How to makeover a brass chandelier using craft store acrylic paint and supplies.
Of all the projects I have been working on in my dining room, 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.
Chandelier BEFORE Painting
Here is my builder grade fake brass chandelier.
Close Up of Painted Rusted Finish I Created With Paint
How to Paint a Rusted Faux Finish on a Brass Chandelier
To transform the chandelier into something more that fit my decorating style, I didn’t remove the fixture to work to transform it. Instead, I worked on it right where it was hanging from the ceiling.
To do this, I taped around the cap that meets the ceiling and painted it the same way I did the rest of the chandelier. I moved the dining room table out of the way and used a step stool to reach it to make painting the fixture easy to work on.
I started painting the chandelier 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.
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.
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.
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.
To create the crystal drapes around the chandelier, 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.
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.
I strung the smaller beads on florist wire and threaded one end through the candle cup and tied the wire into a knot.
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.
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.
I wrapped the wire under and over to make sure the string of beads were secure and then cut off the excess wire.
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.
I then threaded each one onto wire and wrapped it around each arm of the chandy.
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 chandelier 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.
Remember the Before?
Here is the AFTER
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 Chain Cover. I didn’t use Velcro for this one, I just stood on a ladder and sewed it right around the chain.