New Chandelier on a Budget

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.

LEFT is the original / RIGHT is the new

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.

LEFT is the original / RIGHT is the new

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!

Posted in diy

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