How to paint around can lights?

by ShoshanaNF

Hi, we are in the process of painting our kitchen and living area and we have quite a few can lights that I do not want to paint over. What is the best way to prep and paint around these?

how to paint around can lights
  15 answers
  • Seth Seth on Feb 22, 2023

    You should be able to pull the trim ring down a little. You might have to score the paint around it to get it to move. Sometimes you can release the trim ring by squeezing together the two wire clips holding it to the can. Clean them while you are up there. You can always paint it later if you want.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Feb 22, 2023

    I would highly recommend Frog Tape brand of painter's tape. Put in place and then slightly dampen with a cloth pressing lightly. This will form a seal and then paint using a cut in brush. My recommendation is the Wooster Shortcut brush. It's about $7 at Home Depot. Using it, I have often been able to cut in without even taping.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Feb 22, 2023

    Besides painter's tape I really think those little lights should pop out. I have a couple of those in our place too and they just popped out and "hung" there to make it much easier to wrap up in plastic and paint around.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Feb 22, 2023

    cover the lights and then paint around them

  • If they don't pull down, use painter tape to cover them.

  • Sharon Sharon on Feb 22, 2023

    Cut some circles out of contact paper stick it over them.

  • Dee Dee on Feb 22, 2023

    If you cannot take the light trim down a bit, use Painters tape. I like the blue suff. Painters tape comes in different types such the pruple is for wallpaper, etc. Home Depot and Lowes sells this, do not use the off brand it never seems to work.

  • Betsy Betsy on Feb 22, 2023

    Hi Shoshana: Usually the lights have a couple of springs attached and you can just lower the lights by unhooking the springs and the springs will keep them in place. You can even leave them on, if you'd like. Most of the trim rings pull down before the spring is released so try putting a small wedge on each side to hold them down while you paint.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 24, 2023

    Cover them with paper and seal with masking tape.

  • Libbie B Libbie B on Feb 27, 2023

    Ours pull away from the ceiling so you can paint under them. If you are painting the actual cans themselves take out the lightbulbs.

  • ShoshanaNF ShoshanaNF on Feb 28, 2023

    Thank you for the advice everyone

  • Since you have so many, I’d get a great sash brush and carefully cut in the paint around them. Make sure the brush isn’t super thick; you want a fine taper at the edge.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 01, 2023

    See if you can locate the springs that are holding them in place and unhook them. They should let them slide down and the can will be help by the attached springs. Paint with a sash brush.

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 02, 2023

    I usually just use painter's tape. That gives me a much better finish then winging it and is easier then taking the ring off first. Just don't be in a hurry.

  • Deb K Deb K on Mar 03, 2023

    Hi Shoshana, hope this helps you out. Use frog tape to and craft paper or newspaper to protect your pot lights.