Sunday, July 22, 2012

Today's Non-Construction Activities: DIY Chandelier Refinishing & Furniture Shopping!

For a few months I've been meaning to refinish a brass chandelier from my childhood home. My parents' built the house when I was 7 and sold it in May of this year. Not only was the house one of the prettiest in the world in my opinion (my mom designed it, so how could it be unpretty to me?), but it also played host to almost all of my amazing childhood memories. When they sold the house this Spring, it really took an emotional toll on my sister and I. She was in Australia (where she lives) when it sold but I was running through the house blubbering like a baby and desperately clinging to anything I thought I could get away with taking with me. The realtor had properly advised my parents that brass was "out," so they took down their brass foyer and dining room chandeliers and put them in the attic when the buyers toured the house. Since the buyers obviously didn't think they came with the house (being that they never laid eyes on them), my Mom allowed me to take them with me. From that point on, I knew I had to find a way to incorporate them into the new home Ross and I had entered a contract to buy only two weeks earlier.

Today I finally got around to it. Hubby helped me pick out the perfect textured, antique paint at his favorite store in the world - Home Depot (btw - the HD by our new house is the best I've ever seen... so much selection!). The paint is bronze, which is somehow slightly different (but the closest paint we could find) to our knobs, hinges and fixtures in the new house, which are "oil rubbed bronze" ("ORB" as the realtors call it). After reading a few DIY blogs on the topic, here's my version of refinishing an otherwise fabulous brass chandelier that has SO much sentimental value that I had to make it work. :)


First, I unscrewed all of the bulbs and filled the voids with tissue paper so that the paint wouldn't ruin the wiring. I know the arms look super bent, but they turn really easily. It's easy to get them back straight when it's hanging, at which point they actually stay put.

Then, Ross hung it from a tree for me so that I could paint it. One of the blogs I read suggested applying small spots and then blotting them with a paper towel to give it antique finish. That, plus the inherent texture in the paint really did wonders for not making it look like flat paint.

Here's the finished product:

It's SUPER special to me, it now matches the rest of the house AND it was almost free. Can a chandelier get any better?! We're thinking it will either go in the master den or the library/study, since we didn't order fixtures through the builder for either of those rooms and it seems to fit the vibe of both spaces. Now I need to work on finding sentimental pieces from Ross's childhood homes to incorporate into the house. The extra hurdles there are: 1) his parents still live in those houses and thus probably are less willing to give away pieces of them; and 2) both of those homes are in TX, so getting anything of any size here would be hard/expensive.

Also, this post wouldn't be complete without a shout out to my new vanity chair I found today for CHEEEEEAP! It's really girly - almost too girly (did I really just say that?) - but so perfect for our gray/ivory/blush pink master bath. Like it?

Thanks barbs! Hope you all had a great weekend! xox

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