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Trying to find affordable light fixtures on a budget can be challenging. Join us today as we share how you can transform an old brass fixture into a beautiful french country chandelier with boho flair under $30.

Supplies Needed

Rust-Oleum Metal Primer (approx $4.30)

Rust-Oleum French Cream (approx $6.00)

Chip Brush ($1.28)

-Craft Paint: colors of your choice (approx $1 each)

Package Assorted Size Wooden Beads ($15.99)

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Tap to watch the video tutorial below.

Thrift Store Chandelier

french country chandelier

You know we love to frequent thrift stores and yard sales looking for tired worn out pieces that can be refinished.

We came across this brass chandelier for only $5 a couple years ago. Of course we snagged it not knowing when or where we’d eventually use it, but knew the deal was too good to pass up!

While planning Ellie’s bedroom makeover we decided to incorporate this fixture into our design.

Even though we’re bringing gold elements into the room, and I love the pop of gold with the navy wall, this fixture was just a bit too brassy for me.

We’re excited to share how we transformed this fixture into a french country chandelier using paint and wooden beads.

Before we got started we ran to Home Depot and got our all supplies. We just hate running to the store in the middle of a project.

French Country Chandelier | Prepping For Paint

french country chandelier

To prepare the fixture for paint, we first cleaned it with a damp washcloth to remove any dirt or grime. Then we removed the white candelabra sleeves and covered the electrical fittings with frog tape.

french country chandelier

We attached the chandelier to a bungee cord and then hung it from the garage door opener.

Our first step was to apply Rust-oleum Primer to the entire chandelier.

PRO TIP: To minimize cleanup from over spray, lay a large tarp under your working area.

french country chandelier

Once the primer had dried for 30 minutes, we then applied 2 coats of Rust-Oleum French Cream in a matte finish.

Using spray paint for the initial layer of paint not only made it easy,  but it would’ve been a bit tricky getting a brush into all of the small crevices of the chandelier.

Creating The Faux Wood Finish

french country chandelier

To create the faux wood finish for this french country chandelier, we used four different colors, two dark brown, one slightly darker than the other, a grey and a cream color.

I know I just said it would be tricky to use a brush, but we’re not going for a full coverage with this step, so it works.

Using a small chip brush which has uneven bristle lengths, we dry brushed on each of our for colors one at a time. However, as we started painting, we soon realized that the chip brush was too big to fit in some of the areas of the chandelier. With this in mind, we pulled out our artist brushes and they worked great!

To dry brush dab the brush in a paint color. Then brush back and forth several times on a paper plate or palate removing most of the paint. Next, lightly brush onto the chandelier with short stroke. The brush leaves very defined stroke marks which mimics the appearance of wood grain.

Dry Brush Layer one

french country chandelier
french country chandelier

The medium brown color was applied first. Dry brush the entire chandelier, but leave plenty of the french cream color exposed.

Dry brush layer two

french country chandelier

Once dry to the touch, we repeated this process with the dark brown color. This is a look at the chandelier with both shades of brown applied. 

You can still see areas of the the light French Cream paint.

Dry Brush layer three

french country chandelier
french country chandelier

At this time, we are ready to apply the grey paint. Using this same dry brush process over the entire chandelier.

It’s now starting to look like the French country chandelier look that we were going for, but it still felt a little dark and heavy. 

Dry Brush Layer Four

french country chandelier

Because it was feeling a little heavy, we decided to add the light cream color. Once again using the dry brush technique, lightly adding highlights over the entire chandelier.

As you can see paint can really transform any light fixture.

In fact, we totally changed the look of a pair of large vintage brass lamps with spray paint and wax.

Adding Boho Flair To French Country Chandelier

Here’s a look at the finished chandelier. Adding wood beads really adds a bit of whimsy and helps make it feel a little less formal.

We purchased a mixed package of wood beads from Amazon. It was a little hard to know exactly how many we’d need, so we erred on the side of caution and ordered a large variety pack.

We ended up using 4 different sizes of beads on this chandelier.

On the strands of beads that swagged from arm to arm, we used 10 of the (16mm) size beads, and 11 of the (8mm) size beads.

For the strands of beads that swagged vertically above each arm  we used 10 (20mm) size beads and 11 (10mm) size beads.

We have plenty of leftover for more projects!

Create Holes for the bead swags

french country chandelier
french country chandelier
french country chandelier

After the beads were strung on fishing line we were ready to hang them on the chandelier.

First we marked where each strand would be secured.  Using a ruler as a straight edge, we then placed the ruler on two candelabra cups at a time.  Marks were made just inside each candelabra cup. We repeated this around the entire chandelier.

Then we also used the ruler to help us eyeball a straight line vertically up each arm. A mark was placed just inside the upper “cup” piece of the chandelier.

Using a drill with a small bit, all holes were then made in the chandelier.

Next we attached each strand of beads onto the french country chandelier, securing them into place with a square knot.

*TIP: After each knot had been made, we added a drop of clear nail polish to “glue” the knot together.

french country chandelier

The beads really do add just that bit of boho flair to this fixture. It looks stunning with the navy wall as the backdrop. I can’t wait until all of the elements in this bedroom makeover come together.

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And as always here at Sunny Side Design


french country chandelier

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Jackie

    This is such a cool update! I would love to do this to the light over our kitchen table. We are having our kitchen cabinets refaced this week so maybe once we finish up that project! Thanks so much for sharing your cute home!

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Thank you Jackie, you’re so sweet! Good like on your kitchen update. I think the light update would be super fun over your kitchen table.

  2. Peggy Perna

    Excited to see your things. Thank you

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Thank you Peggy. We appreciate you following along on our journey.

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