Upgrading An Old Brass Candlestick With Spray Paint

I’m back with an easy thrift store upgrade. John and I snagged this seen-better-days brass candlestick at Goodwill for $1.99 after I convinced him that a bright and modern color would complement the traditional shape for a clean and current result in about five minutes flat.

So I spray painted that sucker with some glossy yellow paint (Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Gloss spray paint in Sun Yellow)…

… and ended up with a nice new (and super cheap) accessory in a fun and happy color. Here he is accompanied by his three candle friends. Anyone humming Beauty & The Beast yet? Totally reminds us of Lumiere.

Simple? Check. Cheap? Check? Anyone can do it? Check. Plus we’re planning to do a little seasonal decorating and we think this guy will come in handy for all sorts of occasions (Halloween, Thanksgiving, fall in general, etc). So stay tuned to see a few fun arrangements with our new yellow candlestick.

And speaking of quick thrift store makeovers, what have you guys been transforming on the cheap? Any other candlestick projects going on?


  1. says

    Love it! I am going to attempt this very same thing to part of a pair of fugly blue glass lamps I snagged off craigslist. Can I ask what you cleaned the surface with before painting? Alcohol? And did you use high gloss paint or spray on a clear coat after? I seem to have a problem even after cleaning with the nasty bubbling up of the paint as I spray on a clear gloss afterward. Thanks! I don’t want to screw these up! :)

    • says

      Hey Cheryle,

      We never use a clear coat spray since it can get complicated as you mentioned. Instead we just pick the “high gloss” finish for our spray paint and do it all in one step (no top coat or sealant necessary). And I actually just wiped down our candlestick with a moist rag to get it gleaming, so I didn’t use alcohol or vinegar or anything (although you can probably google around for a natural brass cleaning recipe if you’d like- we just get worried about those ingredients reacting poorly with the spray paint so we keep it simple. Good luck!


  2. says

    Adorable! I would have never been into this color until I saw Tori Spelling throw a yellow & white party on Tori & Dean (don’t judge – I might have been home sick that day). The crisp white with the bright daffodil yellow was OUTSTANDING! Great choice!

    PS. Did the spray paint have to be special for metal?

    • says

      Hey Tiffany S,

      Nope, pretty much all spray paint is perfect for metal (metal takes paint really well actually) so just apply two or three thin and even coats. And you might want to use Rustoleum paint if the metal has any rust on it. Good luck!


  3. Carol N. says

    I am loving the yellow color right now, especially with gray. I am working on a craigslist find right now and the most expensive part is the splurge on some Anthropologie knobs. It is amazing what spray paint can do to a piece of furniture or a found object!

  4. Mary says

    I got a round solid wood table at Goodwill for $35. It was seriously ugly. I followed your directions for painting it (sanding, priming, 2 coats semi-gloss, 1 coat varnish. I already owned all those things. I now have a drop-dead gorgeous round solid wood *white* table – plus I scored 6 already primed white chairs at a yard sale for $15, and am in the process of painting them. Total cost for like-new table + 6 chairs: $50. Happy. Love ya, YHL!

  5. says

    Yes! The Habitat for Humanity Restore is the most fabulous source for ugly, brass fixtures. We bought some 90’s-tastic wall sconces there before we moved, and I hope to hang them in our current house. I just haven’t decided what color to paint them yet.
    Your candelabra came out very chic!

  6. Raquel says

    I LOVE the transformation and that candelabra would definitely run major bucks had it been bought at Anthropologie. Can I ask what color spray paint you used?

  7. Kim S says

    Such funny timing for a Lumiere reference! When my husband and I went to the movies on Sunday afternoon one of the previews was for a one-night-only special event at the theatre…a Beauty and the Beast Sing Along! So basically I have been singing “Be Our Guest” in my head for the past 48 hours and naturally thought of Lumiere as soon as I saw the candlestick, even before I read what you wrote! Too funny! :o)

  8. Kim S says

    And P.S. I love the yellow! I don’t usually have the patience to sift through thrift stores, but this really makes me want to try!

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