Dining Room Brass Chandelier Makeover

Make over a brass chandelier

This is the second project of my decorating marathon that I have finished!!!  Yay!- I think I may make my T-Day deadline.  Of all the projects I have been working on this brass chandelier makeover excites me the most.  I created exactly what I envisioned. I want this room to be neutral, casual, yet elegant.  I mixed old and rusty with a little bit of upscale – crystals. I just love the contrast of the two.   


A builder grade fake brass chandelier – yes, Fake! 

Brass Chandelier Makeover using Paint

I wanted to transform it into something more to my style.  I didn’t remove the fixture. I worked on it right where it was hanging from the ceiling. I taped around the cap that meets the ceiling and painted it the same way I did the rest of the chandy.

A close up of the After

Brass Chandelier Makeover using Paint

I started by sponging on some oil-based gloss brown paint that I had on hand and then on top of that I used textured spray paint in Rustic Umber, but did not apply it in the ordinary spray painting way.  I loved the color and the texture this paint offered and could not find something else so I sprayed it into a plastic pan and dipped a sea sponge into it to dab on to chandelier. This way, the coverage was random.  Once that was dry, I then dabbed on Decor Arts craft paint in Rich Espresso and let it dry.

Brass Chandelier Makeover using Paint

Brass Chandelier Makeover using Paint

Then I layered on two different shades of white – one was a gloss white I had and the other an off white called Bleached Sand from Americana using bits of an old sea sponge.  I kept layering the browns and the white until I liked the finish which looked textured, pitted,  and rusty.  It took me a few days of dabbing every so often.  Skipping drying time, it probably took about 45 minutes total.   After quite a bit of layering the paints, it just looked right.  Trial and error, just keep adding layers – you can’t add too much.

Chandelier Makeover Ideas

Once I liked the finish, it was time to add some sparkle as a contrast to the old rusty look. I gathered florist’s wire, Gorilla Glue, a Dremel Rotary Drill, a pointy drill bit, wire cutters, and a pair of  jewelry making pliers.

Chandelier Makeover Ideas

I bought crystal beads at Michael’s. They normally sell for $5.99 each, but if you wait for a sale you can get two for one.  I used two different size beads.  I needed 108 larger crystals and 90 smaller ones.

Brass Chandelier Makeover Ideas

To create the crystal drapes around the chandy, I marked the chandelier with a marker where I wanted the crystal beads to hang.   On my chandelier, I made a hole on the inner edge of each candle cup, with a matching hole on the top section of the chandelier.

Brass Chandelier Makeover Ideas

Once I had the placement marked, I used my Dremel drill and the pointy bit.   I drilled holes in my newly painted chandelier.  I first used a straight drill bit, but that just bounced off the metal when I tried to drill.  The pointy bit went right through very easily.  The metal got hot, but it only took a second to make each hole.  I was thinking it would be harder and had told my hubby I might need his help, but I didn’t.  You should probably turn off the power unless you won’t be anywhere close to the electrical wires.

Brass Chandelier Makeover Ideas

I strung the smaller beads on florist wire and threaded one end through the candle cup and tied the wire into a knot.

Brass Chandelier Makeover Ideas


Brass Chandelier Makeover Ideas

I then threaded the other side through the hole in the top section of the chandy. I pulled it taut and then made another knot.  I trimmed the excess wire with wire cutters and put a dab of Gorilla Glue on each knot to make sure each string of crystal beads would be secure.

Brass Chandelier Makeover Ideas

For the crystal beads that drape around the arms, I used the larger beads.  I did one section at a time (one arm to the next).  I strung 18 beads onto the wire and then tied it around the bottom of each candle cup.

Brass Chandelier Makeover using Paint and Crystals

I wrapped the wire under and over to make sure the string of beads were secure and then cut off the excess wire.

How to makeover a chandelier

I then made 5 – tiered drops to add to each arm.  I placed three big beads and one tiny one on a jewelry making endpin.  I used the pliers to make a closed hook at the top.

How to make over a brass chandelier

 I then threaded each one onto wire and wrapped it around each arm of the chandy.

How to make over a brass chandelier

Then I dabbed the exposed wire with Rich Espresso from Decor Arts using a tiny paintbrush to hide the wire.  The bottom little accent on the chandy looked like it needed something so I added a tiered drop to it.  There was nothing to wire it to so I flattened the closed hook end against the bead.  I then hot glued it to the bottom.  This might not last forever, but if it does fall off I can simply hot glue it on again.  (Wire and hot glue are two of my favorite decorating materials)

Remember the before?

Before and After Chandelier Makeovers


Make over a brass chandelier

Before and After Chandelier Makeovers

DIY Chandelier MakeoversDinng Room Chandelier Before and After TransformationsBefore and After Chandelier Makeovers

How to paint brass

I also made a fabric chain cover for my transformed chandelier.  You can find out how I accomplished it in this post – How to make a Chandelier Cover.  I didn’t use Velcro for this one, I just stood on a ladder and sewed it right around the chain.

Two more projects in this room and then I will be ready to serve Thanksgiving dinner.

Brass Chandelier Makeover


  1. Jaynee says

    I wanted to share an idea for inexpensive way to get jewels for different projects like the chandelier. I go to the $jewlery store and you can get a whole string of “bobbles” for a $1-$2. I just found your site. It is AWESOME!!! thanks for sharing your ideas and knowledge. It is much appreciated.

  2. Laurie says

    Absolutely love it. Great job and thank you for the tutorial. Exactly what I have been envisioning doing myself.

  3. julie says

    You are truly gifted and inspirational! I look forward every morning to see what you have created and shared!

    Thank you!

  4. jan friend says

    absolutley love it all,are you good @ puzzles too?Are you a Cancer child? thanks a ton!

    • says

      Hi Jan – Yes, I was born at the end of June under the sign of water – Cancer :) The description and characteristics of the Astrological sign are pretty accurate for my personality.

  5. jan friend says

    knew it me too! when you said you couldn’t add 2 +2Funny but am the same way. that i why I married A PiecesThink the artist eye helps too! Keep up the insperation for the rest of us!

  6. zee says

    When I saw the ‘before’ photo of the chandelier, I thought to myself – this is such a beautiful chandelier, why does she want to spoil it??? ….. then I saw the after photo and I was completely bowled over. It looks sooo awesome!!! Great job Diane

  7. Candace says

    This is an awesome idea. I would love to do this to my mom’s ugly gold 90’s chandy. Thanks!

  8. sunnygirl says

    This looks very real and shabby chic in the right setting. However, a colonial style brass chandelier never goes out of style. But if anyone needs a change then this works.

  9. Corrine says

    I’m trying to recreate this, but it is not coming out even close to yours :(. How many layers do you think you did? Any suggestions? I love yours!

    • says

      Hi Corrine – I added many layers. I worked it until I liked the look. I did a layer, let it dry, came back later to see if I liked it, then added more. It was not so much one complete layer, but dabs of paint all over that I let dry and then dabbed more on in areas that I thought needed more or less color. Keep adding the various colors, add more or less of some of the colors. Stand back and squint your eyes to focus on areas that may need to be blended in more. I did not like mine after only a few layers – just keep at it until you like what you see. More layers make it look more like real rust and aging.

  10. Linda Weeks says

    thank goodness there is someone out there who is doing the projects that I would do, if I were that clever. I know you put extra effort into those jobs that you photograph and post, where I would probably say, naw, that’s good enough for me. Best of luck, fond regards, Linda

  11. Kat says

    Finding your post a few years later. But good things never go out of style, right? This is AMAZING!! I am usually a lurker. But I just had to comment. This could have been found at a flea market in Paris. I have used textured paint and love it. Even went so far as to paint my laminate kitchen countertops. But I’ve never thought beyond that. And this is exactly what I see in my head for my ‘sitting room’. Can’t wait to try it out. You’ve made it look so easy. Thanks a lot!

  12. says

    Impressive! You are truly talented in that kind of craft. This DIY tutorial on how to restore and redesign a brass chandelier is really amazing. I like the idea of the rustic look and the addition of crystal beads on the side, it’s very creative. Thanks for sharing!

  13. says

    This is truly amazing! You definitely need to do this project again on YouTube. I can’t find anything else like it-


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