Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chic Chandelier

When we first bought our house, I saw the brass chandelier in the dining room as a piece with lots of potential.
Not the best pic, I know, but it's the only "before" pic of it hanging that I have!
I knew I wanted to give it a face lift with a fresh coat of black paint. So, last weekend, we decided to make this happen.
First things first, we had to take it down and remove all the crystals. I enlisted Landon's help for this task.

Having never painted a chandelier, I also thought it would be wise to peruse the World Wide Web for a few pointers. One great tip I found was from the Karla's Cottage blog, which said to screw in burnt-out light bulbs so that you don't have to tape up the sockets. I thought this sounded like a great idea, and it was, though you will see in a few minutes that I ran into one little problem. I didn't actually have any burnt-out light bulbs, but had some nightlight bulbs that I no longer needed.

I realize how dusty the chandelier was until I took this picture ... ewww. So, I also took the time to wipe it down. Much better!

Once I cleaned the entire chandelier off, I taped off the wires and moved it out to the garage for the first coat of primer.

I must tell you that I didn't realize there were so many types of spray paint primers at Home Depot. I wasn't quite sure which one to get but I decided on Rust-oleum's Clean Metal Primer. It worked really well, as far as I know! The only caution I would give is that it does leave a sticky finish. I had on an old pair of tennis shoes, which I'm sure will be forever sticky on the bottom!

Because of the many nooks and crannies on the chandelier, I had to turn it a few times and add several coats. For the second coat of primer, I thought I would try placing the chandelier in a box to spray it. I had seen this on one of the websites.

It did help with the containing the spray paint, but this is where the light bulb idea got me into trouble. See, I first placed the chandelier upside down in the box so I could get the bottom covered, and when I did, one of the bigger bulbs ended up breaking off. Hmm ... so I taped it up and kept on going, this time without the box. (Once it was all done, I was able to easily get the remainder of the bulb our with a pair of pliers, so it ended up being fine.)

I will say that one of the hardest parts of this job was waiting on the coats to dry :) Yes, I'm impatient! So, in between coats, I decided to clean off the crystals. Once again, I didn't realize how dirty they were until I started this process. I just put them in a bowl in the kitchen sink with a little dish detergent and hot water. It worked wonders!

That took just enough time that I was ready for my first coat of black spray paint. I chose to use Rust-oleum's Universal Hammered Spray Paint. It gave a great coverage. After two coats, here is my finished product.

You might notice the little "bubbles" on the chandelier. I'm not sure what the problem was, but I've deducted it was one of three things:

1) I did this last Saturday on a 60 degree day but the temperature was dropping throughout the day (you may remember it snowed the next day). By the time I put the black on, it was a little chilly. It could have been too cold for the spray paint.

2) Because of the cold, I may have rushed the last step, so it may not have had enough time to dry in between each coat.
3) I may have put the coats on too thick.

Well, it may not be perfect, but I've now learned. (Oh, I might not have mentioned, either, that this was my first spray paint project, ever ... as in, in my entire life. So, I figured for the first time, it didn't turn out too bad. Plus, once it was hung, with all the crystals added, you cannot see those bubbles!) What do you think?

I think it's going to look amazing with our dark grey walls! I also have a smaller chandelier very similar to this one in the foyer. I'll be painting it, too, once it warms up, so I'll have another opportunity to give it a go without the end "bubbles."


Keva said...

I think it looks great! I have a chandelier in the foyer that needs some help, but ive been too chicken to touch it. :)

Kristin said...

Keva, if I can do it, so can you!!! Go for it!!!

Leslie said...

Wonderful job! What a difference! You make a "mom" proud!

Kristin said...

Thanks, Leslie!! I sometimes wish I had my "moms" nearby for a second opinion, especially when I venture to Joann's for fabric! :)

Glenna Marshall said...

So pretty!! You're inspiring me to attack some projects in my house!

Anonymous said...

Your post on fixing the bathroom chandelier problem was exactly what I needed, thanks! Looking at this (painting) post, I may have the answer to your bubble problem - the 'hammered' finish. It's designed to cover up scratches etc so the finish is rough. Maybe a matte or glossy finish would have looked different but agreed it's not close enough to matter either way. cheers - Bill

Kristin said...

Thanks, Bill, for the tip. Glad I could offer you some inspiration!