Throwing Shade

Or maybe it's Throwing Shades.  Or maybe even Setting Shades.  Yep, that's better.  But, keeping with the shade theme, this isn't about any sort of insult.  It's actually quite the opposite.  Let me explain.

During the breakfast nook weeks of #letsroomtogether, one of the things I really wanted to get done was swap out the chandelier.  It's probably original to the house (built in the 80's) and just isn't quite our style.  The plan always was to move the big drum shade we temporarily hung in the entry way to the breakfast nook but sometimes plans change and this plan did.

Here's the existing, outdated chandelier:

But, this is after I spray painted those socket covers gold to match.  I did what I do lots of times - got an idea, had to execute right away, and forgot to take a bonified "before" picture before I jumped in.  Luckily for you and me, it didn't really look that much different before.  Something had to be done with the socket covers though.  They were really worn, darkened, and warped (why I don't know...maybe the type of light bulbs once used?) at the top.  Not even a good scrub with some soap and a toothbrush made a difference.

I tried to find new ones via the web but I had a hard time finding the right size (these must've been cut-to-size) and the ones I did find and ordered didn't seem like they'd hold up with me cutting them.  I was too afraid I'd crack the plastic.  So, this spray paint* (I like that it's paint + primer) to the rescue plus a stick with which to hold them while I painted and we were headed towards current times.  (I did spread them out a little more on the stick so I didn't miss any spots due to overlapping.)

Once painted and dry, I put them back on upside down so the warped side was at the bottom and out of sight.  But the whole thing still needed a little more help.

Enter that shade...shadezz.

(They're shiny in the above photo because I stuck them on right out of the package just to see if they were going to work but they;re actually white linen.)

I've never used shades on any chandeliers we've had so this was an exciting first.  They're definitely a little more on the traditional side so I wanted to modernize them just a little.  I bought these shades* and grabbed a few supplies - leftover paint (Broadway by Behr - we used it on this vanity), a small paint brush, an old detergent cup I use for painting, and a plastic spoon (optional but it makes for less mess on the paint can).

Using my plastic spoon, I scooped three spoonsfuls of paint into my cup.  

Then I added about a half spoonful of water to make it slightly thinner.  (If you haven't guessed it yet, I was prepping to paint those shades.  Adding water to the paint to thin it made it go on the linen better.  Instead of sitting on the top, the linen absorbed it just a little so it looked more like it was a part of the fabric vs. painted on.  Plus, I feel like I can control it a little more the thinner it is...might be so might be all in my head.  Either way, adding water is a totally optional step and just based on personal preference.)

With about 20 minutes of free time while my four-year old painted next to me, I dotted those shades.  First I added a few sparse dots.

Then I went around again adding more dots.

I made sure to add dots along the top and bottom of the shade too.  This makes it look more like the shades were made this way, almost like they were wrapped in dotted fabric.

You can stop at any point that feel you have enough dots.  The key is to start out slow and dot the whole shade, one round at a time.  That way the dots will be consistent and you can stop when you want.  I went around one more time to add a few more.

Last, I added a couple of dots close to existing dots just because I like that organic, imperfect look.

After that, it was as easy as setting the shades on the bulbs and stepping back to admire how much better the chandelier looked.

I really, really love it now and I'll be honest, I didn't think I could ever love this chandelier.  I was highly anticipating the day we'd take it down.  Unfortunately for me, it's still going to get replaced because it doesn't quite fit in with our style (we've got a mid-century mod fixture right next door in the kitchen) and because I just found a replacement at a local thrift store but I love that I saved it from sitting on a secondhand store shelf somewhere for ages because it is...was so outdated.  Now I'll hopefully be able to get it to a good home where it will fit right in for another 20 years.  :)  

I loved this project so much because 1) it was so ridiculously easy and 2) the shade pattern options are endless.  If you can paint it, you can make it.  Let me know if you try it!

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That wraps up the progress in the breakfast nook for now.  We've been in this house for two years now and, even though I'd love to get some window treatments up, the interior doors need paint, and the floor definitely need to get replaced, it's a far cry from where we started.

I did manage to squeeze in an exterior door painting session last week (that's where I used that extra primer).  You might remember that that door matched the faux wood finish of the other doors on the inside but was a cranberry/maroon on the outside.  Now it's a blue-gray (Templeton Gray by Ben Moore) on both sides.  Outside, it goes with our brick so well.  I'll try to post an update of the (minimal) exterior progress soon!  Hopefully we'll be able to finish painting this spring.  Considering we started a year ago, I'd say we're due.  😉


So far:

table // a diy that needs to be tweaked - stay tuned // similar*
vase // Project 62 from Target (a couple of years ago)
greenery // backyard clippings for the win
painting // diy tutorial // printable
wall paint // China White by Ben Moore (color-matched to Valspar)
trim paint // Pure White by Sherwin-Williams (color-matched to Valspar)
uber cool linoleum // courtesy of the 80's

Now it's onto the half bath down the way (I hope you join me!) and maybe even finally a step forward in the kitchen.

Slowly but surely.  #motto

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*These links are affiliate links which means that, if you click over and/or make a purchase through the link, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  I am an Amazon affiliate and also use other sources to link to products.  All of these links will lead you to things we actually paid for or that are similar to the item we paid for in case ours is thrifted/sold out/secondhand.  This extra money helps us with the costs of running the blog and buying paint.  Thank you for your support and for fueling our love to share all things DIY!

1 comment

  1. Looks so good, Sheena! And I'm in awe of your knowledge about hardware pieces- haha, I'd probably be googling random things like "plastic thing where a light bulb goes" to try and come up with a solution to a project like that!