How to Spray Paint a Chandelier

A few days ago I shared an in progress picture of our “new” chandelier.  I was a bit impatient and admittedly overly excited to see the transformation, so I started spray painting it in my dimly lit backyard.  Do you need to learn how to spray paint a chandelier? Check out how I went from brass to beautiful!!


Here’s what we started with! A $10 standard brass chandelier rescued from my local Habitat for a humanity Restore.

I taped the electrical with frog tape from bottom to top in a diagonal to make it easier to remove. I also gave the entire piece a light sanding with 400 grit sandpaper since there were a few minor imperfections and small rust spots. I wouldn’t use less than a 320. With a lower grit, you could risk scratching the chandy.

I started with a coat of primer on the cover. All I had on hand was white, so white it was. If your chandelier doesn’t have a cover, you can pick one up at your local hardware store.

It was really nice out, so I took the chandy outside, hung it up on a small shepherds hook and started with a light coat of primer to the entire piece.

I wrapped the cord around the top of the hook to avoid getting the spray paint on it. In my experience, it never really fully dries on the actual cord. I’m using a burlap cord cover, so spraying the chain wasn’t necessary. If you want to spray the links, remove the cord, spray the chain and then rethread it.

This is just primer and it’s already looking awesome dontcha think!?
All primed!

I couldn’t wait to see the transformation, so I started the first coat of spray paint at night. I used Rustoleum texture spray paint in black. The finish is very subtle and produces a really nice wrought iron look.

In the middle of all this, I had to run out to take care of a few Christmas errands.  When I came home, I was totally hoping that my intuitive husband was going to surprise me by having the chandelier hung…all while he was tending to 5 children……4 under age 6…ok, ok, that was an unrealistic expectation, but hey, is it wrong to dream!?  It was around 9:30PM and I happened to mention that we should hang the chandelier, kinda in jest and kinda hoping he would be up for it… Knowing how much I was dying to see it up and him being such a sweet love that really does try to make me happy, he said we should go for it!  I’m no fool and I don’t even think I did my typical, “oh, if you’re too tired we can save it for another time” routine!  We jumped right in!

My poor Bub is such a good sport. He did of this with only the light from the kitchen since the electrical had to be shut off. I think he secretly hated our old chandelier as much as I did and was happy to see it gone! PS, I will also mention, Bub has had training in electrical, so if you are unsure of how to remove the old chandy and install the new, HIRE IT OUT y’all! It’s ok to hire a professional, especially when it comes to electrical matters. Not everything has to be DIY.

There were a few minor glitches, so I will give you these few pieces of friendly advice.

1. Decide how high you’d like your chandelier before you start messing with the electrical and get it nearly hung, only to realize it’s WAY to low! The standard is about 30-34 inches from the table top.

2. Make sure your fittings are compatible. You must ensure that the cord hanger is the appropriate size for the nipple (yes, it’s actually called a nipple). Our “new” chandelier had a cord hanger that was larger, so we switched it out with the one from our previous chandy. If you do this, you will likely also need to change out your retaining collar (this is the little piece that keeps the decorative plate on the ceiling and all the electrical components covered)

3. We found it much easier to screw the cord hanger onto the nipple and then thread all the wiring through. I’m not sure if that’s actually the right way to do it, but it’s what worked for us.

I popped the covers back on to cover the electrical on the candle part of the chandy, added 40 watt bulbs and some cool burlap mini shades (that cost more than the entire darn project!)

Also, check out this handy info from This Old House. If you click the pic, it’ll take you over to their site for lots more info.

I can’t wait until the cord cover arrives. Yup, I took the easy way out on that. It’s super easy to make one though. I found this easy tutorial on Liz Marie Blog in case you want to give it a go. Be sure to poke around her site while you’re there. She’s got some really great projects.

Here’s my new favorite chandelier!
It wouldn’t be complete if it wasn’t decked out in Christmas decor!


Project costs
$10 Chandelier
$0 primer (already had)
$14 Rustoleum Texture spray paint in black
$35 mini shades
$10 cord cover

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so leave me a comment below. If you have any question, please feel free to ask. I’m always happy to help. Feel free to pin and share!

Dorrie XO


  1. Love, love, all your projects. Where did you find your mini shades for your chandelier?

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