How to Cover a Fluorescent Light Box in a Kitchen

Things You'll Need

  • Stepladder
  • Screwdriver
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Paper towels
  • Old newspaper
  • Spray adhesive
  • Rice paper
  • Scissors (optional)

Fluorescent light boxes are not only unattractive, but they are also harsh and noisy. Lights of this type are often found in older apartments and homes dating back to the 1940s of 1950s. By adding rice paper to the light box cover, you swap out that old light that looks like it was designed for a cafeteria and give it a new personality. Pick a color that matches or complements your kitchen décor.

Move the stepladder into the kitchen, placing it off to one side of the light box. Climb onto the ladder and examine the box. If the box has any screws attaching it to the ceiling, remove the screws and bring the box down. If the light is permanently attached, then paste the paper to the light box while it hangs.

Wash the outside of the light box with a little warm water and soap, removing any dust or debris caught on the box. Dry it carefully with the paper towels, making sure that you remove all of the water and leave the box completely dry.

Cover your work area with old newspapers and set the light box in the center. Spray an even layer of the spray adhesive over one side of the light box. Tear the rice paper into pieces the same size as that side of the box, or use scissors for a more uniform look.

Press the paper against the light box and gently smooth it across the surface. Run your hands against the rice paper, using a firm enough touch that you push out any air bubbles trapped between the paper and the adhesive. Repeat the process on each side of the light box.

Look over the light box carefully, looking for any damaged areas or spots that shine through the paper. If you see any, apply more spray adhesive and add more rice paper to the spot. Reattach the light box to the kitchen ceiling and enjoy the new look.


  • For a more decorative look, choose rice paper in a light, translucent color. Cover the bottom of the light box, hiding the fluorescent lights under the paper and use more paper on the sides. The rice paper is cheap enough to tear off when you need to replace the lights later.