When consumer Dianne Rogers came across a dusty, cobweb-covered antique birdcage at Wilmington, North Carolina, she pictured a fantastic chandelier. “It had been authentic, older, iron and big — about 32 inches high, and it caught my creativity,” she states. The new fixture is right at home in her “Carolina room,” a comfortable covered porch with a vaulted ceiling and a fireplace. “it is a fantastic example of a very easy DIY project with a big-impact outcome,” she states. For under $300, she now has a unique chandelier that looks like a million dollars. Here’s how she did it.

Project: The best way to make a birdcage chandelier
Cost: $150 for your classic birdcage, $100 for the light fixture and less than $50 for paint, sandpaper and other materials
Time: Approximately 4 hours plus paint-drying time

The birdcage was 150 and demanded a little elbow grease to give it a more polished look. “Because the birdcage was old and made from iron, it had some rust spots,” Rogers says. “We scrubbed it clean , sanded off the rust and then sprayed it with a couple coats of matte black enamel Rust-Oleum.”

Pottery Barn

Armonk 3-Arm Chandelier – $99

Rogers found a chandelier small enough to fit inside the birdcage at Pottery Barn. The one shown is very much like this one that Rogers used. “I purchased the chandelier since it had been rated for outdoor space,” she states. (This particular chandelier is UL-rated for covered outdoor spaces.) Hers was reddish, and she painted it lotion to match the trim of this space.

For painting, she taped up the electrical parts of the lights (in which you twist in the lightbulbs) and used a cream-colored Rust-Oleum matte enamel. “When it was dry I touched it up with a brush dipped at the actual colour of the trim, which had been really near the colour of the spray paint,” she states.

“When I had the headboard, we had a hole drilled at the top of the cage and conducted the lighting wires through it into a box at the ceiling,” she states.

Because the birdcage is thick, Rogers used a heavy-duty chain to hang it, which she painted black to match. It required Rogers’ contractor and electrician about an hour to install and hang the chandelier. “It is on a dimmer switch, and we love it!” She states.

Hint: If you’re working on your very own exceptional chandelier colour or retrofit, select a fixture that’s dimmable so that you can adjust the mood lighting.

The new fixture fits the scale of this high vaulted ceiling and massive trusses. “Our house was recently renovated in a contemporary style, but that I gave in to the traditional fixture since it was perfect for the exterior Carolina room,” she states.

ers, what type of salvage projects are you working on? Please share them in the Comments section; we will be featuring one every week.

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