I’ve been trying to shift our dining room from an “old world” style to more of a classic style. The chandelier we have is not very old, and I like the size and general look of it. Not ready to get a completely new fixture!
I started looking closely at features of other chandeliers that I liked, and realized I could achieve a similar style with a couple small modifications: lamp shades and finials!
Inspiration: option one / option two / option three / option four
I found a set of three linen chandelier shades at Pottery Barn for $39.00, and they were the last ones I came across. Sold! There were other options out there, but nothing in the right quantity, and they weren’t the right size (or more expensive). I based the size on the original shades since the scale was right.
The finials took some a trial and error. The middle/larger finial fit a standard lamp final. The three smaller finials didn’t. It was an odd size threaded screw that fit into the chandelier. I ordered a few options ($1-2 a piece) from an antique lamp supply store, and one of them worked for the bottom finial. The others weren’t the right scale. I tried a lamp finial from Lowe’s, and same thing…not the right scale.
I finally found these in matte black finish, and they were the right size! I wasn’t too worried about color because I could paint them (the chandelier is an oil rubbed bronze finish). More on that soon.
The other trial and error part of this chandelier makeover was getting the threaded screws to fit the new finals since they didn’t seem to be a standard size. The solution that I came up with was hot glue. I added hot glue inside the finial, and stuck the screw into it! I held it until it cooled (which took about 15 seconds). The hot glue is flexible enough that it’s not completely permanent if I ever want to change it, but hardens enough (especially molding to the threads of the screw) so it stays in place! After it cooled I pulled off any excess glue.
To color match (or get close), I kept the black base of the finials as a foundation. Then, my newfound secret weapon of crafts, I applied Rub’n Buff with a dry brush technique. I used two colors: Spanish Copper and Autumn Gold.
Step one was the Spanish Copper. I used a small flat brush and lightly applied to give it that traditional oil rubbed bronze look. Step two was applying the Autumn Gold with a small detail brush. This helped give it more dimension on the “rubbed” areas. For both, I lightly dipped the brush into the wax and wiped off the excess on a rag before applying. Tip: if you apply too much of the product, use a q-tip dipped in acetone to remove as needed. Be careful with this though; it can remove some of the original finish.
Right next to the original finials, these still look a little darker; however, once they are on the chandelier you can’t tell! The original finials are made of wood or a resin/plastic and painted. The chandelier is a metal, so the new finials are actually a closer match!
I love finding ways to modify or transform an existing piece. Sometimes it takes a little thought, and trial and error, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get the look you want!