Old Brass Chandelier Makeover – After

Here is the second part of the old brass chandelier makeover I did 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


Brass Chandelier makeover that uses Spackle and paint


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


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.


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.


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.


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


and tucked it in between two beads to hide.


Then slid it over the candle.


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


and let it set for about 10 minutes.


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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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.




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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  1. Kimberly Labate says

    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.

    • says

      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. :)

  2. bronni says

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

    • says

      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.

  3. eileen says

    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

  4. Ruta says

    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!

  5. Samantha says

    I am in the process of refurbishing the chandelier in my dining room and was wondering where you found the white shades for $.99? Love the spackle.

    • says

      Hi Samantha – I found the shades at a thrift store. I would do an online search for “Paper Chandelier Shades” on Google and see what comes up. I also saw them at a dollar store once. Not a Dollar Tree, but an independent dollar store.


  1. […] Thrifty DIY decorating Projects, How to makeover a brass chandelierMay 20, 2011 … Do you have an old chandelier that needs some updating? Try this easy DIY with paint and spackle. Before and After photos. […]

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