• Hometalker
  • Menifee, CA

From Sad & Drab Candlestick Holders To Rehab Fab

5 Materials
3 Hours

Years ago I stumbled upon a very tall set of French altar style candlestick holders, loved them, and really wanted them but they were $250.00. There was no way! I knew I'd find something similar and more importantly cheaper if I could just be patient. Fast forward a couple years when my husband and I were strolling through a few shops due to a spur of the moment drive to the beach. He's not my usual shopping companion when I'm visiting thrift, junk, or antique stores but when the opportunity presents itself to shop, what are ya gonna do? As we walked into one little shop, my eyes were drawn immediately to a pair of candlestick holders perched high on a shelf in the back room of the store. I wasn't even sure if they were for sale so I asked the clerk if they were and if so how much and when he said ten dollars I said, "SOLD!" Upon closer inspection, I saw they'd been turned into lamps, covered in sloppy, brown, paint, dinged up and drab but I was confident I could transform them fairly easily and cheaply.
Yes, they were in bad shape but the style was good, they were tall, with beautiful, faux, relief work. There was hope!
These were so lightweight I thought they were plaster but after sanding a small area to smooth out a rough spot and creating a hole I realized they were actually resin! UGH! I do not like resin. Oh well, what are ya gonna do? I filled the hole with some wood filler, smoothed it out, and got to work.
I cut the cord at the base of each lamp with wire cutters, unscrewed the bolts on the bottom of each light fixture and pulled the metal pieces up and out.
I painted both candlestick holders white using some leftover chalk paint I had from another project. I love chalk paint because in most cases you don't need to do any prep on the item. Also, the coverage is great. This picture shows the candlestick with one coat of paint but I ended up putting two coats on and it covered the dark brown color thoroughly.
I know. You're probably thinking why paint over all the brown paint just to paint them brown again? Crazy? Well, yes I am but there really is a method to my madness in this case! I wanted to give them a bit of an aged look so I used an old brush and slathered on some creme wax by Americana Decor in the shade deep brown. I like to use a brush when aging a piece because it gets the wax deep into all the crevices. And the real trick to aging a piece is to........
Well, you really don't take all of it off. Take a soft cloth and rub, rub, rub. You can start by removing a little, see how you like the look and take off as much as you like for the style you're going for. I wanted a subtle aged look so I rubbed off most of the wax. Most of the creme wax I've used with chalk paint has the consistency of softened butter but this wax by Americana Decor is liquid. It worked very well for this project especially due to all the nooks and crannies but some people might prefer a creamier wax. I loved it.
I really like how these turned out. The actual work time was only about 3 hours but I did a little bit here and a little bit there over a 3 day period. The cost was minimal as I had the chalk paint and wax from previous projects. Chalk paint is so easy to use and fairly foolproof with no need for preparation so I believe anyone can use it to turn almost any item, even one in rough condition from funky to fabulous.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Debbie
    on May 4, 2016

    I love your work but I especially love your fireplace. Can you show me a picture of the entire thing? I just bought an old house and have been looking for a fireplace redo and yours is beautiful.

    • Jerri
      on Jul 25, 2018

      Those are beautiful and are perfect on either end of fireplace. Some people are so good at seeing the potential in unattractive items. But for those of us that don’t see the vision, thank you for sharing. I’m on the lookout for neat lamp bases now.

  • Carol
    on Jul 25, 2018

    Can you just imagine what they would cost in a store? Beautiful!

    • K_a7863698
      on Jul 25, 2018

      I was thinking that too!

      She did an amazing job on them & they go beautifully with the fireplace!

  • Beverly Norman
    on Aug 28, 2018

    Where did you find those fabulous candlesticks? Love this project!

Join the conversation

2 of 189 comments
  • Fanny
    on Jul 8, 2019

    Love this project . Great job 👏🏻Awesome. I will try it.


  • Cathy Shaw
    on Jul 8, 2019

    I have made numerous candlesticks from inexpensive lamps found at yard sales. Little clay flowerpot saucers make great tops to hold the candle. Dewiring, a little paint and wow you have a beautiful candleholder. Just look at cheap lamps.in a different way!

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