Aug 21, 2011

Salvaging an Old Brass Chandelier and Turning it into a Vintage Crystal Masterpiece... Part 1

This was possibly the coolest project I have done. I found an old brass chandelier - the kind that used to be in every household dining room in the 70's and 80's. I carefully transformed it into a beautiful crystal masterpiece!

I have wanted to do this for a long time. It's fairly easy to find old brass chandeliers at great prices. You can find them in "junk" antique stores, yard sales, Craig's list, estate sales, etc. You can even find them at your local Home Depot or Lowe's - but they will cost a little more. They come in all different sizes and varying degrees of ornateness (made up word).

I found 2 brass chandeliers to start off with, and I paid less than $25 for each of them. One was very plain, and the other a little more ornate. Both were only one tier, but after this project I am going to try one with as many tiers as I can find! The transformation from the dated, blasé brass chandelier to the vintage crystal chandelier made this project so rewarding!

So here's the first half of the project:

This is the chandelier and I am ready to get started!
First I took it apart and taped off the light covers. 
This is one of my 2 dogs - her name is Pearl. Isn't she beautiful?! 

Next step was to prepare the brass for paint. First, I scrubbed the entire chandelier with liquid deglosser to take off the shiny gloss of the brass. 

The second step was to wipe the whole chandelier down thoroughly with acetone to get it completely degreased and clean.
And lastly I sanded it with a fine grit sandpaper to rough it up a little. After I wiped it down again to get all of the dust off. 

Before priming, I drilled small holes in the bobeches and in the arm base of the chandelier. The crystals will connect to the chandelier through these holes.  

Ready for primer! I put two coats of Rust-Oleum clean metal primer on the chandelier, sanding in between coats to keep it smooth.

Primed and ready for paint...

After the primer I put two coats of paint on the chandelier using an off white spray paint.

Here is the chandelier after 2 coats of paint.

Next I am going to come up with a color to put on top of this off white paint. I will have to play around with different colors until I get the color I want. I am  thinking of something metallic but aged - maybe an aged pewter. 

I will be back shortly with part 2 of this chandelier project - the finished piece!

Thanks for stopping by and look for part 2 - The Finished Product - in the next few days.

God's Blessings,
Lula Belle on Etsy