Aug 16

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Chandelier refurbish!

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Wow, I guess I’ve been away for a long time! Job hunting and trying to settle into a new home will do that, I suppose. Speaking of which, we’ve been living without a proper kitchen light for several months– we’ve been using a big round globe lampshade that was in our bedroom in our old apartment. It was bulky and out of place in the kitchen, but we couldn’t find anything nice (and affordable on our pauper’s budget!) to replace it. Two weeks ago, we were browsing a thrift shop when we found this dusty, old chandelier:

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…Ain’t she a beaut?

It was a good deal at 50 Swiss Francs (about $53 USD), considering that it was solidly made and not flimsy plastic like some of the lamps/chandeliers we had been looking at from Ikea. And also because everything in this country just costs insane amounts of money, even at the thrift shop, le sigh…

After bringing it home, the first thing I did was to take it outside and wipe all the dust and grime off, and a light cleaning with some toothpaste. The candle-shaped caps were really dirty and covered in some brown gunk… really unpleasant. I think they might’ve been a light beige when they were new.

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This is *after* I had already cleaned them. Yikes.

If I wanted to be extra picky, I could’ve carefully sanded or shaved off the plastic seams on the candles at this point, but since we are having a party this weekend, time was of the essence and I couldn’t dawdle on details. I then spray painted the candle caps and the chandelier itself with a primer, after using masking tape to cover the chain and light settings.

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Here it is after two or three coats. In the end, it needed about five coats in total, which took two days to do. I’m really not a fan of spray paint because of the fumes and the time it takes to dry, but I bought the most eco-friendly one I could find. It was an acrylic, water-based paint, but I was still very concerned about the bees and plants in my garden. I think I’ll avoid spray paint from now on.

After the primer, I sprayed on a glossy yellow to bring some colour into the white kitchen.

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I hadn’t sprayed the chain because the electrical cord was kind of old and fragile-looking, and I wasn’t sure if the paint would make it crack completely. With the weekend looming ever closer, I reached for my favourite cure-all: twine. I used twine to cover the cord and the chain together by making basic knots all the way down. While the colour of this kind of twine wasn’t ideal (too gray), I really like the rustic texture.

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I didn’t paint a top coat onto the candles because… by that point, I was declaring my hatred for spray paint and also because I couldn’t decide on a colour. I’ve decided to leave it white for now, but the sharp contrast between the yellow and the white looked uncomfortably like Lumière:


There was a need for some sort of transition between the two colours. I had some raffia on hand, which was then twisted into approximate bird-nest shapes, then draped over the base of the candles. It also helps tie in the twine on the chain with the rustic feel.

Finally, energy-saving bulbs were added. These are slightly bigger and bulgier than I would have liked, but they will definitely work for now. The chandelier is now up and it really helps the room feel a lot cozier and less sterile than our previous lampshade.

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Hope you like it, and next time you see an old chandelier, give it some TLC and you’ll see it brighten up the room :D

Permanent link to this article: http://project-aika.com/2013/08/chandelier-refurbish/

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