Home Improvement: Painting Old Chandeliers and Light Fixtures
This new home of ours was completely decked out in oak and brass fixtures when she was newly built. Totally nice for those who enjoy them. But we don’t really care for oak OR brass. But I know there are those who do. And if that’s the case……leave your fixtures happy and brassy.
But, if you’ve been thinking of replacing them…….STOP RIGHT THERE!
I know, I know……you may really dislike your chandelier/fixture. I did too. But before getting rid of it/them…….just imagine adding a little paint.
See?!?! Look how pretty she is now, all gussied up…
And really, you can’t even tell this little baby used to be brass.
There were actually 2 of these little brass beauties in our entry.
But now, they are both transformed……and they thanked me for not giving up on them! :)
Now just think, even if painting them doesn’t work out and you still hate them……you’re only out less than $10 (for the paint and tape). But at least you tried! Have you seen the price of large chandeliers for entryways?? Whew…….I just saved myself about $500 (for 2) that I was actually considering saving up for. Whew……much better!
Would you like to see how simple this really is??
First of all……take your chandelier/fixture apart. I found it really helpful to take pictures with my phone as I was taking nuts/bolts/rings off……so that I knew which order to put them back on. Trust me, you’ll forget. ;)
Then, clean ‘er up! Chances are………the fixture has never been cleaned before, especially if it was way up high like mine was.
Be sure and clean the inside too.
Now, it’s time to tape. I used painter’s tape, so that it will peel off nicely and not leave sticky residue. I started on the inside and taped the outside last.
Be sure to cover every single little space that you don’t want painted. If you leave a spot uncovered……it’ll turn black. So, take your time, overlap your tape layers, and get those corners nice and precise.
As for paint, I guess you could go cheap……but I really wanted good coverage. And I wanted it to stick well to my metal and shiny brass. So, I bought some Rustoleum, which worked really well. It adhered right away to that slippery brass…….and only took 2 coats. (And it’s great for those outdoor fixtures because it prevents rust.)
I didn’t sand it down at all (like the guy at Home Depot told me to do) because I forgot about it until after I taped…..and I didn’t want the dust to get into the tape and paint. So, I just went for it and was hoping for the best. And really, it turned out awesome. I don’t think it would have helped anything to sand first. However, I would definitely sand the rough surfaces of outdoor fixtures that have been a little damaged due to weather. But these fixtures turned out great without sanding first.
To paint, I hung my fixture from a bent hanger that I slipped through the top of the fixture…..and then secured that to some rope, which hung from the center or our ladder.
I sprayed the inside first and tried my best to get all cracks and crevices. Then, I worked my way to the outside and was just as careful.
Then, I sprayed all of my extra parts and pieces. Just be sure to cover anything that you don’t want painted, with tape.
Then, I let everything dry for a couple hours, then applied another coat.
After waiting 24 hours to let the paint completely harden, I peeled back the tape. I should have taken a picture of that…….but it’s the most fun and I kinda forgot. To get the tape started, I used the tip of a pointy knife and dug under the very edge. Then I peeled, peeled, peeled. And one more TIP: if there are any leaks of paint on the glass, use the edge of a razor blade (or knife) and carefully scrape the paint off the glass. It comes off pretty easily.
Now, if your chandelier has candle sockets……chances are, they are dirty and melted like mine. Just take them right off.
And replace them with new ones. (I found these at Lowe’s.)
However, the standard size was too short for my chandelier. So I lined them up and cut the extra length off the old one (I used a serrated knife at first but then my husband stepped in and used his jig-zaw for the rest)……and then slid that over the light socket first and then put the newer clean one on top of that. The old piece pushes down inside of the socket and is hidden…….and keeps the newer one up high and visible. Sorry……I meant to get a picture of that too, but forgot. Ack! :)
And that’s it.
Your new (but old) light fixtures!!!