Heather Sperling


The heinous specimen to the right is the chandelier that graces the dining room of my boyfriend's apartment. This gilded monstrosity looms over my head as I write, a relentlessly glinting relic, if I had to guess, of the bargain bin of a suburban lighting shop that closed in the 90s. "It's not that bad," you may think—but you'd be wrong. The iPhone camera shoots through a rose-colored lens. Were you standing before its scalding glare, you?d shudder (and squint). The mutated golden sea monster, as I often call it, is big, shiny and low, and it takes up approximately 1/20 of the space in our joint living/dining area. Plus, whenever I catch a glimpse of myself in its bulbous nether region, I look like a grouper. It must be stopped.

Good news for me, and the ugly chandelier: I just stumbled on Vickie Howell's chandelier makeover on her craft.rock.blog, and am feeling empowered to make a positive change in my lighting situation. She did hers in hot pink, but seeing as I'm starting with an ugly shape, I think I'll opt for less-noticeable white. Howell steers clear of funky odors and chemicals by using non-toxic fabric paint, and uses a sponge brush to apply a thin coat without streaks. A painter's brush (or an old makeup brush) is perfect for touch-ups. She puts a final coat of varnish to give it a bit of sheen. If pink's not your thing, Participation Breeds Revolution has a pic of a chandelier they picked up on the cheap and painted a sleek, gothic black.