Sunday, August 21, 2011

A chandelier reborn

The best thing about revamping old things is that it often doesn't matter if it doesn't work out. Unless you're dealing with serious antiques or things of sentimental value, the stakes are low and you're free to let loose and be creative. When it comes to transformations by paint, I'm yet to find myself wishing I didn't apply that fresh coat. It almost always looks better. 

This weekend while the Mister was putting render and final finish plaster on the fireplace, I got sidetracked from my next job of sanding all the wooden surfaces in our living room and reached for the spray paint. Oh, how I love spray paint. So fun to apply, so quick to transform something. I had my sights set on the chandelier in our living room. Eventually, I'd like to replace it but nice light fittings are never cheap and the good ones need to be installed by an electrician. That would cost even more money so I set about wondering how I could improve this old chandelier. The biggest barrier were the crystals. To paint over the brass fittings would require removing and then replacing each crystal. That sounded too long and arduous a task for my impatient self so I decided to try to cover them instead. Drips of paint all over them would look very amateur too so what to do? Masking tape all over them may have been hard to remove and could leave sticky bits which would have been a nightmare to clean when still attached to a light dangling from a 3.5 metre ceiling. Then I thought of plastic film/cling wrap. Genius I thought until I started questioning whether I could make it tight enough around the top of each crystal so no paint dribbled down. Mulling over this led me to my final solution which was aluminium foil! 

Wrapping all the crystal pieces of the chandelier was pretty painless. Just made sure I pressed them tightly around the top to stop any drips getting through. The final prep was masking the top of the light and sticking some newspaper up to protect the ceiling rose.

A coat of White Knight Super Primer and we were on the way. 

Then two coats of White Knight Quick Dry satin Enamel in black (this and the primer cost less than $10 each from Bunnings). I followed the instructions of the can and waited an hour between coats. I was pretty excited at this stage. High on life not on paint fumes, me hopes!

I managed to wait an hour before removing the aluminium foil, then I just had to see what it looked like! The photo above shows the bottom crystals half unwrapped. I took this to show the little strips of foil that I wrapped tightly around the top of each crystal before wrapping with a larger piece to cover the whole thing. I felt I had more control of this little piece and could make sure the top was tighly covered. It was mostly a success. 

Once all the foil was removed, there were only 3 or 4 dots of black paint on the crystals to remove with a little turps (mineral turpentine). At this point I realised that the white plastic things that sit under the light globes were a dirty cream colour so I threaded these on a piece of string, strung them up outside and sprayed them with a couple of coats of white paint (leftover from the lamps I painted here).

Another hour of waiting later and the makeover was complete. Old globes back in et voila! Some new globes are on the list of things to hunt down, maybe something a bit daintier. The current energy saving globes are not cutting it.You may notice that I didn't put quite enough newspaper up to protec the ceiling rose. Whoops. Lucky fresh paint is on the agenda.

So there you have it - how to revamp an old chandelier for less than $20 with minimum fuss, without an electrician or removing it from the ceiling!

Here it is from afar with a glimpse of the progress on the fireplace (final coat plaster now applied and tiles ripped up). 

With a new lease on life, this old beauty is now fit to remain in the revamped living room. The black gives it a bit of a pop and will help it tie in with all the other black elements in the room (the curtain trim, the lamp shades, the ottoman, the paintings etc). One final, before and after to showcase spray paint satisfaction...

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  1. I really love this! I just redid a chandelier too! I love the jewels that you have on yours! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Nice work. I love that you actually follow through on your diy projects. I usually get around to removing doors, buying paint and then..nada.

  3. You are a hell of a crafty minx!

  4. Do you sell your work?

  5. I agree, I'd like to buy some!




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