Distressed Chandelier Diy

When we moved into our second house, one of the first things we replaced (if not the very first thing) was the chandelier in the dining nook.
dining b4
Before we moved in.

The existing one wasn’t an electrical light but a candelabra-type thing and, as romantic as daily candlelit dinners sounded, we prefered the 21st century and a little light if we needed to wander into the kitchen at midnight.  Thankfully and in line with our hopes, there was electrical running to the box from which the candelabra hung so we grabbed a brushed nickel, $70 chandelier online, said “let there be light”, and whoop, there it was. 
We didn’t put much thought into its style at the time because we just desperately wanted something electrical, something that jived with the metals in the kitchen, and something that wouldn’t break the bank so, later down the road, I started dreaming of something prettier.

Well last winter, I found it.  On a Facebook resale page.  For $30.  Here ‘tis:IMG_2361

One half of my model squad still in pajamas so I’m guessing it was, eh, about noon that day?  ;)

With that long rod on top, it was too long to fit above the dining room table so I tweaked it just a tad by unscrewing everything starting at the top, IMG_2363

slipping the rod off,


and screwing everything back together.


But I didn’t stop there.  I really thought the whole thing would be so pretty spray  painted gold but, with lots of brushed nickel in the kitchen and knowing we were going to list our house soon-ish, I went another route.  Inspiration hearkened from my friends Matt and Jessi, who remodeled their kitchen last year and installed this gorgeous chandelier above their dining table:IMG_3197
I thought maybe I’d try to duplicate the patina on our new chandi.  And so, I did.

Buckle up.  Here we go.

Note:  I’m going to detail the painting process below starting with what I did first.  But really what I should’ve done first is spray paint the whole chandelier with textured spray paint to give it a little more texture than just the paint did.  (Jessi’s smart idea!)  Just keep that in mind if you use this tutorial to gussy up a chandelier of your very own.  Onto the first step I took which should really be the second.

First (aka, second), I taped off all of the electrical wires and bulb sockets (which should actually be included in the first step…did I loose you yet?) and spray painted the whole chandelier with Rust Oluem’s metallic silver.IMG_3365

Then I used some craft sea sponges to sponge a little bit of black acrylic paint here and there.IMG_3366


I turned the chandi upside-down too to make sure I attained 360 degree splotching.  And really, since the underside of the chandelier is the part that’s seen the most, I’d argue that it’s the most important part to get right.  :)IMG_3368

There was a small piece on the bottom of the chandelier that was just screwed on so I just removed that part to paint it for the sake of ease.IMG_3367

Next, I grabbed the paint we used in our master bathroom (Smoked Oyster by Valspar) since it was such a close color-match to Matt and Jessi’s chandelier and did a more heavy sponging over the entire chandelier.IMG_3371

This above picture was taken right after I sponged so the paint looks pretty light.  It did dry a little darker.

I used a tiny paint brush to dab paint into nooks where my sponge didn’t fit.  (I could’ve jammed the sponge into those tight spaces but then I would’ve ended up with large splotches in those spots instead of the sponged-on look I was going for.)IMG_3372

With this greige paint layer, I tried to cover most of the silver so that the majority of the chandelier was greige with some black and silver peeking out.IMG_3373


Then I grabbed some craft glue and brushed it onto different spots around the fixture.IMG_3621

Over those spots, I immediately laid a piece of silver leaf.  I bought these sheets at Hobby Lobby but these on Amazon look like they’re the same thing.IMG_3622



I let the glue holding the silver leaf dry for a whole day and then grabbed a toothbrush (ahem, Anthony’s…kidding sweets…chill…and you thought you remembered having less filled cavities…) and brushed off all of the extra leafing.

Last, I mixed a little bit of black and brown acrylic paint into my greige Smoked Oyster paint to make it a smidge darker and went over the entire fixture once more with a light coat, focusing mainly on making sure the silver leafed areas looked a little more distressed – I needed to “blur” the edges and sponge some paint right over the top so it didn’t look like there were just huge pieces of shiny silver everywhere.

And that was that.

I had to buy the silver leaf, the craft glue, and the silver spray paint so all in all, this chandelier cost me about $45…maybe less considering I only used about a quarter of the silver leaf, an eighth of the craft glue, and 75% of the can of spray paint.  :)





Annnndddd, welllll, here’s the thing.  Don’t hate me buttttt I finished this thing literally right before we listed our house and in the madness that became selling in three days, house hunting, packing, and moving…wellllll…I FORGOT TO TAKE AN AFTER PICTURE!!!!  I know!  I’m such a loser!  Anthony told me I should message the buyers and ask them to take a picture for me but I think that’s kinda weird.  That’s weird, right?

However, we also replaced the chandelier in the kitchen with a smaller light + drum shade and I painted the metal part of it to match.  I did take a picture of that at some point in time and have it

IMG_4588See the patina?  That’s pretty much what the entire chandelier is covered in.

The drum shade had a translucent bottom that fit inside base of the shade so really you could only see the canopy of the light from the side at a distace but I loved that they matched.  Oh, and don’t mind the ceiling…aka, the bane of my existence at that time in my life.  The kitchen ceiling was really discolored – we think because of lots of candle-burning by the previous owner and so I tried to paint the popcorn.  Bad idea.  It started falling off in places I was painting because, apparently, I had too much paint on my roller.  We ended up scraping the entire ceiling and spraying a knock-down texture onto it.  Suffice it to say, I don’t want to touch another ceiling for a long, long, long time.


Here’s the canopy of the kitchen light while I was in-process – right before I added the last, darker sponging:IMG_3195
And here is the canopy of my friends’ chandelier:IMG_3196
Pretty close, right?  The only thing that would’ve made it even better would have been if I had added more texture with that textured spray paint before adding all of the other paint, as I noted above.

I know.  You still can’t believe I don’t have an after.  Is there a bigger fail for a DIY blogger to commit?  I think not.



Guess I’ll just have to paint another chandelier.

Shoot.  ;)

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