DIY Brass Pendant Lights

One of my main mantras in designing a space is if I can achieve a high-end look for less, I go for it...even if it takes a little bit of DIY. (You can check out my entire kitchen renovation over here). My home is open-concept so the kitchen looks right at the dining and living rooms and it is a focal point in the house. Because of this, the pendant lights that hang over the island needed to look great and coordinate with my style in the adjoining rooms.

Though I definitely didn't like the small frosted glass shades on the lights that the builder installed, I knew that I could easily switch those out and keep the actual pendant post as is. By doing that I wouldn't have to mess with wiring which I was more than happy to avoid doing. I am handy but try to avoid electrical work if I can. Shocking, right? (HAHAHA...shocking...get it?)

The existing shades had a 2.25" diameter opening at the top of the shade so my options were limited to shades with that dimension. I actually traced the shade opening onto a piece of paper that I carried with me to different stores to make sure I would buy the exact size I needed.

I thought that finding replacement shades would be easy but I was wrong! Everything I loved was either the wrong size or too expensive. I wanted to mimic the look of these pendants (below) so I was searching for metal shades. And I said MIMIC the look...not buy those shades as they range from $450-$600 each! YIKES!

Even though IKEA doesn't sell pendant shades, I decided to walk around there with my shade template to see if I could come up with anything. Then...AHA! Light bulb moment (HAHAHA...light bulb...again with the puns)! The FOTO pendant lamp comes in different pieces and can be disassembled so the metal shade is separate from the other parts...AND the shade has the exact size opening I was looking for! AAANNND...the light is only $19.99! 

I got the lights home and took them apart easily. I then set up a spray painting station and did a coat of Krylon MAXX primer, then Krylon Short Cuts in Gold Leaf, then finished it off with Krylon ColorMaster topcoat in Clear Satin (letting the shades dry thoroughly between coats, of course).

Look at the final result! The pendant shades are beautiful hanging above the island and a perfect compliment to the other (real) brass fixtures in the kitchen. I don't know about you but I'd rather spend $19.99 and spray paint instead of $600, right?