How to Update Outdated Candlesticks

6 Materials
1 Hour

Do you have some candlesticks that you used to love, but they no longer match your decor? I had these and I think the shapes are gorgeous, but the colors are very outdated. If found an easy way to update them so I could get even more use from them.

The candlesticks before.

While I love the size and shape of these candlesticks, the colors are certainly not fitting with the current color trends. However, they are much to pretty to throw away. With a few easy steps, I transform these into lovely modern white and gold pieces that can be used year round.

Disassemble and spray paint

My candlesticks are part wood and part glass, so I disassembled them as I plan to use chalk spray paint on the glass pieces as shown here. I also coated the glass pieces with a very light coat of tint-In in gold.

I used a pickling wash to paint the wooden pieces

To keep the depth of the wood, I used a pickling wash on the wood pieces. I rubbed it on with a cloth to make sure there were no runs or drips. After this dried, I sprayed on a light coat of the same white chalk paint.

Prepare for the gold left

After all the paint was completely dry, I applied a light coat of spray adhesive to prepare the surface for the gold leaf.

Gold leaf in progress

Quickly apply a sheet of gold leaf to the section where you sprayed the adhesive spray. You want to gold leaf to be applied loosely as in the photo above. The more you press down on the gold leaf sheet the more coverage you will get.

Next use a gilding brush to remove the extra gold leaf.

If more coverage is desired, you can repeat the process with another gold leaf sheet. If less coverage is desired, fine grit sandpaper can be used to very lightly remove some of the gold leaf.

The finished product

Be sure to let your candlesticks dry for at least 24 hours before use. Check out my blog post for more step by step instructions and a quick video of the gold leafing step.

If you love the look, but don’t quiet have the time, I found some similar here.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Liz
    on Oct 11, 2020

    Turned out beautiful! I also like to use Rub & Buff. They have gold and several lovely metallic colors.

    • Dee
      on Oct 24, 2020

      I love rub and buff, use it all the time and so easy to use. You can get it in Hobby Lobby or Michaels

Join the conversation

4 of 6 comments
  • Janet
    on Oct 11, 2020

    Actually, the original is coming back. I have seen many "carnival" type painting techniques on here. Love the original.

    I also love what you did to change them. They look beautiful now as well and I am sure they look lovely with your decor.

    • Sondra
      on Oct 11, 2020

      Thank you Janet. I actually like the original too, but it didn’t match my decor any longer. Plus I have had them for years and years and they are much too pretty to pack away.

  • Pat
    on Oct 17, 2020

    I love what you did - so pretty!

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