There’s something about old rusty bits from home & farm that warms my heart. Perhaps it’s the stories that a piece could tell, the work that it has seen, or maybe just the fact that it’s still here to tell the tale. In any case, when my husband & I decided to turn our standard builder’s grade family room in our new french farmhouse dining room, I knew we had to include some special rusty bits of our own to tell a story in our space.
As I took time in the room to try to visualize the finished space, every time I looked at the ceiling fan, I knew we had to have something else in it’s place. Something that would speak “french farmhouse” as our family sat around our soon to be harvest table.
But what would I replace it with? First of all, I couldn’t seem to find “the right piece”…not at a price I could currently afford anyway. So what was I to do? I had a chandelier downstairs that the builder left with us for another room, but because we picked something different, it was still in the box. It was not my style at all – shiny, modern, new… but perhaps I could do something with it, to give it more of a french farmhouse feel. It was worth the try. And after all, it had been sitting in a box for years anyway, so what could it hurt?
I wish I had taken a better “full” picture of the chandelier before I started, but you can get somewhat of an idea by this picture. The fixture isn’t terrible, it’s just not my style. Shiny. Modern. New.
Here was my plan…
- Remove the shades & not use them at all
- Pull off the 3 metal arms that held the shade up
- Remove the stickers from the metal arm covers
- Paint the chandelier some sort of darker color
- Use pretty light bulbs to go for a “candle” looking chandelier
I removed all of the shades, and as I was pulling the metal tubes up, I realize that they were all welded together! How was I going to get all of these little metal arms off of the tubes?
I decided to go for it & just pull it back & forth until it popped off. WHOOPS…
I didn’t expect each arm to leave a hole in it’s place. Now what?
I had no idea if this would work, but I decided to get out my hot glue gun, & make what looked like wax, dripping down from each hole. It stuck well enough, and I think it might work! All I need to do now is paint the tubes to look like candle sticks. I found a small bottle of antique white craft paint that I had & tried that.
They looked nice, but still needed a little something. So after the paint dried, I dry rubbed a little bit of antiquing glaze over each tube, that really did the trick!
Remember my love of rusty bits? Well, I found this amazing rust spray paint at the department store, that adds YEARS to whatever you paint with it! I can see a lot of things becoming rusty in my near future
The can of spray paint is the only thing I had to spend money on, as I already had the other bits of paint & hot glue left over from other projects.
Before you paint a light fixture, be sure to protect the electrical areas with something. I used tinfoil because it was so easy to do. Be sure to protect the area from over spray & paint in a well ventilated area. I did mine outside.
Here’s a close up of the top. You have to be careful to cover all parts of the fixture when you’re painting. I used a cardboard box to sit mine on while I was painting it, that way I had both hands free to work.
Here’s a close up of the metal light tubes – glued, painted, antiqued, and put back on the fixture. I love the way they came out!
Some more rusty details
The chandelier is now installed & the bulbs are in!
What an amazing difference a little creative thinking, paint, and other bits can make… and for very little money I might add!
What can you think of in your home, that just doesn’t seem to fit with your vision of how you want the space to look?
Can you give it a makeover to make it work? Of course you can!!!
Tell us about it & share this DIY with your friends to help inspire them as well!