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Garage lights – Remove before painting?

Should coach lights be removed before painting my home?

Whether you’re looking to spruce up your home before putting it on the market or simply give it a new look before the season ends, painting an exterior can be tricky. One of the biggest concerns for homeowners planning an exterior paint job has to do with their light fixtures. More specifically, should garage lights be removed before any painting is done? If your home has coach lights you’ll want to protect them from splattered paint and other accidents that could damage their aesthetic or functionality.

Naturally, removing them completely during the painting process may seem like a good idea.
However, most professional home painters believe otherwise. In most cases, a professional painting company will not remove coach lights or any other exterior light fixtures before they start painting a home. They’ll instead opt for securely masking and covering each light before bringing any paint near them. This ensures they experience no damage or unwanted paint jobs throughout the process, so you can enjoy a freshly painted home lit up by your favorite coach lights.


Why Professionals Don’t Remove Garage Lights

As a homeowner, the process used by professional painters may seem counterintuitive. Why not simply remove the lights to eliminate any risk of paint damage completely? The process of masking garage lights instead of removing them is preferred for several reasons. Though it may seem unlikely, attempting to remove and reinstall your garage lights can actually cause serious damage to your home. These can include:

  • Damage to stucco
  • Electrical liabilities
  • Damage to light fixtures themselves

With these potential damages, removing lights before painting actually harbors more risk than simply masking them with care. By partnering with a reputable exterior painting professional, you can rest easy knowing that your garage lights are properly prepped and masked before painting ensues. This way, your lights will stay safe without risking any serious damage to your home.

1. Damage to Stucco

Though a stucco exterior is a popular choice for homes in the Southwest, it can be easily damaged if not properly cared for. One of the easiest ways to damage stucco is to continually remove and install fixtures if not absolutely necessary. Oftentimes, attempting to remove garage lights before painting leaves homeowners with unwanted repairs to pay for. This is especially true for fixtures that are old or not properly attached in the first place. In these cases, moisture has often penetrated the space between the light and the stucco, which can lead to cracks or even large holes in the home’s exterior when removed.

Additionally, you run the risk of damaging a fresh paint job when reinstalling a light fixture, making it much safer to paint the home without removing exterior lights.

Having completed the job, our painter re-attaches a light fixture to the outside of the home.

2. Electrical Liability

Electrical work is some of the most dangerous, and while it may seem simple to remove and reattach a light fixture on your own, the process is a risky one. Not only is there a chance of potential injury, but you could also inadvertently cause serious damage to your home’s wiring that may result in a costly repair.

If you choose to partner with a professional painting company, it’s important to note that they will likely be unable to help you reinstall your garage lights to ensure the safety of their crew.

3. Potential Damage to Lights

Your garage lights are safest when they are properly attached to your home. While it’s tempting to remove them to prevent paint splatters, you’ll actually be putting them at greater risk of other damages.

The process of removing and reinstalling coach lights can lead to a host of issues, including accidental drops or damages during storage. And similar to the risk of damaging your home’s wiring, reinstallation may damage the integrity of your light fixtures. This may cause them to stop working entirely and lead to expensive replacement costs.

The Exception: When Your Lights Would Need to be Removed

While your painting crew will avoid removing any light fixtures whenever possible, there are some cases where they will make an exception.

1. Installing New Light Fixtures

Like many homeowners, you may choose to add other upgrades to your home at the time of its painting. For older homes, this could mean the installation of new light fixtures that better align with your home’s new look. In these cases, you can get a head start on your new light installation by having your painting crew remove the fixtures entirely before they begin painting, rather than masking them for protection. This way, when you’re ready to have your new fixtures added, you won’t have to worry about the hassle to remove the old ones or any potential missed paint areas due to the shape of the old light’s base.

2. Removal of Old Light Fixtures

In many cases, your paint crew will be able to help you remove old garage lights from your home before any painting is done. However, it is unlikely that they will be able to install any new fixtures for you. This mainly has to do with the potential danger and liability issues that come with providing electrical work. Instead, it’s better to opt for a professional electrician to install your lights once the painting process is over.

What is the standard procedure?

Partnering with a professional painting company is the best way to ensure a smooth exterior paint job, but it’s helpful to understand how their process works. In most cases, the standard procedure follows three simple steps:

  1. Masking
  2. Painting
  3. Cleanup

If you have garage lights on your home, some extra steps will be taken during the masking step to make sure they aren’t damaged. This way, you can enjoy a newly painted home without dealing with pesky reinstallation.


1. Masking

A truly successful paint job starts with the prep work.

During the masking process, your paint crew will cover every exterior detail that isn’t going to be painted. This includes windows, doors, pool decks, light fixtures and more. Deck furniture will also be removed at this time, and some landscaping details may be temporarily moved to ensure they stay paint-free and to allow the crew easy access to your home when the paint is applied.
Plastic sheeting will then be draped over every element and tightly secured. This way, your garage lights will stay paint-free even in the event of an accidental splatter or spill.

2. Painting

Once your home has been properly masked, the painting can finally begin.

A primer will first be applied to all parts of your home that will be painted. This ensures that the following layers of paint will go on smoothly and evenly. Next, the main body paint is added using specialized professional sprayers for thorough application.
From here, your paint crew will focus on the smaller details. This includes adding accent colors to doors and window panes, as well as painting the trim and roofing fascia and going over the entirety of the home with rollers to guarantee complete coverage.

3. Cleanup

Once your home is completely painted, the cleanup and inspection process will ensue. At this time, the masking will be removed from your lights, windows and other fixtures. Furniture and landscaping details that had to be removed before painting will be replaced as well. Finally, your paint crew will inspect their work and apply any necessary touch-ups to ensure you’re completely satisfied with your home’s new look.

Painting a Home With Garage Lights: What Should You Expect?

When choosing to paint a home with garage lights, your experience will depend greatly on the quality of your professional painting partner. For those in the Phoenix area, there is no better partner than Crash of Rhinos Painting. Starting as just a small three-person crew in 2006, we’ve continued to hone our craft in order to become the most trusted painting company in the state of Arizona. With years of providing Phoenix homeowners with exemplary services, Crash of Rhinos Painting offers the experience and knowledge needed to get the job done right.

Your home deserves a quality paint job that will turn it into the oasis you’re looking for. Request a free proposal from Crash of Rhinos Painting and enhance your home’s curb appeal today.