Monday, October 17, 2011

The Elusive Pink Chandelier

Sorry this post took forever, but I've been in China.  Did you know that China doesn't want the Chinese to read blogs?  So you can't actually get to your blog from China.  Weird.

Anyway!  Slowly but surely we’ve been making some early fall progress!  Woot.  First project up, the elusive pink chandelier.  I always joked that I didn’t want to cohabitate before marriage because I wanted to live in pastel girly heaven for as long as possible before marrying the manliest man on earth and accepting a life of masculine colors and a house filled with navy.  Luckily for me (although the sheets are now a lovely ecru,) I still have a pastel haven.  A.K.A. the Craft Room. 

I am totally one of those delightfully spoiled ladies who have an entire craft room.  A tiny room that occasionally spits out intricately wrapped gifts, hand-made cards, lovingly sewn baby clothes, perhaps even a quilt or two.  The craft room has nothing masculine about it.  Unfortunately, when I moved in, the light fixture was a terrible plain globe set in horribly crumbling plaster, giving off the same amount of light as is found in your average prison cell block.  It had to go.  I had my heart set on some day replacing it with the perfect tiny girly chandelier that would just whirl into my life and magically install itself.  Then I ran into this beaut:
OK, less “beaut” and more “beast”, I saw some potential lurking in the brassy depths.  This lovely lady cost me $50 in the town of Renton, WA, home of SolidWorks training courses, awesome Indian food, and surprisingly wonderful antique stores.  My plan was to take this baby home, paint it pink and give my craft room the light it always deserved. 

I have to admit, painting is always the hardest task for me.  I am not detail-oriented enough to really complete something with as much perfection as it deserves.  Often, my excitement for the job to be finished prevents me from doing a good job on silly things like preparation.  I am all about the “done”.  So I raced home and spray painted that sucker pink!  Which flaked off in approximately 2.7 seconds.  Cue game show “wah wahhhhhhhhhh…”

OK, take two.  I sanded the whole thing down with some very light sandpaper furnished by the hubby, trying to remove the paint and the shiny finish without leaving giant gouges.  I carefully taped all the white “candles” and tried for coat #2.  Not looking too shabby, chandelier!
This process took a million days I swear!  No, that’s just the impatience talking.  The second time around it took two days, one day to prime and another day to coat with several light coats of pink.  I followed the advice of Sherri at Young House Love and tried to get 4 even coats (and “if you’re spraying, your arm better be a swayin’”) but it was still a little drippy in some small and unnoticeable spots.  I think I’ve still got things to learn about the mystical ways of paint.  However, I did manage to be detail oriented enough to go back and get a second can of paint when the first can ran dry.  This qualifies as major spiritual growth in my book.

(Sidebar on pink: the best selection of pink paint in Seattle can be found at the Maple Leaf True Value hardware store.  At the Greenwood True Value?  Zero shades of pink.  At Stoneway Hardware?  Two shades.  At Maple Leaf True Value?  SEVEN shades of pink.  Go Maple Leaf.)

With the final coat on, the husband helped me wire it in and screw it in.  Mostly because he’s tall.  Wiring it isn’t tricky, we turned off the breaker (ok we were scofflaws and didn’t actually do that but we should have) then we unscrewed the last light fixture, lifted it halfway out, took off  the turn caps on the wires, untwisted the old light fixture, gleefully threw it out the window (ok we didn’t do that either but we should have,) held up the chandelier, twisted the bare wires back together with the wires out of the fixture, put the twist caps back on, held up the chandelier and screwed it in.  Total piece of cake!  Getting the screws in was the hardest part since it’s an old mounting.  We then spent a billion years replacing all the crystals and….drumroll please…..
Ta da!  It’s everything I wanted it to be and then some.  It really makes the room look awesome and girly at the same time.
Taking this photo made me realize how far I have to go on sorting those shelves.  But hey, the light fixture fills me with joy, zestiness and hope for a new project.  It’s a brand new season and I can’t wait to see what else it brings!


  1. Totally true about the China blog embargo; a blog-friend is travelling overland through Asia & once he hit China, no more blog-access to share awesome travel pictures :( it's weird, especially since he was pretty much being a tourism ad for the cities he went to, ha.

    I think the chandelier looks awful cute all pink'd up - I have an intense bias against gold&brass right now (might have something to do with all the gold '80s hardware that was in my house when we bought it..)