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Thursday, May 27, 2010

The 80's called, they want their brass back

Our house was built in 1986, so you know it has some sa-weet decor details! When we moved in 5 years ago, we took it from 1986 to maybe 2003...give or take a few years. But you know how it is when you buy a hemorrhage money and spend your life at Home Depot and Ikea for the first 3 months. Then you burn out, and run out of progress comes to a roaring halt. You bask in how great it looks, and make a list of the things you'll get to over time.

"I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow."

Then next thing you know it's been years and you're still living with a dining room chandelier that practically has a mullet! So while I'd love to buy the most gorgeous light fixture that's perfect for the room, I am not Scarlett and Mr. Sugarplum is not Rhett Butler, the richest man in town. (Although, I don't have to wear clothes made from my old curtains, so I'm not complaining too much!) Here is the dining room the day we saw the house for the first time:

I told you it was bad!

For the first few years, I got crafty with a glue gun by adding ribbon to the shades and putting a bunch of berry crap in it:

chandy take 2
 A little better, but still pretty dated

Oh, and I also tried sponging it with black paint to give it a 'rustic' look

But that only made it look moldy?!

Finally I decided to strip it of all it's gaudy layers, and just paint the blasted thing! Of course I didn't take it down?!? I just covered everything in sheets, opened the doors, and went to town. Don't be fooled, it was a hot mess. That black paint mist was going everywhere except on the chandelier and sheets! I kept having to shoo the kids out of the room for fear they'd end up looking like they worked the coal mines. After two coats, this is what I ended up with:

I chose Rustoleum's Glossy Black spray paint. I was going for "elegance" since it's the unused dining room.

I was sick to death of the little lamp shades, and they contributed to the dated I pitched them. Which meant I had to do something about the ridiculously unattractive sleeve thingies that cover the electrical part on each light. (yes, that's the official name of them!) You can buy custom sleeve covers, but those things are $17 FOR TWO! I needed TWELVE! That's $102 (I went ahead and did the math for you), plus tax and shipping. I could find a new light fixture for that! So I was forced to get crafty again. A couple of sheets of scrapbook paper, some spray mount (and some scotch tape for the stubborn ones that wouldn't stick!), and I ended up with this:


I'll probably get more adventurous with the paper, and that's the beauty of it...for the cost of 2 sheets of paper I can customize my light! 

Don't look at my silver, I KNOW it needs polishing!

Would the room look better with a new fixture? Probably. But for $7 in paint and paper, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The color addict in me is screaming for me to repaint it a fun color, but I'm exercising restraint for now.


What do you think? Have we at least brought it into the 21st century?


  1. You had me from "the 80's called and wants their brass back"!!

  2. I love it! Very creative!

  3. Came via CasaSugar. I love your new look. It's really clever and cute.

  4. Love this. What a GREAT idea! I've got the same problem and was thinking about doing something similar but was afraid. . . now I'm not thanks to you!!

  5. What a crafty idea ! I have a chandelier in my garage that I want to re-do but haven't decided what to do yet ~ clever idea, here.

    Love your blog ~ stop by and visit sometime ♥

  6. I believe you have successfully entered the 21st century. Congrats! I can't believe you spray painted in your house! BRAVE woman! ;)I love the paper choice. It's very cute all together!

    I'd love for you to check out my blog for a fun giveaway!
    Have a great night!

  7. Love those sleeves, they add just that extra flair !


  8. totally awesome..I too want to repaint the light fixture in my dr, but am too lazy to take it down. I may have to sponge it :)

  9. I didn't know they made sleeve cover thingies for the lamp hardware. I think if I go that route on mine, I'll use paper too.

  10. Coming over from Friday Remodelaholic! I have the same BRASS chandelier and need to change it! Thanks for the great tips! LOVE it! Christie at

  11. I never would have thought of that. So cute. And I just read your message about comments and it's HILARIOUS!

  12. I love it. I'm posting about my 80's chandelier next week. My light fixture is so bad it has shoulder pads.

  13. The blog and the comments are WAY cute! LUV the Chandelier. Found your blog while hunting for chandelier ideas.

  14. I never would have thought to use cute paper on those sleeve things. It looks SO good!

  15. You are so talented! I never would have thought of this but it looks amazingly better.

  16. Love it! One suggestion - have you seen the round bulbs? I forget on which design blog i read this, but the round bulbs can update the look a bit. I tried it in my house yesterday and love the look. Check it out!

  17. Thanks for the push I needed to transform my chandelier which is a dead ringer for yours(old version). I plan to use a dark, gloss brown.

  18. Elegant! So many possibilities with the paper sleeves.

  19. I have also used wall paper from discarded wall paper books to make sleeves. FREE! Most home shops will give you the dicarded books without cost.

  20. i just found your blog and as i was looking through your projects, i wont lie, i read this as the 80's wants their BRA back! hahaha

  21. Just found your blog and I'm drooling over your updates! Your house sounds like it used to be in the exact same state ours is now, except I think you were spared avocado and rust colored linoleum in the kitchen. (We weren't). These updates look wonderful and are so inspiring!


Your comments are like popcorn with milk duds, I just can't quit them. Thanks for taking the time to share your positive thoughts! xoxo, cass

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