Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dining Dilemma-Chandelier Transformation and DIY Tutorial

Happy Superbowl Sunday to all of you!  Today, I want to share with you one of the most fun, and inexpensive transformations I've done!

 As you can see, this space is super small, and it was my client's only dining space in her home.  She couldn't afford to have electrical wiring installed, but the space needed something more than a tiny wind chime hanging above the table.  My first suggestion was a fixture that didn't need wiring, but could instead, be plugged into the outlet closest to the table.  I was thinking IKEA...My client didn't like the idea of having something in her kitchen that reminded her of her 1960's childhood.  So, onto the next idea.  After scouring the lighting sections of a few local thrift stores, I found this little brassy number. "Hello,Darlin'!  For 8 little smackeroos(yes, $8!), you're coming home with me!"
 I really wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but knew I could make it prettier, and far more functional for the space.

Here's a picture of it, right after I brought it to my client's house.  As you can see, it isn't your standard-size large chandelier.  The smaller ones are more difficult to come by, so I grab them when I see them!

 The first thing I did after I brought it home was to remove the electrical wiring, as well as the hardware that would house the light bulbs. (please forgive my blurry phone pictures)  With a little twisting and turning, bending and wiggling, they broke right off. Be careful to hold onto the tops, as the bottoms can become jagged and sharp.

After removing all of the existing hardware, I knew for certain that the best use of this chandelier would be to transform it into a "candle-ier"(no spell-check for that word!)  I had some small glass votive holders that would sit in each little cup.  But, hmmmm...They needed something to sit ON.  I went digging in my arsenol of supplies, and found some washers that would be perfect!! A little glass/metal glue(I used Loctite), some applied pressure, and a little dry time, and here we were!

 The next thing I did was attach a new chain, since there was no existing one.  I found this one at Lowe's for around $6. I simply held a link with a pair of pliers, and used a screwdriver turned on its side, which I inserted through the held link.  I then turned it slightly, and opened the link just enough to attach it to the chandelier. After attaching it, I simply used the same pliers to gently squeeze that link closed again.

The next step was to prime it.  In lieu of sanding it at all, I simply used a great primer(one I highly recommend, as it hasn't failed me yet!) It doesn't smell, it adheres well, and it dries quickly. Here is a picture below:

I have found that the easiest way to refinish a chandelier, or basically anything that needs to "hang", is to hang it from a tree outside.  This serves many purposes: Fresh air, drying time is shortened, and not as much concern about overspray ruining things that you may not want paint on.(yup, learned this one the hard way)

To prime, I held the can 8-12 inches from the chandelier. It is important to move in quick, light strokes.  Keeping it in one place for too long will cause dripping.  Definitely not the look we're going for here! If by chance this does happen to you, don't throw in the towel. Once it dries, take a fine grit sandpaper(220) or fine steel wool, and GENTLY rub over the spot to smooth it out. Wipe it off with a lint-free rag, and spray it again with primer. Here is a picture of the chandelier after 2 coats of primer, allowing for about 15 minutes of drying time between each coat. *It was also a sunny, warm day, with no humidity.

At this point, you have a blank canvas!  You could use a bright color, or use a spray paint with a metallic finish.  The options are endless! You could attach beads or crystals...Whatever suits you!  In this case, I chose to keep it simple, so that the rest of the room could shine.  I wanted to create ambiance and balance, so I chose a green that would be picked up again(or repeated) in the window treatments, as well as the  existing wallpaper boarder. 

I used two coats, allowing about 20 minutes in between for dry time.  Here she is!

After the final coat, I left it hanging for about 2 hours, just to make sure it was completely dry, since the next step would require some "handling". I definitely didn't want to damage all of my hard work!

With the same glue I used to attach the washers(Loctite Glass Glue), I attached each glass votive to the washer.

After each votive was completely secured, I walked away and just let it air dry and cure for the next 24 hours. Again, it was warm and sunny, with almost no humidity.  When I can, I like to do this. The fumes from the spray paint can be overwhelming if you bring your piece in too soon. I always recommend leaving whatever it is you're working on outside, if at all possible for 24-48 hours. 
The only thing left to do was drop in some tea lights(the ones in the clear plastic cups look best, but use traditional ones in silver metal cups if that's all you've got!)

I honestly couldn't wait to hang this baby up! I am always so amazed at how something so simple can completely change a space!  Here she is in all of her glory! 

 Here's a close up:

So, there you have it!  A shabby, brassy eyesore to a beautiful, elegant piece of eye candy!  It created just enough light to warm up the dining area, and saved my client a ton of money. The entire project cost less than $35!  A win-win outcome in my book!  

Cost breakdown:

Chandelier: $8 Thrift store find
Black chain:  $6 Lowe's
Loctite glue:  $4 Lowe's
Glass votives:  Already owned (about .50 each) X5=$3
Spray paint: $5 Lowe's
Primer: $5 Lowe's
Clear tea lights: I get mine from Amazon $16.99 for 36(about .50 each) X5=$3
Here is a link: Clear tea lights

Grand Total: $34

 I hope this inspires you to find something old, maybe even something in your "trash pile", and breathe new life into it!  I'd love to see what you come up with!

Have a wonderful day, and thank you so much for stopping by!