Yesterday I had two goals — get my ceiling primed and painted, and get my dining room chandelier hung. I’ve been so anxious to get that chandelier hung since it arrived, and I bought it in October 2014. Yep, fifteen months ago.
The ceiling went fine. I did end up doing some sanding, but not necessarily because it needed lots of sanding. I did it because I’m me, and that’s what I do, and if drywall mud hasn’t been sanded yet, then I just can’t help myself. 🙂 So after sanding, priming, and doing one coat of paint, I finally unpacked my chandelier to see if it would be an easy install. Well, it would have been except I couldn’t get the three hanging bars to go on right. Here’s the chandelier I bought (I got mine on sale for around $500), and this is what it’s supposed to look like…
So after messing with it for about 30 minutes, I finally decided that it would all straighten itself out once it was installed. So I quickly did one more coat of paint around the chandelier area, and then got busy installing the light.
Unfortunately, it didn’t straighten itself out. It was awful, and crooked, and unlevel, and no matter what I did or how long I messed with it, it just wouldn’t straighten out.
But that wasn’t even main problem. The main problem is that I hung it as short as it would go (i.e., with absolutely no additional chain at the top), and it still hung way too low. Talk about frustrating! The fixture is listed as 32 inches high. My ceilings are eight feet high, so a 32-inch chandelier should leave 64 inches of clearance underneath, right? And that would have been perfect since a dining room chandelier in a room with an eight-foot ceiling is supposed to be 30-34 inches above the table, and a dining table is 30 inches high. I had it all planned out perfectly.
Only this chandelier is NOT 32 inches high, and does NOT hang 64 inches from the floor. It hangs 56.5 inches from the floor, and that’s way too low. And of course, those metal rods aren’t adjustable at all. So some major frustration set in, and I started considering some different options. The easiest would be to remove the rods and just use antique brass link chain instead. That way I could adjust the height as I needed it. But frankly, that much plain link chain just seemed so boring to me.
I finally decided that I would have to take the whole thing apart and take this top section (the section that the three rods attach to) to a welder and see if they would remove the big round loop on the top, and instead attach some sort of small hook that could attach right to the loop on the canopy. That would eliminate one more chain link, and would reduce the size of that huge loop. But at most, that would only reduce the height by two inches, and that still wasn’t enough.
Then at about midnight last night, I had an idea, and I got up early this morning to see if it would work. (You can see a peek of it in the photo above.)
Remember yesterday I mentioned that I had already purchased rectangular link chain for the light I’m going to make for the music room? Well, I got that out to see if I could make it work on this chandelier. And you know what? I love it.
It’s so much more interesting than just plain oval link chain, and it actually adds a modern touch to it. It’s a bit brighter and brassier than the chandelier, so I’ll have to tone it down some to match the chandelier. But I think it’ll look terrific once it’s all switched out. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough since I only bought one yard, so I placed another order this morning for the rest.
This is the chain I bought. It’s not cheap, but I had a heck of a time finding just the right chain. Most companies’ rectangular chains have links that are 2 inches long or longer. That’s huge! These links are just over 1.5 inches long. And I also only wanted the rectangular links without round links in between. And finally, I wanted unsoldered links, and most of the ones I found were soldered. So this was the only place where I could find smaller, unsoldered, all rectangle link chain.
It should arrive next week, and I’m really hoping that I’ll like it once it’s all put together and hanging at the right height. But now I’m back to the drawing board with my music room light. I can’t very well use the same chain on that light. Or can I?
I got it installed! It took a LOT of work and time, but I finally got it.
After writing this post, I was still so frustrated with the light, so I was in the dining room staring at the light trying to figure out how to make it work (because even though I had a solution, I HATE waiting when I want something done). I noticed a little line on one of the rods, and upon closer inspection, I realized that the rods were actually two pieces screwed together and not one solid piece. One piece was 8 inches long, and the other was 16 inches long. So I took all three rods off, removed the short pieces, and just used the long pieces.
I basically had to re-wire the entire top portion of the light (from the bottom of the rods up), and that’s where the time and effort came in. The manufacturer used the thick round wire, and getting that thick wire through the tubes and through that top part (the part with the three loops that the rods attach to) was incredibly frustrating, but I finally got it all rewired and put back together.
Of course, removing eight inches from the rods made the chandelier too short, so I added a few links of the chain that came with the light, and now it’s the perfect height with 62 inches of clearance underneath! It’s still not sitting level. That thick wire running through one of the tubes throws everything off. But that’s a problem for another day.
So, crisis averted. 🙂 I still need that other chain for the music room light, though. I didn’t order enough the first time, and unfortunately, it’s only sold in 1-yard increments.