Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cheap Chandeliers

These days I have been so focused on working on the house that I can't even seem to remember what day it is.  Now that the floors are installed and the ceilings and drywall are finished, we have been able to get to work on painting everything.  And I mean everything!  It's fun, hard work, and I still have a long way to go.  More updates to come!

Since we started our painting spree with the ceilings all over the house, our electrician was able to reinstall our overhead lighting, which went a long way to making it feel like a real house again.  The single bulb dangling from a wire in each house look was just a little too minimalistic for us in the end;)

The problem was, several of the light fixtures that the house came with were not exactly our style, and we knew we would need to find replacements asap.  With so much of our budget going toward other things in the house, finding inexpensive enough options seemed like a challenge.

I checked out yard sales and flea markets and kept my eyes peeled at antique and junk shops, but I never could find anything with that important intersection of not-ugly with not-exorbitantly-expensive.

UNTIL... I found my new favorite place.

Habitat for Humanity has their own stores, called ReStore, where donated materials are sold to raise money for their charitable work.  They have everything from kitchen cabinets to bathroom vanities, furniture, plumbing parts and wiring... and chandeliers.

You don't ever know what they'll have in stock at the moment, of course, but both in Raleigh and here in Louisville I have found some amazing deals.  It just takes a little digging!

Back to my lighting dilemma-- I love chandeliers, so when I found  several old, shiny brass ones at ReStore for, I am not joking here, $5 to $15 dollars each, I knew there had to be some way to give them a little makeover.  Here's what I had in mind:

Martha Stewart

Z Gallerie

My first step was to remove the price tags and then any dust or residue using paint thinner and paper towels.  

Next I removed the bulbs and the little sleeves underneath and lightly scuffed up the surface of the metal all around with sandpaper to prepare for priming.  I do not want to risk flaking paint and having to redo this job later, so in addition to careful sanding, I used self-etching spray primer to insure my paint later sticks to the chandeliers.

When painting something as tricky as a chandelier with so many hard to reach places, by far the easiest and best option is spray paint.  Thankfully it comes in more than just basic black and white these days, and I was even able to find a pretty pale, minty green color from Krylon called "Catalina Mist."  After a few rounds of spraying, drying, flipping and spraying again, my "new" chandeliers were ready to be hung.

So I know they don't exactly look as amazing as Martha Stewart's milk glass jade version or the stylish Z Gallerie black one, but not bad, right?  I'm so happy with them, and it was a fun DIY project!




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