As I mentioned yesterday, one of my weekend projects was updated an old outdated brass chandelier in our living room. While I was at it, I did the two sconces above the mantle as well.
Here’s how I did it and the before and after pictures:
- Flip the switch on your circuit breaker to disable the power to the lighting fixture you will be replacing.
- Remove light fixture from the wall—take note of the wiring scheme that connects your fixture, so you can replace it the same way (i.e. black to black, white to white). Please call an electrician if there is any doubt about how to unhook the wiring or re-attach it!
- Once you have removed the light fixture, give it a thorough cleaning to remove all dust, dirt, rust, etc. I used Lime Away to remove some rust and calcium deposits on our chandelier that occurred as the result of a past water leak.
- Hang your chandelier from a tree branch or beam in your garage to make it easy to prime and paint without having to move the fixture around much. When it is suspended, it’s easy to see spots you missed and to make sure you get good coverage.
- Remove all of the bulbs from your fixture and plug the sockets with paper towels or cotton balls. Alternatively, you can tape them off with painter’s tape (that’s what I did).
- Lay down your drop cloth or newspapers to catch the spray paint if you are inside.
- Put on a mask to make sure you don’t breathe in the nasty spray paint fumes.
- First prime your fixture. You can use a white or gray primer (I used Krylon gray primer) depending on the color you are covering. Make sure you cover all spots, one coat should suffice. Let it dry for the required time.
- Apply the spray paint in the color of your choice. I chose Krylon satin nickel (original was brass) for our fixtures. Make sure you get full coverage and cover with the desired number of coats.
- Make sure you allow adequate drying time before touching the light fixture and re-installing!
- Re-attach your chandelier wiring and then turn the electricity back on, and voila! You have a brand-spanking new light fixture for about $9.00 (2 cans of spray paint here in MA!). You can also replace the candle covers if needed. I replaced ours and cut them to the correct size. I imagine I saved about $300 by updating our chandelier!
I love shopping my home for items and using paint and other techniques to give them new life. Spray painting is just one of many ways to update older items for little or no money. I have also used it to update old end tables to give them a fresh, modern look.
- Lime-A-Way Cleaner, 22 Fluid OunceKrylon 51318 All-Purpose Gray Interior and Exterior Decorator Primer – 12 oz. AerosolKrylon K05125500 Brushed Metallic Aerosol Spray Paint, 11-Ounce, Satin Nickel3M Painter’s Tape, Multi-Use, .94-Inch by 60-YardUpgradelights Set of 12 Candle Covers Sleeves Chandelier Socket Cover (3 inch)