Thrift Store Candelabra Transformation

June 26, 2023

I've been dreaming of French country decor since the beginning of the year. You can see that dream embodied in one of my first blog posts of the year entitled Winter Decor Vision Board. Today's project puts me one step closer to that vision.

gold mirror boxwood wreath white mantel candelabra

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I've always loved candelabras of all kinds, including candelabra candle holders and candelabra chandeliers. They're classic and romantic and oh-so-French.  

white distressed metal candelabra vintage farmhouse decor

One candelabra in particular I've had my eye on is this Distressed Metal Candelabra from Antique Farmhouse. When I first saw it I filed it away in my computer file filled with pictures of things I love and want to purchase and/or make for myself.

black rusted iron candelabra five white taper candles

After promptly forgetting about that gorgeous
Distressed Metal Candelabra, I was blessed to come across this specimen at Goodwill not much later. 

rusty iron romantic candelabra

I couldn't believe my good luck in finding this beauty.

rusty scrolly romantic candelabra

The details were just gorgeous.

white taper candle in candelabra

And while I normally love a rusty look, I just felt that this metal candelabra, rust and all, was just too dark. And I knew exactly what to do. 

can of Rust-oleum chalk paint Linen white

Enter my fave craft/project paint -- Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint in Linen White.

After thoroughly cleaning the piece with soap and water and a soft brush (old toothbrushes are great for this) I let it air dry. Then I got to work. While Rust-Oleum says you only need one coat, I should have known that this dark metal candelabra definitely needed more than that. In retrospect I wish I had used a primer first. As they say, hindsight is 20-20.

white painted candelabra with rust

So I initially started to paint the top half of the candelabra. But even after two coats it looked like this. A weird orange/pink color was seeping through the white paint. I'm not sure what metal the candelabra is made out of, but it's super heavy. I'm thinking that it must be made of iron, especially because of the rust.  

can of white spray paint primer

Once I realized the orange color was going to continue to seep through, I broke down and used some white spray primer

Rust-Oleum comfort grip aerosol spray trigger

And I never use spray paint or spray primer without using my Rust-Oleum Comfort Grip aerosol spray trigger. It fits right over the top of the can and eases the stress on your hand while you spray. It was a real game changer for me.

thrift store candelabra painted with white spray primer 

The Rust-Oleum American Accents 2X Ultra Cover Primer Spray  went on like a charm, and I was ready to add a coat of paint over it. Honestly, though, I loved the way it looked even at this point in the process.

white base of metal candelabra

While it did look pretty gorgeous at this point, it was a bit too glossy looking for me. I prefer more of a matte look, so I went ahead and gave the entire candelabra two coats of the Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint in Linen White. 

jar of clear wax and Dixie Dirt in Ash

Then I decided I wanted more of a rustic, aged finish to the piece so I decided to get to work with my Folk Art Home Decor Clear Wax and Dixie Belle Dixie Dirt in Ash. Simply put, I went over the bright areas first with my clear wax, using a wax brush, then let that dry for about 15 minutes. Once the wax had started to dry but was sill sticky, I stippled on some Dixie Belle Dirt with a stencil brush, following that with a chip brush that I used to brush away any excess "dirt." 

chippy white shabby grungy candelabra

The finish, overall, came out just as I had hoped.

white  candle holder chinoiserie ginger jar mantel decor

white painted base of candle holder aged with Dixie Dirt

There was just enough grunge to add some contrast, texture and patina to the painted iron candelabra. 

white candelabra gold taper candles Primrose mirror ginger jars

The final result? A gorgeous, romantic mantel with the perfect vintage French candelabra -- just like the wish list of pretties on my Winter Decor Vision Board.

romantic gold taper candles in white painted mantel candelabra

I purposely chose gold taper candles since the large mirror in the background is framed in gold. Actually, the mirror originally came in black. You can see how I gilded it in Anthropologie Gleaming Primrose Mirror Dupe. 

white painted candle holder blue and white ginger jar gold mirror

Placing lit candles in front of a mirror is one way to create a romantic ambiance.

romantic gold mirror taper candles mantel chinoiserie ginger jar decor

I am truly smitten with this candelabra transformation and I am so glad I went ahead with the project. It's already become a favorite. So next time you come across an ugly old candelabra or candle holder at a thrift store, why not bring it home and give it new life?

Well, that's it for today, friends! 
I hope you've enjoyed reading about my
Thrift Store Candelabra Transformation
and that I've inspired you in some way.  

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gold mirror boxwood wreath white mantel candelabra

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Leave a Comment!

Junkchiccottage said...

OMG this is amazing Kathleen. I love it. I want one. What a great score and re love of this. Just beautiful.
Have a great rest of the week and Happy 4th. Hugs. Kris

mjmaterazo said...

Looks so good Kathleen!!! What a great find and you transformed it beautifully! XO- MaryJo

Anonymous said...

Lovely results, easy to folllow tutorial! Great post! Kathy A

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