Thursday, May 12, 2016


This is a project where "keeping it simple" was the key.  The chandelier was a freebee from a friend of ours.   Our friend does a lot of maintenance and remodeling work, and he thought I might re-work it and find a place for it.   At first it looked like just a dingy brown chandelier. It was larger than what I was looking for at the time (I was looking for a small one to go in one of the guest bedrooms in our beach cottage).  However, I realized we could fit a fixture this size over the bathtub in the master bathroom.  The installation would be easy since there was already a recessed can centered over the bathtub on a separate switch.

I wasn't quite sure what finish I wanted to do on this chandelier.  I had all sorts of crazy ideas.  After a little cleanup - the brown chandelier didn't look half bad.  Here are the options I considered.

  1. Paint it a high gloss white
  2. A distressed white painted finish (brown base with white top coat distressed to expose some of the brown base)
  3. Wrap the entire fixture in rope/twine
  4. Leave it brown
  5. Regardless of the base color of the chandelier - wrapping just the candlesticks in twine
  6. There were also tiny lampshades for each candlestick that I wasn't sure if we were going to use.  They were a dingy beige color, a little dirty, and could be spray-painted a matte white to clean them up.
Fortunately, a conversation with a friend about the project helped me determine what to do and helped me focus on a simple refurbishment.  Our friend, Christine, pointed out that a brown chandelier would tie in nicely with the existing brown cabinetry in the bathroom.  Also, we discussed how the fixture was going to hang over the turtle mosaic on the wall, and keeping the chandelier simple was probably a good idea so it would not compete with the mosaic.  Another good point is going with the existing brown finish would keep the options open; if we didn't like how it looked - we could always consider painting it white or trying some other finish.  I'm so glad I talked to Christine to help me figure this out!

Ultimately, I went with options #4 & #5 (Leave it brown and cover the candlesticks in twine).  This meant the only significant change I made to the chandelier was to wrap the candlesticks in twine.  I already had some twine on hand so this project was still free.  The tiny lampshades for each candlestick were still an option, but we decided to wait and see what it looked like without them first.

The installation was done by the same friend who gave us the chandelier.  He found a kit to retrofit an existing recessed can for a chandelier which made the process of installation easier.  I had originally thought we needed to remove the can and install a whole new bracket (either suspended between the beams or attached directly to a beam). This method would have also required a small ceiling medallion to entirely cover the hole from the recessed can).  The cool thing is that the kit we ended up using came with a ceiling medallion, so there was no need to buy a separate one.

Here are some other photos of the completed chandelier in the bathroom.

For now I think we are going to leave the tiny lamp shades off, but maybe I'll give them a try at some point.

For more beach cottage posts see my Beach Cottage page.