Apr 8, 2015

Before & After: a chandelier

In the dining room at the new house, I'm replacing the brass chandelier with two lanterns.

That left me with a homeless brass chandelier.

I decided that since I'm turning the office at our current house back into a dining room before we sell it, I could repurpose the chandelier there -- but I wanted to see if I could do something to it to make it a little more ... palatable.

Because it's a LOT OF BRASS. Like, almost the size of a toddler Brass.

It's 12 lights. Please note that in the photo above, it's leaning. If I'd propped it up, it would've reached her shoulders.

And make no mistake, it's not "burnished" or "aged" brass. It's full-on, yellow, brassy-brass.

First, I completely wiped it down with a damp rag (okay, baby wipes) and removed all of the bulbs.

Then I pulled all the little white thingies up slightly and wrapped them with FrogTape. (You don't have to wrap them all the way to the bottom because you'll push them back down.)

I made sure to pinch off the tops so no paint would get down in the sockets.

Then I pushed the white, tape-wrapped thingies back down into the holders. (Please enjoy all of my technical jargon. Hope it's not too hard for you to follow.) (That's what Google is for.)

Then I sanded the whole thing down with fine-grit sandpaper. Or, I did that before I taped it all off. I can't remember. (That's another thing Google is for. The correct order of things. It's not like I Googled it before I did it.)

Stressed out because you don't have a place to hang a chandy to paint it? I didn't have a place, either. I found an S Hook lying around in our garage, and I wedged it into the top of our open garage door. Then I yanked on it really hard to make sure it wouldn't fall down on my head while I was painting.


Here is my Very Professional Setup.

Here is my Very Professional Product. (It took about a can and a half.)

I sprayed as evenly as I could, holding the can about 12 inches away from the chandelier at all times. It's important not to spray in sharp bursts, but to spray in even strokes.

You can see in the picture below how the arm in the foreground needed a little more spray -- you can see a little brass there. (This was after the first coat.)

This picture was also after the first coat ... the finish wasn't perfect, but it was getting there. I waited about an hour and applied a light second coat.

I'm going to paint the dining room Ben Moore's Palladian Blue, and I think this chandelier will look really nice over the mahogany table against the spa-blue walls. Good contrast, and certainly an improvement over the way the brass would have looked.

But just so you know, gold tones are back. Not brassy-brass, but aged brass. All the design blogs have been featuring brass cabinet hardware, faucets, lamps and accessories for more than a year now, so GET READY, INTERNET. Coming soon to homes near you.

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