A few weeks ago I posted some pictures of a small chandelier I found at a local thrift shop. My friend Allysun saw it first; she was thinking it would look good in her living area, but after a few minutes of pondering she decided it did not really fit the style she was going for. That’s when I jumped in and said “Are you sure you don’t want it? If you don’t I will take it!.”  “Go for it.” – she said.

A few minutes later this young mom saw me holding my great find and told me how lucky I was that I had found such a treasure. She had been looking for one for a long time, but her son had to go to the bathroom, and when she came back this awesome find was hanging from my left hand. Mmmmmm…should I have given it to her? Now that I think about it I feel kind of bad. Oh well…too late now to feel bad. Note to this mom: when you see something you like at a thrift shop, grab it!

I was not really sure what to do with it at first or where I would actually hang it. Initially I wanted to replace the shades, but after searching on the internet I realized these kinds of shades are not cheap–at least not the ones that I liked. Here is a before picture of the chanderlier:

DIY Chandelier Makeover- Sawdustsisters.com


I only paid $10.00 for it, and it is heavy wrought iron. After pondering for a bit I decided I wanted to paint it white and distress it. I thought about doing a glaze over it too, but since the base was a dark brown I could just distress it and have some of the brown color show on all the edges.

I took it to my garage and spray painted the whole thing. I even spray painted the sleeves where the bulbs are screwed into. Make sure you give it several coats and that you cover all the little nooks and crannies. Start spraying it in the position shown (remove shades first, of course) and then turn over. I do the bottom last as it is the area that will show the most once it hangs from the ceiling.

One word of advice – do not buy cheap spray paint. I bought a generic brand that was on sale at Ace Hardware and the paint was horrible – no matter how much I shook the can the paint was still coming out clumpy and gross. I still used it, but then I bought some Krylon spray paint in satin and it was sooo heavenly smooth and steady while I sprayed. So…note to self (and to you!): cheapy spray paint gives you cheapy results (not to be confused with ‘chippy’ – we do want that!).

Once the paint was completely dry, I took a piece of sandpaper (medium coarseness) and went to town distressing the whole thing. I focused on the areas that would normally wear off with the years, like all the edges and some crevices here and there. Some people like a lot of distressing and some don’t – and that’s Ok! Just do enough of it until you get the look that you are looking for.

DIY Chandelier Makeover- Sawdustsisters.com

I tried covering the shades with scrapbooking paper, and even though the result was decent, when I put them on I did not like the look. Once I had my husband help me with the wiring and hanging, I decided it looked way better without the shades. It looks classy and dresses up my daughter’s bedroom very nicely.

DIY Chandelier Makeover- Sawdustsisters.com

Here are some pictures of the end result. We have plans to repaint her whole room and do a different color scheme, and the chandelier will still go perfectly with whatever we choose to do.

DIY Chandelier Makeover- Sawdustsisters.com

Enjoy the pictures! Let me know if you have any questions about this quick and easy project!

DIY Chandelier Makeover- Sawdustsisters.com

DIY Chandelier Makeover- Sawdustsisters.com


Thrift Store Chandelier Makeover. Don't pass up any of those old chandeliers at the thrift store!

If you like this makeover check out my other chandelier makeover! A hey, you might as well check out our wood project gallery!


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Beverly is a wife, mother of 5, a DIY enthusiast, grammar guru, and bread baking lover! For her free bread recipes visit https://simplywheatbread.com

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Pili

    Your chandelier makeover turned out so pretty!! I love you removed the shades and painted it white, it looks lighter.

    Thanks for sharing with us at Sweet Inspiration, hope you have a wonderful week!

    1. Janice

      Gracias Pili 🙂

  2. Lisa

    I’m not sure how I missed this post but this is beautiful!???

    1. Janice

      Thanks Lisa! It’s an oldie but a goodie 🙂 Beverly rocks at bringing chandeliers back to life!

  3. Noreen Gamble

    I love the way this turned out and am attempting the same project. I noted that you used Krylon in satin but what color did you use? Thanks ahead ?

    1. Janice

      Hi Noreen! It’s been a while since this was done but Intexyed Beverly and she said to find the basic white in that brand. She doesn’t remember it being any fancy shade of white. Have fun with your project!

  4. Ty

    The end result is fantastic! How did you get the paint to CHIP off? Some areas appear like they could of been sanded but some larger areas appear as if the paint chipped off and I love that look.

    1. Janice

      Hi Ty! If you apply Vaseline in random areas before painting, once the paint dries it will fall off easier when you sand. I’m glad you liked it!

  5. Roseann sandstrom

    What type of spray paint do I use to cover a black hanging chain

    1. Janice

      Hi Roseann! There are a lot of good brands out there. Whatever you get, make sure it can cover metal. It will say it on the front of the can. Good luck!

  6. Belle

    What color paint was used

    1. Hi Belle!
      Sorry but I don’t know the exact color 🙁 I’d recommend you choose a creamy white and make sure it can cover metal. It will say it on the front of the can. Good luck!

  7. Nancy Howard

    Have my moms old porch iron chandelier ! Want to paint it white and distress but it is currently turquoise! What should I do first? Repaint with a dark color and then the white? Then distress?
    Any good ideas for me?

    1. Beverly

      Hello, Nancy! You can always try painting black the areas you’re planning on distressing later so the black shows through. OR, you could lightly sand, paint everything white, and use a small, bristle or sponge brush to add some black over any crevices. I would add the black in the desired areas and lightly wipe off to have the black paint give the chandelier some dimension. Hope this helps!

  8. Nancy Howard

    Thanks! I will decide and give it a try!

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