Old Brass Chandelier Makeover – After

by Diane Henkler on 05/20/2011

Here is the second part of how I transformed the old brass chandelier in my foyer.

Here is the before – it was a classic colonial chandelier that I bought at a flea market  when I first moved into my house many years ago.   It is cracked in a few places and the arms are at different heights so figured I had nothing to lose so I started experimenting to update it in DIY fashion.

I have never done a Spackle treatment like this, and I truly experimented and asked myself – What if…   The chandelier didn’t come out quite as I planned, but I don’t mind showing you this after as I enjoy the process of  trying new ideas whether they are successful or not – it is an integral part of the creative process.

You can find out how I painted the shades here – How I am Updating an Old Brass Chandelier

Before

Black-Chandy-Shades

During

I tried to disguise the colonial ball base by covering it with Spackle.

brass-chandy-makeover-1b

It was like adding icing to a cake.  The hardest part was working on it while it was still hanging from the ceiling.  Since the chandelier and I  have been seeing a lot of each other the last few days I figured she needed a name. So I named her Chandie.

Diane-working-on-chandydiane-working-on-chandy-2

Here is what I used:

Dap Fast “N Final Lightweight Spackle, Gloss White Paint, and Treasure Crystal Cote.  I don’t think this is available anymore, but any gloss non-yellowing protective coat will work.

supplies-needed-for-chandelSupplies-needed-to-redo-cha

If you remember from my last post I had found 3 glass candle socket bobeches. I added them to the chandelier but still need 3 more.   I will have to hunt and gather them when I am out and about thrifting.  In the meantime I made 3 crystal bead rings to place at the base of the 3 bobeche-less candle sockets.

beads-and-wire-materials-ne

I strung 8 beads on thin craft wire and then tied the ends into a knot. Cut the excess

Beads-on-wire-to-make-boblemaking-a-boblech

and tucked it in between two beads to hide.

bobleches

Then slid it over the candle.

How-to-make-a-boblech-for-a

To cover the brass ball – I literally smeared light weight Spackle over it with an icing spreader.

smooth-spackel-with-an-icin

and let it set for about 10 minutes.

spackle-on-chadelier

After 10 minutes I ran my fingertips through through the Spackle from the top of the ball to the bottom.  That made 4 grooves in the Spackle. I repeated running my fingers through the Spackle all the way around the ball until it was all grooved.

run-fingers-through-spackle

To get a smoother look, spray with water and let it dry.

How-to-make-over-a-chandy-w

I also used an emery board in places to level the ridges . I gently rubbed it along the rough edges of the Spackle.  If there is a large ridge you can use a wet finger to smooth it.

remove-ridges-in-spackle

I did the top section in the same way.  Spread the Spackle, but instead or using my fingers to make the grooves

spackle-is-smooth-press-hot

I pressed a hot glue stick vertically around the  section with Spackle to create the ridges.

how-to-smooth-rough-spackle

When the Spackle is completely dry – a wet finger works perfectly to smooth the Spackle as well as to shape it to form.  The lightweight Spackle is whipped like air – it is weightless and doesn’t crack like the regular stuff.

use-fingers-to-shape-dry-sp

Once you are happy with the smoothness and shape – apply two coats of gloss white paint.

brass-chandelier-makeover-4

I also distressed the un-Spackled brass with clear glaze and white paint 50/50 mix and then spread it all over. I let it dry for about 5 minutes then wiped it off in places with a dry rag and a dry paint brush.  I like the way the white paint settled into the design and accents the underside of the candle bases.

brass-chandelier-makeover-s

Once the paint is dry on the Spackled sections I applied one light coat of Treasure Crystal Cote and let it dry.

I still may use Rub N’ Buf  to bring out the details, but I am going to leave it for now and see how I feel about it.  You may see it totally transformed again.

How-to-makeover-a-brass-cha

Chandelier-makeover-closeup

After

Painted White

Now that this is bright and white  – I want to add more white accents in the room. You know how it is -  you change one thing and then that leads to another and another and another…

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 alison May 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Looks great! So love it that you are so brave to hang over your gorgeous rail and work on it! You are one brave lady!
Great way to bring new life to a chandelier
xx

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2 Diane May 20, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Hi Alison -
Thanks. I didn’t hang over as much as bring the chandelier over to me. The chain is long and if I was on a high step I didn’t have to lean over too much. I hope you have a nice weekend.

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3 Stephanie@cre8tive May 20, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Oh my gosh, you are cracking me up with that cute outfit and doing your work. Where there is a will there is a way and you always seem to come up with the way. I am amazed at your creativity and your ideas, that chandelier doesn’t even look close to what it looked like before! Amazing.

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4 Debra from Capersofthevintagevixensblogspot May 20, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Wow! That came out amazing. Such a fabulous idea!!!!!!!!!
~Debra xxx
Capers of the vintage vixens

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5 Diane May 20, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Thanks Debra-

It took longer than I expected because of the damp weather, but I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

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6 Brandi May 20, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Hi Diane! You did such a beautiful job on your chandelier! Amazing transformation!

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7 Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. May 20, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Wow Diane, that is quite a transformation! You are a brave woman to take on that project! Well done!

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8 Kathleen Weishaar May 20, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Wow, Diane – you are amazingly brave to take this particular transformation to this extent…while some aspects leave me a bit dubious – I’m in complete agreement with the direction – away from the shiny brass and ‘lightening up’ the entire piece. Love the added sparkle as well as the fluted and beefed-up round elements. ‘Just not sure about the ‘white-wash’…’reminds me a bit of how my car looks after I’ve applied the paste wax abd before I’ve applied the muscle to buff it out :-)…I assume you considered switching to a different metal finish such as pewter or nickel but because you’re working on it ‘in situ’ (and likely also because you preferred this look) you went with this treatment…(Intrigued by the creative thought processes as much as the result)…thanks again for the great detail!

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9 Diane May 20, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Hi Kathleen-

Had to laugh at the car wash reference, but it does look like that. I know I don’t want it all white, but am thinking if I paint the rest of the brass white and then take Rub N Buf over the detail areas under the candles I will be happy. It will sort of be reverse of what it is now, depending on what color Rub N’Buf I use. Just have to think it out before I do it.

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10 Kathleen Weishaar May 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Hi Diane – ah…the ol’ Rub’n'Buff gambit – should’ve seen that coming…but that’s why you’re on my ‘favorites’ list – like a treasured novel, never ceasing to surprise and delight – a twist around every corner – engendering awe and wonder (and perhaps just a pinch of envy) of such creativity, talent, resourcefulness – and industriousness!

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11 beachhouseliving May 20, 2011 at 8:43 pm

That is quite a transformation. I am fascinated when I see ideas like this. Spackle to a chandelier who would have thought and to do it while it was still hanging is brave.

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12 Diane May 20, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I love experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t. I think my display background taught me how to make something from nothing with no budget at all – only stuff in a workshop. Some of the people I worked with just blew me away with their creativity. The daily thought in the profession is – What if…?

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13 Mercedes@Mercedes Blend May 20, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Diane,
I’m glad that you and Chandie came to an agreement…..how in the world did you come up with such a clever idea?….and without taking down the chandelier from the ceiling. Clever, clever, clever…great job!

Mercedes

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14 Diane May 20, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Hi Mercedes-
Thanks for connecting with me. Not taking the chandelier down was out of the question. We would have needed to rent a huge ladder or scaffolding and with my husband out of work it was money that we didn’t need to spend. I knew I could work on it while it was still hanging.

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15 Karen May 20, 2011 at 9:21 pm

That is amazing, so creative. Love it!

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16 karen@strictlysimplestyle May 21, 2011 at 11:05 am

You are gutsy! I would never have had the nerve to try the idea with the spackle, but what a fun result you got.

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17 Patricia in Denver May 21, 2011 at 11:07 am

Beautiful transformation all in all, but the spackle idea??? That was altogether brilliant! I simply can’t come up with ideas like these so I need to borrow them from wizards like you so thanks for sharing.

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18 Diane May 25, 2011 at 12:11 am

Thanks Patrica

Nice to hear from you. I hope all is going well. I am very happy to share what I do with you and anybody else you reads my blog. I love coming up with ideas and projects. I have been living in limbo (hubby laid off 2 years ago) since starting InMyOwnStyle and am hoping that when he gets re-employed I will be able to share a lot more – I have so many ideas -just waiting as I am not sure if we are going to stay in our current house or will have to move if he lands a job in another state. It has been tough, decorating is a bit more challenging when you have to be extra thrifty, but I find I am enjoying the challenge.

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19 Denise May 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm

You’ve done it again Diane! That spackle is something I never would have thought of. I agree with Patricia in Denver. I would never come up with these things so I also borrow from pros such as yourself. My friends and fam think I am ever so creative…if they only knew!

Can’t wait to see what you come up with next. You and Centsational Girl are the BEST bloggers and you two always come up with the best ideas. You two would make an awesome team. One on he East Coast and one on the West Coast.

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20 Diane May 24, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Thanks Denise

It makes me happy to know that you get inspiration here. You are creative and clever because you search for ideas, find what you like, and then make it happen. No wonder your family and friends think you are creative – they don’t have your resources, skills, and determination. You have made me smile BIG TIME comparing me with Kate aka Centsational Girl. What a confidence booster. She is amazing and I love what she does too. Thanks xo

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21 Mel May 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Truly magnificent! What a great transformation.

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22 design elements May 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm

looks wonderful! fabulous idea!

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23 Carol-Anne: Use the Good Dishes! May 22, 2011 at 11:50 am

I have to echo everyone else’s comments and say that you are so freakin’ clever to come up with that idea! Amazing.

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24 Tiffany May 22, 2011 at 10:01 pm

super cute! I love the makeover!!! great colors!

Tiffany, I blog over at:
http://itsacowgirlthing.blogspot.com/

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25 Sarah May 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Diane,

It looks AMAZING! I love the white wash over the brass, so cool. The spackle? Seriously creative and it turned out so well and you didn’t even take it down? Are you kidding me? Awesome.

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26 Diane May 24, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Hi Sarah-

Thank you so much. It would have been easier if I took the chandelier down, but I was determined to redo it and would not let that stop me. If I had to stand on a ladder I wouldn’t have done it, but from my stairs it wasn’t dangerous.

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27 Denise May 25, 2011 at 12:54 am

this is such an awesome idea Diane (I’m always saying that!) love what you did with the spackling- it is a nice added touch. thanks for another great idea.

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28 April May 26, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I don’t want to be a downer, but I don’t get it. From afar maybe you just get the total effect of white, but up close it really looks not that great to me. The old chandy may not be current, but why not take it down and replace it. It seems like you ruined a perfectly good fixture.
Sorry, I do like your blog generally, but I don’t get the attaction here. Maybe if I saw it in person the effect would be different.

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29 Diane May 27, 2011 at 9:08 am

Hi April-

The chandelier was old when I bought it at a flea market 15 years ago and is cracked along one side, plus it was all different tones of brass from age and was almost black on one side. I know that is a look some like, but it was just looking old to me. Since it is cracked I knew I would not ruin it by experimenting on it as it was destined for the trash before I even started. If I could afford to buy a new one I would love to, but that is going to have to wait as my husband is unemployed and I can’t spend money on stuff that is not a necessity – so I play with what I can find in my basement. It does look better when you see it in person, but I will admit it is not perfect.

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30 April May 27, 2011 at 9:20 am

I appreciate the response. These are trying times, and ingenuity is the way to get through it!

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31 Kelly June 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm

AMAZING!

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32 Kimberly Labate June 9, 2011 at 8:47 am

so creative, the spackle…made it look like porcelain.

constructive criticism: step to far with a white wash over the brass…wipe that off, and let the brass be brass…with the shades, and the new textural porcelain looks, that is definitely enough white….the whitewash on the brass doesnt work.

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33 Diane June 9, 2011 at 10:19 am

Hi Kimberly-

Thanks for conencting with me and your input. This is truly a work in progress. I wish I could complete my projects (after my experimenting) way in advance and then post them after the fact when I am truly happy with the outcome, but I am not that orgainized. I know some love it and others don’t, but what I do hope readers get out of seeing a project like this is that sometimes an idea doesn’t come out as expected and may need to be tweaked a few times before you like it.
I do like shiny brass, but had to somehow cover the one side that was all black with age. I didn’t want an all white look. I may end up doing something completely different with it. What I would really like is new fixture – one that I love and is not colonial in style. :)

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34 Sherrill May 5, 2012 at 11:52 am

With all due respect, this didn’t work.

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35 bronni June 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Love this idea! I have one almost exactly like it and really need to update it. Thanks for sharing!

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36 tammy November 27, 2012 at 11:58 am

How did you paint this? Did you take it down? Or spray while still hanging up?

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37 Diane Henkler November 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Hi Tammy. I did not take it down – too much trouble. I stood on my steps and brought it over to me. From there I painted it. I did not spray it, but used a sea sponge and dabbed at it until it was covered with enough paint.

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38 eileen December 20, 2012 at 10:21 am

i just got into chandelier, i have redone two so far and my friends wants to buy them, they are expensive looking , but i actually got one for free and the other for $3, you give me more inspiration, thanks for sharing with the world

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39 Ruta January 31, 2014 at 10:37 am

Hello, can you explain me, what is that thing that you spray to cover the brass ball? I don’t understant. Can you give me a link, to read about that product? Thank you very much!

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40 Diane Henkler January 31, 2014 at 10:43 am

Hi Ruta -

I used lightweight Spackle. It is normally used to fill holes in walls. I used a knife to apply it to the ball and then used my fingers to make the vertical lines run down the ball. You can find out more about the product here: http://www.dap.com/product_details.aspx?product_id=61

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