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31 Days of Before & After ~ Day 9 “the Chandelier”

Our house was built in 1985 and the kitchen/dining room chandelier is an original fixture.

Straight out of the 80’s, complete with the antique brass finish and frosted, fluted glass sconces.

It’s a classic! The reason I’ve never replaced it is because it is solid and heavy. Real metal. Not hollow. It’s quality lighting. But it’s dated and it was time for a new look.

Not a new light, just a make over.

Down it came and into the backyard for the new finish.

As you can see it has some wonderful detail, however the detail seems to get lost in the dark antique finish.

If you recall I had experimented with a vintage metal door knob to see if I could achieve a galvanized finish with paint.  You can read more about that process here.  I did manage to get the look I wanted, now it was time to see if I could get that same look one my chandelier.

I go back to the paint used for the base coat, the Rust-Oleum Hammered Silver spray paint.  This paint has been fun to use.  I love the results just when sprayed on, it really does look like hammered metal when it dries.  Pretty cool.

This was just after the first coat of paint.  Because of the detail and angles, this piece got several coats of paint.

Now it’s time to get the galvanized finish I want…cross your fingers!

Using a dry brush and flat white ceiling paint, I begin and I think this might work…

but I soon found out that I might have bitten off more than I could chew.

but I continue and finally get all of the details brushed

I didn’t like it.  But I know myself well enough to know that I have to live with something a few days to see if it grows on me.  The reason for this little head game I play with myself is because I usually begin with a vision of what I want the end result to look like.

If you’ve ever done a lot of renovating, makeovers or any creative projects, you know that the first rule of thumb is to be flexible, because things will not always work out like you think they should, and don’t just chalk something up as a “fail” just because it doesn’t come out exactly how you thought it would.    Live with it for a few days or weeks and see if you can learn to live with what you have.  Sometimes you’ll find the project you thought went south, has now become your favorite.  In this case it has taken some time to resolve my feelings.  I just didn’t like it.  It came out to light…it looks like cement…it look like stone…it’s too bright (the finish)…it doesn’t look galvanized…blah, blah, blah.

Okay.  I’m done complaining.  Besides, I think I’ve found a solution, but that will come later.

Next was my issue will the sconces, the original glass sconces where tinted around the fluted edges, tinted in a light brown, almost bronze looking.  I’m sure it was to compliment the antique brass lamp, the whole look was good then, but not with the galvanized metal look.  You would think that I could just hop over to Lowe’s or Home Depot and buy some new ones, but nope, couldn’t do that because the hole at the bottom of my sconces are wider than the sconces in the stores today.  My old sconces have about a 3″ opening and the newer ones are smaller, right about 2″ to 2.5″.

I had imagined a specific look for my renewed light, something funky, kinda junky, fun, different, eclectic, rustic…you know what I mean?  And besides, I wanted to use something I already had. Something that is used for one thing, but could be used for a totally different need.

So I used….

a mason jar!

and they are all different!  Two Ball Mason jars, an Atlas, a Kerr and one I can’t recall without getting up to look.

Now it’s starting to grow on me.

I think that I might be able to love it…in time.  One thing is for sure, it is bright!  Wow!  So bright that we will be installing a dimmer switch for those dinners that require mood lighting, for now we just were our sun glasses.

I still want to add a few more finishing touches, but I still need to let it hang like this for awhile.  We do have some wire and chain work to do and I’m not sure if I want to cover the chain in a fabric or leave as is.  Still debating that issue.

Ready for a side by side comparison?

It even gives off a different glow, no more yellowish glow.  Amazing the difference in the light it gives off.  Told ya it was bright! Those are the same bulbs used in the before photo, but the glass is not frosted and the there is no tinting.

Now here’s the million dollar question…would I do it again, knowing what I know now?

You betcha…

Even though it’s not exactly as I had planned…it’s still an improvement in my book and it will compliment my decor better.  The 80’s light just had to go! I may love vintage and rustic, but I have my standards 🙂

Don’t be shy, tell me what you think in the comments!

By clicking the photo above you can check out the other participants of the 31 days of change!

Click here to see all Before & After posts to date

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See ya tomorrow!


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  • Love it. Pinned it. And will be copying it. Thanks for sharing your tutorial.

  • Melanie ,

    I may be a little late to the party but…. I just sprayed a jar with some frost paint by Rustoleum. (not sure about that spelling) The kind I got is a very translucent frost. Not very heavy even after 3 coats. I’m putting a solar light in it so it is perfect. You could try frosting your mason jars and the light would be more muted like it is with the globes. It would give me a headache looking at those bright lights. And also if you use frosted instead of clear ligh bulbs it won’t distract from the beauty of those jars.
    oh, and i love it!!!
    if it still seems over whelming you could use the smaller jars as long as you could find bulbs to fit.
    well that’s my 14 cents worth. thanks for sharing!

  • Dawn ,

    I am thinking about doing this in my house to our wall lights. Would it get to hot? I’m scared of the glass shattering. Thanks!

    • We’ve not had any issues with our lights. However I was careful to put a lower wattage in each socket for two reasons, one being that anything brighter than 25 watts is blinding when the chandy is lit, and two because of heating. Even with the lower wattage of bulbs, we still put a dimmer switch on so we could control the brightness. It’s really pretty when we dim it down, almost like dinning by candlelight. Also. as my mother in law pointed out, canning jars are made for high heat conditions during the canning process.

      Plus, if your not using the lighting for long periods of time, then I would say you are fine. Our chandy is only lit when we are using this area and so the light rarely stays on for long periods.

      Hope this was helpful 🙂

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