Values are almost all available through EasyRGB.com and Sherwin Williams actually has all of their color RGB Values on their website.

    I have an excel spreadsheet with all of the SW Williams colors, all of the core Devine Color RGB Values, the core Munsell colors and many of the Benjamin Moore colors. I set up a page that updates a color sample from the RGB Values using some VBA Code (a bit more advanced use of Excel) and can use those colors with any picture.







  • Jennifer Hogan
    20 days ago

    I love purple and cannot have the yellow lighting or yellow shades because purples turn mud brown when you add yellow.


    I have replaced just the shades on light fixtures rather than changing the whole fixture out.

    For many there are replacement shades available.