Dressing A Chandelier

Chandeliers are a prominent part of many homes. If your chandelier doesn't quite fit your home anymore, consider a redressing. Redressing a chandelier can involve replacing prisms, a thorough cleaning, adding shades, changing bulb styles, adding a unique candle cover in addition to many other items.

Prisms & Chains

Prisms are often the most distinguishing feature of a chandelier, establishing it's identity. Adjusting the style and quality of prism can produce a drastically different chandelier. Replacing prisms can be very simple but the choice of prisms can be a challenge with so many options available. Here are a few things to keep in mind when redressing your chandelier:

  1. Size – You want to make sure that the prisms you are using are correct proportion to your fixture. If the prism are too small, they will be lost (especially if your chandelier is hanging 10 feet above your head). If the prisms are too big, it will overwhelm the fixture and you can lose the features of the frame.
  2. Quality – There is a wide range of quality when it comes to prisms. While many standard cut and polished glass pieces are very elegant and work just fine, you can also make an incredible statement with items that are leaded (typically 30%). It is the lead in the prisms that gives the prisms the “wow factor”, where the light is refracted and produces the rainbow effect. An example of the highest end prisms in the industry is the Strass line produced by Swarovski. The best route, however, is to make sure that you stay with the same quality of prism throughout your chandelier as mixing them can give an unbalanced feel.
  3. Color – Nothing makes a quicker and bigger statement than adding color to a chandelier with the prisms. Many people will have a set of prisms for each major holiday or season... ie. red and green at Christmas time; pastel colors at Easter; warmer, darker colors for the fall. Also keep in mind, you don’t have to change out every clear prism with color to make a statement. Sometimes a random colored piece within the clear ones can bring a sophisticated look.
  4. Shape – You can find a wide variety of shapes with chandelier prisms. From round balls (smooth or faceted), to almond shapes, to long raindrops, to French-style cuts. You can again use either an entire pattern (possibly with varying sizes) or a combination of styles to bring the chandelier to life.

No matter what route you go when redressing your chandelier, make sure you let your creativity take over. Redressing allows you to take a mass-produced fixture and turn it into a one-of-a-kind showpiece which reflects your personality.

Keep in mind the size quality and color of prism that you are ordering. Use like-quality prisms on the same chandelier. Color accent prisms can be increase the aesthetic of a chandelier.

The type of pin used to connect each prism vary by manufacturer, check the color and pattern of pin before you order, to match your design needs.

Bulbs & Candle Covers

A simple bulb change can upgrade the look of your chandelier drastically. Many varieties of bulbs are available including, flame tips, torpedo, historic filament and novelty. Before ordering bulbs, check the type of base you have on your chandelier bulbs. If your chandelier doesn't have a standard base, there are adapters available to match many of the old style bases.

Bulb covers are an easy way to modify your lighting. Bulb covers slip over an existing bulb to alter the quality of light coming from the chandelier as well as upgrade the appearance of the chandelier.

New candle covers are a great way to customize your chandelier. Candle covers slip over the lamp base below the bulb. These can be made from a variety of materials and patterns. There are value covers made from plastic that can be painted. There are a wide variety of colors and printed candle covers as well as beeswax drip candle covers.

These can be replaced simply by removing the bulb, slipping off the old cover and replacing with a new style.

Chandelier Cleaning

Most chandeliers need a cleaning once every year or two. The process can seem daunting, but with a little planning and a few supplies the results can be spectacular.

Before you begin, turn off the lighting, take photos of the placement of prisms and chains as well as place a thick blanket below the chandelier to catch any falling pieces.

Remove any hanging prisms, these can be cleaned with a very mild detergent or a chandelier cleaner. Depending on what the pieces of your chandelier are made of, use a chandelier cleaner or polish on the arms, bobeches, cups and other parts. Don't forget to polish the bulbs.

Replace the pieces based on your photographs. For more information on cleaning a chandelier, visit ChandelierParts.com/CleaningYourChandelier.aspx

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