Revamping an Old Chandlier


My house has a two story open entry way that had a small brass chandelier in view of a window.  That chandelier was a bad size for the area it was located.  With a foyer that open and tall, I knew I could get away with something large.

I love the wrought iron type of look.  However, purchasing a wrought iron chandelier that is four feet high would be ridiculous.  The weight of such an adventure would surely be problematic with me having to hire  a crew to help.  Even though the ceiling and box were already prepared for a chandelier, holding the weight of a chandelier like I pictured in my mind would be a bigger venture than I want to take on right now.  Not only that, but the chandeliers I liked were so overpriced that I couldn’t justify the expense.  I found a super large one for a low cost and waited over a year before it was installed.  What a nightmare!  There’s a reason it wasn’t priced too high due to every little piece having to be assembled.  I really mean EVERYTHING down to the arms, the electrical connections of the arms, etc.  The directions were obviously translated and were basically pictures.  Regardless, I’ve done enough assembly that it didn’t really phase me (but did explain why the price was low).  The assembly wasn’t the reason it waited.  I was the reason it waited.


The brass chandelier was removed.  The new chandelier took on the location.  In the background of the upstairs hallway was a gaudy and cheap looking mini chandelier that matched the gold of the brass one that was hanging.  For awhile, I tried to decide what I was going to do with that hallway light.  It can clearly be seen on the bottom floor at the entry level.  So, I got this swift idea that I was going to try to make it match the chandelier in the entry.


I turned the power off to the light (I’m talking about the fuse box shut off, folks), removed it, and started to put my plan in action.  Since there are no places to hook crystals, I ordered bobeches (those are the glass bowl looking pieces near the candle part of the fixture) that had four places to add crystals.  I also ordered different crystal pieces to put my plan in action.  I matched up pictures online to what was on my large chandelier.  While I waited for those items to arrive, I started by cutting the brass around each candle to be circular.  The hexagon shape was annoying me.  I filed it down with a metal file.  This was a real pain, and it would have been easier just to leave it alone.

I bought a can of glossy black paint and primer.  After making sure the piece was free of dirt and grime, I removed the plastic candles, covered anything I didn’t want painted with painting tape (the blue tape), and put a light coat onto the fixture.  It took a couple of days regarding the painting process to make sure everything was dry and that I covered the areas.  If you spray paint, follow directions so you don’t create big drips by overdoing your spraying.  I find that setting pieces in a cardboard box is helpful to not get spray paint all over the place.  Patience is everything when it comes to coating and allowing to dry.  Follow the instructions because over spraying makes a piece look like a drip scene.



The difference a can of spray paint can make.

An unnecessary step:  I cleaned off the plastic pieces and dipped the outer edges in beeswax.  I created drips with the beeswax to make them look like real candles.  I actually have done this on a couple of fixtures after having seen them sold online.  I purchased the beeswax awhile back using a coupon at Michaels Arts and Crafts.  The drips can be created by just dripping the wax down the sides with a spoon while the candle sits on waxed paper.  If you mess up, just let it cool completely and scrape it off.  Really, it was kind of pointless considering people aren’t tall enough to see this particular part of the project.

After mounting the light fixture, I added the candles on, slipped the bobeches over, and went to town adding crystals on the fixture.  I could have kept going with this because it was fun trying to figure out how to make a non-crystal holding piece into one that has crystals.  I used LED lights to save money in the future.  They were used on the large chandelier as well because who wants to have to change bulbs on a fixture like that?


The total cost of this project was around $30.00.  You can control what you spend on something like this based on how far you want to go with crystals, etc.  In the end, I was able to match that small chandelier to the large one enough that the pieces look like they were meant to go together.  I can’t even tell you  how many people use to walk into my house and make fun of that hallway light.  When the large chandelier went up, the brass one stood out like a sore thumb.  I hope you enjoyed this project and found it inspiring.  If you have a chandelier or light fixture project you would like to share, hit me up on Facebook!  I love seeing your ideas!



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