Strapped for cash, and hating the crystal surface-mount light in our dining room, we knew that unless we found the perfect light for less than ten dollars, we would be living with the gaudy 1980's light fixture, or else prepping for a DIY. After finding this inexpensive black wrought iron chandelier at a garage sale, we knew it was DIY time!
The first step of the transformation was removing the frosted glass shades and sand blasting the wrought iron to prepare it for painting. Before sand blasting, we covered the chords and wiring with duct tape, to protect it. If you are interested in repainting a lamp but don't have access to a sand blaster, you can use fine grit black sanding paper and wet sand the finish of your fixture.
After sand blasting, the fixture was cleaned up and given a coat of white primer and two coats of glossy white paint. When it was time to install the chandelier, we had one last change up our sleeves. Instead of reassembling to its original configuration, we decided to flip the direction of the lights, so they pointed up at the ceiling, giving the room a brighter, more ambient light as it is bounced and was reflected by the white ceiling.
Sure, it's not our idea of an ideal light fixture, but it a nicer, subtle source of light for the dining room, and much better than the tacky crystal light fixture that was there before.
Images: Amanda Johnson