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. says

    Ooooh..You did good, girl…very, very good! I love it…aged and antiqued with a bit of glitzy glamour…a marriage of rustic and refined…You nailed it! Hugs-Diana

  2. says

    Wow doesn’t even cut it. I am simply speechless, this deserves some sort of award, seriously. I am just blown away at your eye, your talent and your patience. Wow!

  3. says

    Very nice! I transformed several of these hanging lights for out daughter’s outdoor wedding, it was a fun project!
    (Found you via Metamorphosis Monday)

    • says

      Hi Heidi-

      They must have looked wonderful in an outdoor setting. Were they electrified or did they have candles in them?

    • says

      Hi Linda-

      Thanks, It makes me smile to know that I inspired you. I could definetly use some Christmas cash. I will head over to enter your giveaway.

  4. Toni says

    Amazing transformation, Diane! Love the contrast between the rustuc treatment on the brass and the sparkly beads. Can’t wait to see the finished room.

  5. says

    That is simply fabulous!!! I may have to copy the paint idea to my chandy in the dining room. I hope you will link up to my before and after party again tonight. The party is on Wednesdays with the link up on Tuesday night. I featured your wonderful hutch transformation from last week today.

  6. says

    I.LOVE.IT!!!!! I have been trying to figure out what to do for over my dining table and this HAS.GOT.TO.BE.IT!!! I have seen so many of those chandies at the DI and just passed them up… Not any more!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  7. says

    Are you kidding me, this is fabulous! I have a chandi I need to redo, you have given me the motivation! Thanks for linking up!

    • says

      Hi Kristin-

      Go for it! I didn’t like the chandy before, so I figured I had nothing to lose if it didn’t turn out. Layereing the paints on was easy and mistakes are so easy to just block out with another layer.

    • says

      Hi Donna-
      Thanks for the comment. I have been wanting to do this for a long long time – just had to DO IT.

      No way can you be scared to post one of your projects – they are all terrific and in your style – weird – never! – funky – yes! which is a good thing, as in “original”. Can’t wait to see it.


    • says

      Hi Anna-
      Thanks – I think it was actually easier to work on the chandy while in place. I just slid the table over. I kept the light bulbs in so the sockets were not exposed and cut the power while working on it. I didn’t want to take the time to remove it, fashion a place to hang it from to paint, and then re-hang it – that would have taken too much time. :)

  8. says

    Wow! What an amazing transformation! I love it! It looks so beautiful. I have been looking for chandys for a couple different rooms in our home, I can’t wait til I can try something like this!

  9. says

    I love it! What a difference you have made. I am going to follow you from now on, and attempt what you have just done with some of my fixtures. Thanks for sharing. Please stop by and visit me some time. Teresa

  10. Anonymous says

    Wow… you did a fantastic job on your chandy. Love the layered finish and the addition of the draped beads put the fixture over the top. Well done!

  11. says

    Wow… you did a fantastic job on your chandy. Love the layered finish and the addition of the draped beads put the fixture over the top. Well done!


    P.S. Sorry for the repeat comment…I inadvertently left my first comment (the comment preceding this one) as “anonymous.”

  12. says

    OMiGOSH! Love! I just told my hubs that I wanted to do this to our chandy and he informed me that maybe I should by a chandy from the restore as practice first…..he of little faith, but you can bet that I’m going to be going to the ReStore for a chandy that I can pretty up!

    Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  13. Chrissy says

    Fab update! I’ve been looking for ideas to the same to my chandy. I do not want to drill holes in mine though (what if I change my mind or mess up??). My interior dec friend told me to use napkin rings on each “candle” instead. Drill the holes into the rings or find some with fringe! Now I am on the hunt for the right rings to use!

  14. says

    You are extremely creative and talented ~ I love this! Thanks so much for all the details and the pics.

    Hope you’re having a blessed weekend!

  15. says

    What a transformation! And such detailed instructions. I have been looking for a chandelier to makeover for some time now. Thanks for all the ideas; they will come in handy when I find one. It was nice reading about your decorating marathon. Continued success!

  16. says

    It doesn’t even look like the same fixture! I like that you chose to add a little bling!

    Thanks for thinking of me and the snow. I have to say it was a little bit of a shock to go from 60 and sunny to snowstorm! It was pretty though.

  17. says

    Thank you for your contribution to last week’s linky party. Just looking at this lamp again. What an inspiration you are. Now it’s completely do-able to transform some trashy lamp… into a jewel!! haha.

    A new party, at http://www.FineCraftGuild.com/diy-linky-party-21/ will be up shortly, so come feature your new tutorials. We love to see what you’ve created this week, and be inspired again!

    Till soon,
    Have a craftful, happy day, Rose

  18. says

    you’re a genius!! I’ve done a very similar thing with an old chandelier for my living room and I’m very satisfied about the result! I did not take pics of the whole process…that’s a pity!
    I follow you!

  19. says

    I am in love with this chandy! It is gorgeous and has inspired me to get off my behind and fix up the one I have in the garage. Thanks for sharing your technique – I am stealing it (and will give you credit of course…I am not a real thief)

  20. says

    Oh my word… absolutely beautiful!!!! You did an awesome job. I need to do something with my dining room fixture – I’m going to have to try this!!!!! You rock!!

  21. says

    WOW!!! what a great transformation…and i never thought to use the jewelry beads instead of the crystal chain i saw on line (for probably way more $)…

    i love your hutch in the background there, too!! :)

    hugs, cindy

  22. says

    YOu are a genius that you could turn that ugly thing into one of such elegance and shabby chic gorgousness..if that is even a word! Love the finish and the beading.

  23. says

    Really, really well done job, Diane! I came upon you through Centsational Girl, and I may just have to make your tuna can lanterns for my back patio too! ; )

    Your mudroom organizational dresser is also quite inspiring.

    Great stuff!

  24. says

    Oh WOWOOWOWWOW! This chandelier is abosolutly gorgeous! And what great ideas re paint…I have only just recently joined your blog and haven’t looked through everything yet but oh, this one is GGGGGRRRREEEEAT! Very creative.

  25. patricia ryan says

    This looks great.congrats, you did a great job. I am trying to figure out how to put some crystal beads on plain pinch pleat draperies. any ideas
    please email me @pattyaryan@aol.

  26. says

    I’m so glad I came across this! I’ve been debating how to fix up our ugly old chandelier – I was going to just spray paint it a bright color, but I love the way yours turned out!

  27. kobevents says

    Nicely done! Surprised that you did all of the work overhead – why not take it down to work on it??

    • says

      Thanks – I would have had to hang it somewhere to work on it to get it from all angles and didn’t want to deal with the electrical wiring. It was easier to just put a drop cloth on the table.

  28. Lainie says

    I don’t know what else I can add to everyone’s comments but I will say I definitely love this and all the things you do! Way to go!!

  29. says

    WOW, that is beautiful! You really know how to repurpose almost anything and turn it up a notch! You have the best ideas Diane, that’s why I keep coming back.

  30. Diana Smith says

    Thank you for the inspiration. I am going to attempt this with my light fixture that I was going to replace when I got the money. Now I will try this. Can you tell me approx. how many beads you used? Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Diana-

      I used 108 larger crystal beads (from arm to arm) and 90 smaller ones (arms to center of chandelier). Make sure you use a coupon so you can save $$$. I bought all of mine when they were on sale.

  31. says

    This is a brilliant tutorial! Thank you so much for posting – I was just trying to figure out how to do this very thing!

  32. says

    Diane, I absolutely love this!! You did such an amazing job! I love your antiquing method, I’m going to use this method on a metal coat rack I found at Marshalls. I can’t wait to try it!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  33. Diana Martin says

    I want to do this. I’ve started collecting gold, topaz, and clear crystals. For the larger crystals you show the 3 large crystals on a pin and a cover. I’m not clear what you co after that. I see the loop on the end. Do you connect a strand to that loop after you have “started” from the connection to the chandelier with those 3 crystals on a pin?

  34. Diana Martin says

    Thank you for your reply to my email. I see the 3 Crystal “drops” on each of the lower arms now upon closer inspection. I only noticed the strands at first. By the way, I’ve been looking around and I think shipwreckbeads.com has the lowest price on beads whether it’s Swarovski or the lower priced crystals. artbeads.com is within a penny or so and is well-known among crafters as well.

  35. LauraIsFrench says

    Where have you been hiding and why haven’t I known about you sooner! I actually GAVE away TWO brass chandeliers similar to this and am shaking my head in amazment at the transformation you achieved here! Stunning and beautiful! Well done! Your blog goes on my FAVORITES list for sure now! Thank you!

  36. 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.

  37. Laurie says

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

  38. julie says

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

    Thank you!

  39. 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.

  40. 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!

  41. 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

  42. Candace says

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

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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

  46. 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!

  47. 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!

  48. 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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