I used to have a chandelier that looked (kinda) like this:

It came with the house. I think every house in the neighborhood got one, about 15 years ago. I did not like it. It sucked a$$. So I decided to take it from Brass to Bad-A$$!

Here’s what you need:

1. Spray paint (I used Krylon’s Dual primer + paint in Classic Gray)

2. Coffee filters (more than you can imagine- just buy 4 packs and keep your receipt; return the un0pened packs)

3. Glue gun

4. Chandelier-shades (mine actually came with shades, but you can buy shades for around a $1 at A.C. Moore or Michael’s)

5. Patience


Step 1: Paint the chandelier.

Yes, a real pro will tell you to turn off the power to the chandelier and then remove it and spray paint it outside. I of course did not do that because I’m lazy bad-a$$. If you decide to be lazy bad-a$$ like me, BEWARE! Spray paint particles go everywhere so cover anything you don’t want paint to go on…including your floors (and your hair, face, nose…). Be ready to immediately wipe up the spray paint before it hardens and you’re SOL.

I also taped up newspaper to the ceiling surrounding the chandelier. I used plastic wrap to cover the “candles” so paint wouldn’t go inside the actual fixture. This seemed to work pretty well.

It looked like this when done:

Step 2: Hot-glue coffee filters to each shade.

That’s right. I said hot-glue coffee filters to each shade. This is tedious, time-consuming, and painful (burns to be expected!). Eventually you’ll get a system going, so each shade will take about 30 minutes.

This is my system:

a. Separate as many coffee filters as you have room for (about 20 at a time) and then squeeze each one and twist the bottom so it looks like this:

b. Run a line of hot-glue on the shade and carefully stick the filters on. Try and fit them as close as possible together. Be careful- this is where you will burn your fingers!

It should start to look like this:

then, like this:

then like this (top view):

Don’t worry. Keep going, because it will eventually look like this:

Step 3: Trim your shades.

Get your scissors out and give the shades a trim. This will make them look a million times-better. Don’t be scared. Just do it. It will make the shade fuller- like, blooming! Like this:

Once you finish each shade, snap-on to your bulbs. Here’s a shot from down-under:

The After pic:

another angle:

That’s all! I think it’s actually a very easy, very cheap project that anyone can do. The only change I still need to make is to purchase white candle-stick cover thingies. I know that Lowe’s carries them in the lighting dept., however they come in different sizes! (Which I didn’t realize the first time I bought a bag.) They were out of the taller size when I went back. (Yes, that was 5 months ago…I haven’t tried to get the right size since…remember, I’m lazy bad-a$$.)

They do offer more light than my pics represent- (I’m lame and only use the camera on my phone). Plenty of light for a dining room. I’ve thought about changing the gray color to a beautiful green, so it would be more “flowering hydrangea bush” affect- or even a luscious hot-pink (I’m sure the hubbs would love that :) )

I really like the update though. I think the entire project cost under $20. What do you think?

I just linked this DIY tutorial to some of my favorite blogs- Check it out!
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