DIY Painted Empire Chandelier

Tutorial for painting a Lowes $79.00 empire chandelier {The Creativity Exchange}


DIY Painted Empire Chandelier {The Creativity Exchange}


Hi friends!  As I promised on Monday, I’m back today to share the details and tutorial for our painted chandelier that I recently painted for my daughter’s room revamp.  Before I jump into the tutorial, let me tell you a little more of what inspired us to attempt to tackle painting a chandelier.

You can see the finished room here.

Girl's bedroom revamp with a lot of fun DIY projects. The Creativity Exchange

As Bella and I started planning her room revamp, she told me she wanted a hot pink chandelier (I was not surprised).  So we started searching online and we came across this absolutely spectacular empire chandelier from Marjorie Skouras Designs:




I have seen Marjorie’s designs in the past and everything she does is simply out of this world and all of her pieces are made from semi-precious stones. I could hang out on her beautiful website for hours on end! One day I hope to have one of her pieces in my home!

Of course, Marjorie’s piece is large and well, it’s around $5,000.00, so it’s about $4999.00 out of our price range for my girl’s room.

Here is the turquoise version of the chandelier:


Turquoise Empire Chandelier- Marjorie Skouras Designs- Photo from Atlanta Homes {The Creativity Exchange}

Source: Marjorie Skouras Designs via Atlanta Magazine



As much as I appreciate and absolutely love Marjorie’s artistry, we had to pass on the chandy.  But, we were so inspired by the rich bold colors of the stones in Marjorie’s pieces that we decided to think about painting a very inexpensive much smaller chandelier in Bella’s hot pink and turquoise color combination.  I never dreamed I would find a similar “empire” chandelier but when I ran to Lowe’s, I saw this perfect size chandy made by Style Selections for $79.00:


Lowe's Mother of Pearl Empire Chandelier $79.00 {The Creativity Exchange}

Source: Lowes


The bead part is made out of smooth shell mother of pearl-ish.  I immediately thought about the Velvet Finishes paint that I have been testing out the last few weeks because it has such a smooth highly pigmented matte finish.  My hope was that it would make the shells look like stones.  I also knew that I wouldn’t need to prime and that the Velvet Finishes paint was thick enough that it wouldn’t run down the beads like conventional paint or spray paint. I also knew that regular paint or spray paint would make the strands/shells look plastic instead of stone like.

So I bought the chandy, ran home and started painted my first coat of Velvet Finishes in the hot pink color “Glamorous”:

Tutorial for painting empire chandelier {The Creativity Exchange}

Don’t you just love my high-tech painting station?! Ha! It worked!

Let me just say, there was something like 30 strands of beads with hooks on the end and I’m not sure why but I painted each strand one by one and hung them in my little contraption to dry. Yep, took me hours…  By the third coat, I realized I could just line them up and paint them all at one time, which saved me so much time.  I did three very light coats and let them dry in between layers (about an hour).

Because I was painting a bold color on white, I knew it would take 2-3 coats to get that beautiful bright color.  I could have actually stopped at the second coat (I just used a wide acrylic brush) because at that point, the shells looked like almost translucent stones that varied in color.  I decided that I really wanted to get that bright solid pop of color just like our inspiration piece.

This is what the strands looked like after three coats of paint:


Tutorial for painting empire chandelier {The Creativity Exchange}


Next, I painted the shells around the top part of the fixture using two parts Velvet Finishes color “Boheme” and one part “Enchanting” to get that greenish turquoise color:


Tutorial for painting chandelier {The Creativity Exchange}



Tutorial for painting empire chandelier- The Creativity Exchange


Testors enamels for painting fixtures and old hardware. Used for model cars and airplanes. {The Creativity Exchange}

These painted shells really show just how beautiful that Velvet Finishes paint is.  The paint is matte but because of the wax additive in the paint, it made the shells look like buffed real turquoise!  Can you believe that finish and color? I was stunned.

I painted all of the metal part of the fixture using Testor’s Enamel paints in gold:




For more details on using the Testor’s enamels, you can check out Monday’s post here.

Here is what the chandy looked like when we got it hung:

How to paint a chandelier {The Creativity Exchange}


Then I added the strands after they were dry:

DIY Painted Empire Chandelier {The Creativity Exchange}



Tutorial for painting a Lowes $79.00 empire chandelier {The Creativity Exchange}



My girl and I did the crafty happy dance when we finally got it all up and saw just how pretty it turned out!

After doing this project, I thought about ways to cut corners and to save time. Obviously, if I had to do it over, I would have laid out all the strands immediately and painted them together all at one time.  I would have also spray painted the fixture with Rustoleum gold (as much as love the Testor’s gold) including those shells around the frame that cannot be removed.  I would have then just painted over the gold upper shells.

Coincidently, my friend Amanda sent me a link to the exact same chandelier that Katie from the adorable blog Miss Dixie painted and she used a different paint and she also used wax:

DIY painted chandelier from Miss Dixie

Source: Miss Dixie


Katie wanted her chandy to be a matte white and was so smart and taped off the shells around the frame before she painted.  Yea, I should have done that first.. Not sure why that didn’t occur to me.  Katie also agreed that it would be faster to spray paint the piece but it was too cold where she lives.   Katie used a metallic gold paint made by Ace Hardware that I have never heard of that I want to play with as well.

I was also thinking that since the shells are organic, RIT Dye might work as well!  The Dye mix could be highly concentrated and I’m thinking those shells would just soak up the dye quick.  I really wanted that bold color like our inspirational piece so going the Velvet Finishes route I think was the only smart thing that I did! Ha!

There are all kinds of cool chandy’s like this one at Lowe’s with strands and there are even some flush mounts that would be so pretty in fun bold colors.

Thanks friends for hanging out with me today.  We have a lot of projects coming up from Bella’s room that we can’t wait to share with you! Stay tuned!




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19 Responses to DIY Painted Empire Chandelier

  1. Claire Brody says:


    Ummm let me pick my jaw up off the floor!!! WOW!!!! This is perfect! Absolutely love it!


  2. Kelly says:

    Oh wow… what an amazing transformation! I absolutely love the bright colored beads, and the gold finish.

  3. Zelle says:

    What a gorgeous finished product! I am absolutely in love and would love to try a project like this one. Stopping my from Miss Dixie!

    • Cyndy says:

      Thanks so much Zelle for stopping by! Yes, its a great project to try but I would for sure use the shortcuts! SO many color possibilities!

  4. Robbie says:

    Wow! You’re amazing!
    I prefer yours over the expensive one!

  5. Michelle says:

    Love this project and I can’t wait to try it for myself for my daughter’s nursery. Can you give me a recommendation for a paint that may be available at Lowes or Home Depot (they don’t sell Velvet finishes in my area). Thanks!

    • Cyndy says:

      You can purchase Velvet Finishes online here: and they’ll ship it to you. They also sell small 4 oz. containers that are just the perfect size for this project. I’m not sure traditional paints would work for this project because I think they are too thin and would run off the beads. I think a thick paint like Velvet Finishes that has a built in primer would ensure that it would stick and not run. Hope that helps and I would love for you to send me a picture if you try this.

  6. Mary Ruth says:

    Came out AWESOME and what a LUCKY girl your daughter is! LOVE how it came out! GREAT PROJECT!

  7. Michelle says:

    Love this project and I can’t wait to try it for myself for my daughter’s nursery. Can you give me a recommendation for a paint that may be available at Lowes or Home Depot (they don’t sell Velvet finishes in my part of the country). Thanks!

  8. debbie says:

    Gorgeous, don’t you just love a project that turns out as pretty as you have envisioned. I don’t think it could look any better. Can’t wait to see it all put together.

    Take care

    • Cyndy says:

      Yes I do love that Debbie! Ha! I really wasn’t sure going into the project how well it would turn out. This is precisely why I love to do projects like this because its so fun when they turn out fabulous. Thanks so much for stopping by Debbie!

  9. Jennifer says:

    W.O.W!!! So amazing Cyndy and I love projects like this!! I want to try it!! Can’t wait to see Bella’s revamp!! Thanks for sharing!!

  10. Lori says:

    I must say that’s the most gorgeous thing I’ve seen in a looooong time! Now to figure out room in my home is screaming out for a chandelier! Thanks for sharing your awesome secret. 🙂

  11. gabrielle says:

    I like your ‘knock off’ version the best – way better than the high end original. Just sayin’.

    One other thing: it’s the 21st century – why can’t they design chandeliers so that the dangling bits are all strung on a cage that you can just slip off, dunk into sudsy water, drip dry while you dust bulbs and electrics, then slip back together again? Especially all those crystal ones! Sheez!

  12. Valeria Massis says:

    I’d like to bye this pink chandelier. Is it possible???
    I’m from Brazil, but I’m going to New York the end of this month.
    I really like it. It is to my daughter’s room.
    Waiting to hear from you.

  13. Suzanne Miller says:

    LOVE this tutorial…the chandelier is now $159 at Lowe’s! I guess you made it look too good!

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