I’m not entirely sure what it is about things that are painted completely white. They just feel so pure and so clean, like a new born baby. You just want to pick them up and rock them and cuddle them and make silly faces at them to make them laugh.
That’s exactly how I feel about our new chandelier, because after I painted a few coats of white spray paint on it, it was so beautiful that I almost cried.
I didn’t though because I’m a man and we don’t have emotions like that.
How dare you think otherwise!
I drink beer and watch hockey and spit and constantly scratch and paw at my junk and stare at breasts and paint chandeliers and appreciate design elements and colour and cook and clean and do the dishes and laundry. Does that sound like an individual that cries?
Chandeliers can be pretty hit or miss (mostly miss) in our books. Part of this is because there’s such a wide variety and 90% of them are hideous and 10% always seem to have certain design elements that just seem to throw the whole balance off of something that could easily be so beautiful. This was the case with the one hanging in our dining area.
This piece fit very well with Cassie’s parents’ style. A lot of their inspiration comes from that rustic wood cabin feel, so a tree branch chandelier with a bronze wood grain is completely appropriate for them. For us, there’s a fine line when it comes to rustic and with the whimsical elements in the chandelier, we had an idea in mind that would fit our own style without having to completely replace it with a new one.
Additionally, we flat out did not like the globes.
The approach we were going to take was to first remove the three angled supports running up toward the head of the fixture. They seemed out of place and weren’t actually supporting anything. Second, we were torn between whether we wanted to leave or take the leaves away from around the globes. Third, as mentioned above, we decided to paint the whole thing white, so we left the leaves on until we painted it to see how we felt about them afterward.
So, after quick removal of the “supports,” the next step was to paint, which meant taking down the chandelier from the ceiling, which meant flipping the dining area breaker off and undoing the electrical in the ceiling.
That last step? Yeah, that’s yet another completely new experience for me.
After I headed downstairs to turn the breaker off, Cassie asked if we have a circuit tester to check if the wire was live. We do not. We have a tester to make sure outlets are working properly, but nothing for wires. I felt confident though that turning the breaker off and the light turning off meant that no power was going to that box, so I dove in.
Success #1: my hair remained intact and smoke did not exit my ears.
Now, despite having a father and two brothers that are electricians, I know nothing about electrical, but since all I was doing was taking the fixture down to later replace it with the exact same fixture, I just paid close attention to what I was undoing so I could just redo that.
A little info (snore) on what I was dealing with: there were three wires. I have come to learn that the black wire is known as the “hot” wire, which carries electrical current from the circuit to the fixture. The white wire is the “neutral” wire, which carries electrical current away from the fixture. The ground wire (copper) is literally connected to the ground and does not carry current. This is there to safely carry current away, should the neutral wire fail or there’s some sort of power shortage or malfunction, which would trip the breaker at the circuit panel and immediately shut off the power.
The wires on the fixture itself were not different colours though, save for the copper ground wire. The two others were both black, so I just marked them with some tape and wrote which went to which on the tape. Once I managed to get the chandelier down, it was time to spread cardboard out on the carport, plug the fixtures so paint didn’t get inside, and spray that baby ‘til it was white in the face.
Success #2: it was totes white in the face.
It was, as previously mentioned, beautiful. A work of art. Might as well be hanging in the… wait for it… Guggenheim. You thought I was going to say Louvre, didn’t you? Eff the Louvre!
Okay, I don’t mean that. I just like the word Guggenheim better.
Seriously, say it out loud.
Regardless of which museum it should be in, I couldn’t wait to get that bad boy hung back up in our own house.
However, in the midst of sprucing up the chandelier, we talked and figured that I might as well paint the dining area as well, so this was to be finished first.
After taking the long shelf down in the back, we decided that since we had so much grey left over from our bedroom, we’d use that to tie the two spaces together and holy eggshell were we glad we did!
That white chandelier against the gray wall?
Success #3: it should all be in a museum!
Like one of those cavemen tableaux. I’d even use cavemen in one. The juxtaposition of the trogs (it’s my nouveau, hip way of saying troglodytes) sitting in a modern space like that would be amazing.
Once the walls were painted and drying, it was time to replace the chandelier. I twisted the wire nuts to connect the wires back together, screwed the hanging bracket back in place, screwed the fixture into the bracket and replaced the cover plate to hide all of the behind the scenes garbage. I then headed downstairs and flipped the breaker back on.
Success #4: huzzah! Let there be sexy, sexy light!
Now, you might be wondering about the leaves and the lack of globes. Well, we decided to leave the leaves. We found that the issue was that they were sticking out too far and by easily bending them toward the fixture, they worked better.
As for the globes, as you can see, we’re globeless! The idea we’d originally had was to purchase some Edison bulbs and let the bulbs shine, pun intended, but since they were a little pricey, we went with something a little cheaper, but still aesthetically beautiful. To accent the area, I hung a set of three amazing prints Cassie got me for Christmas and hung her dinnerware mirror back up in it’s spot.
All together now!
Dining set and area rug aside, we think it’s pretty perfect. We’re thinking of putting our oversize knife, fork and spoon on the left wall and we’d like to stain the dining set darker, find a rug that’s more our style, replace the outlet and switch plates, and of course, get rid of the popcorn ceiling, but for the time being, I feel like we’re still going to be eating in style. The really great thing about redoing the dining area is that all of the natural light coming trough the skylights is bouncing off the white and grey, making the kitchen feel a lot brighter, which is one of our end goals for the space.
Natural light = good photography light and good photography light = happy Cassie.
Everyone loves a happy Cassie!
What do you think? Did you like the old chandelier or is the new one an improvement?