DIY Brass Chandelier Makeover

Hey, how are you doing?  I hope you had an enjoyable spring weekend and got to get outside and enjoy the warmer temps.  It was a bit iffy here with rain on and off, but I still managed to get outside.  I also started working on this colonial brass chandelier that has been hanging in my foyer for the last 15 years.

I bought it at a flea market for $12.00 and it was old and a bit pitted even when I bought it.    I found the shades a few years later at a yard sale. I don’t hate this fixture as it is classic, but the brass is pitted and one side of the big round appendage ball is almost black.  I like brass as it adds glow and gleam to rooms, but I have touches of it elsewhere in the room and feel like experimenting with making this more unique to me.   It hangs from a two story foyer and it would require huge ladders or scaffolding to get it down, so I am working on it where it is.  I can grab it from my staircase and twirl it around. It was time…time for a DIY Brass chandelier makeover that would not be easy and budget friendly.


The candle socket covers were in need of replacement which is the easy part of this makeover.


Different manufacturer’s make candle socket covers, but if you want white – don’t get the Portfolio brand at Lowes on the left as they are not opaque enough – you can see the wire and metal of the candle socket right through them.   I found the Westinghouse brand at Ace Hardware -they were perfect opaque white.


The black chandy shades cost me 50 cents each at a yard sale.  I like opaque shades as I think they add more drama to a room as the light is cast up and down – not all over as with sheer shades, plus if the fixture is on a dimmer it lets you play with the perfect amount of light.

If you don’t have your lights on dimmers you should seriously consider doing so.  It allows you to control the exact amount of light needed for what ever you are doing, literally at the touch of a button. For instance in your bathroom when you want to take a relaxing bath – having a dimmer allows you to create spa like lighting.  Then when you are done – back to bright so you can see yourself clearly in the mirror.

Shades – Before


I cleaned the dust off of the shades with a tack cloth and used Rust-o-leum Gloss Protective Enamel in White. I applied very light coats every 20 minutes until they were covered in a nice glossy white finish.


I love glossy white shades and now I am happy to say I finally have some. I think we should have what we love in our homes, even if we have to make it, right?  These are probably not the last shades you will see me spraying gloss white.


I wanted the inside of the shades to be bright and cheery and chose to paint them sky blue. To do this without making a huge mess, I used my trusty artist’s fan brush. I use this for all small paint touch ups as it feathers the paint out perfectly so you don’t see a demarcation line when the paint is dry. I use it for wall, furniture, and cabinet touch-ups.  It also works nicely in tight places like inside a small lamp shade.


The wider part of the “fan” brush runs right along the edge of the inside of the shade – no mess or painting outside the lines.  I applied one coat of gloss sky blue craft paint to each shade.


Now when I look up at the fixture – I see a pop of color and it makes me smile. It is an unexpected place to find some color, but I figure since you look up into the fixture I would use the color of the sky. I feel like I am bringing nature indoors.


With the shades done, now I have to work on the brass. It looks all shiny in the photo, but it is pitted  and discolored in many places.



So far I have only dry brushed on a bit of white paint, but have a vision and am working towards reaching it step by step. It is an experiment and so far I think it is going to work, but didn’t have time to complete it. I will show you my progress in my next post.


I covered the chandelier chain by making a cover with fabric and Velcro.  You can see the tutorial for it here – How to Make a Chandelier Chain Cover

Hope you enjoy your day – my youngest is coming home today from her semester abroad in Ireland. I can actually say I am excited to go to the supermarket as I have to stock the pantry as it has been pretty empty with just Ed and me. I plan on making her favorite meal tonight. It is called Bott Boi. It is a Pennsylvania Dutch Brand Noodle recipe that my mom used to make when I was growing up.  I haven’t made it since she was last home, but it is one of those recipes that I have made so many times, I no longer need to see the recipe card on how to make it.  It is delish-ious and there is always plenty leftover so I won’t have to cook another night this week – I am loving that as it will give me more time to work on the chandelier.

Now it’s off to my domestic duties.

Sharing with:  Southern Hospitality   Thrifty Décor Chick   The DIY Showoff  Between Naps On the Porch  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia  The Stories  A2Z  Coastal Charm  Savvy Southern Style


    • says

      Hey Christine-
      How are you doing? Great to hear from you. Just finished up the chandelier and looking forward to the weekend. Hope you have a good one.

  1. says

    You are a genius. I love the scrapbook paper covers. Where have you found the best prices on the shades that you put the paper over?

    • says

      Thanks Peggy – I found the shades at a thrift store. They were a real bargain at a $1 a shade. Lowes sometimes carries them. I would do an online Google search for them or check out ebay to see if anyone is selling plain ones.


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