I recently posted about the conversion of our unused family room into a dining room. Naturally, the endeavor sparked a discussion between Tim and I about whether we should move the (hideous) chandelier that came with the house from the old dining room to the new, or simply replace it with something more palatable…something manufactured within the last thirty years, perhaps.
We loaded up the family and headed to the store to price new lights. Wow. Tim had told me what to anticipate for cost, but when my mind is set on something I tend to take the “I’ll believe it when I see it” approach. It’s idiocy on my part, really, but he’s always spot on. The man is like a walking home improvement price list.
“Okay,” I huffed at him, defeated. “Give me my options.” I knew he was sitting on alternative solutions, but like a wise, seasoned husband he was keeping his mouth shut until I asked for them.
We ended up in the paint aisle, where he handed me a can of Rustoleum. “Trust me,” he said. And I did.
So, here’s how we got a “new” dining room chandelier for $8 instead of $300…
(Side note: This post once contained step-by-step photos, but in the transfer from one website software to another, those photos were lost. My apologies. Hopefully these notes are helpful despite the lack of visual aid.)
1. Remove bulbs and globes, and take the fixture outside or into a well-ventilated space for cleaning.
2. Wipe the entire fixture with denatured alcohol (rubbing alcohol will also work, but it’s pricier). This will remove all dust as well as greasy build-up that prevents paint from sticking. DON’T FORGET THE CHAIN, if your fixture has one, and don’t skimp on this step, or everything you do afterward will be for naught (trust me, I learned the hard way on other projects).
3. If your fixture has any small removable parts, place them on a smooth, hard surface that you won’t mind staining with paint.
4. If possible suspend the light so that it isn’t resting on the ground. This will save you time by allowing you to spray a complete coat on the entire fixture at one time (instead of spraying one side, waiting for it to dry, rotating, and spraying again).
5. Tape light sockets with painter’s tape to prevent paint from getting inside.
6. At Tim’s suggestion, I used Rustoleum Universal Metallic Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. Notice that the Universal line is paint and primer in one, which is significant if you want to make sure your paint job doesn’t rub or chip off easily.
For actual painting, follow the instructions on the can, and don’t forget to spray from all angles (including those little parts you laid out separately). And before finishing, loosen the cord inside the chain and hit it once more from all angles to avoid unpainted spots showing when the light is hung.
I applied two full coats and one partial coat over the course of one day, then allowed the fixture to dry for a few days before hanging.
7. Most home improvement stores sell globes for chandeliers and fan lights, which can do a lot to update the style of your fixture. We had to forego this step due to the age and style of our light, but had we been able to purchase replacement globes, they would have cost us $7-$15 a piece. We ran our globes through the dishwasher and that alone made a big difference!
8. Install your “new” light (or have one of your handy friends do it for you)!
I have to say, I’m pretty thrilled with the change at a price tag of $8 and a little bit of time!