Lions, and Griffins, and Rams! Oh My.

Sometime, when I’m not doing a terrible job as a blogger, I will really REALLY do a play-by-play of how to re-wire a chandelier. We both just get to into it, and forget to take pictures, and videos, and then it’s done, and I get mad about all the steps I didn’t document.

Reminder – here’s the beast before. And HERE’S the cleaning process!

Because this chandelier is super old and from France, we had to completely replace all the electrical, and do some modifications to even make sockets work in the fixture with the space that we had.

We completely dismantled it when I cleaned it. When you do that, make sure that you take a picture of everything in the exact order that it came off the fixture. It’s super easy to lose track of what goes where, and which side goes up, when you have a lot of pieces.

This bottom post with the center light?

It’s ALL of these pieces.

This is not a fixture that would use candelabra sockets, because the arms point down. But every other socket that we tried, we couldn’t make it fit with the antique space that we had. We had to add a spacer transition piece between the arm and the socket, and we used that to get a modern socket to attach. Complicated and a little clunky, but it worked!

We wired up the arms while they were still off the chandelier from cleaning.

This made it way easier to get the wire through the curves of the arms. GRIFFINS!

New sockets!

Again, since I am terrible at making my own play-by-play, I think this tutorial from Old House Journal does a great job of explaining the process! I am so glad they have their act together when I cannot. Ha!

When you’re working on the fixture to wire all the arms together, it’s REALLY helpful to have it upside down. Most of the time, a bucket works, or a big plastic tote. This beast is so tall, that only a trash can would work. But this REALLY helps!

This makes it way less awkward to work on.  All the wires are accessible and you don’t have to bend over anything super awkwardly.

Back together!

When we hung it, we didn’t really have a lot of space under the canopy to work, because we could only hang this with one chain link. It’s SO SO TALL.  LIONS!

Here’s the fixture up, with me for scale. Remember how I said you wouldn’t see the rams once it’s up? They’re SO LITTLE compared to everything else, I’m 5’6″, so this gived you an idea of the scale of this piece.

Even though you know it’s going to work because you tested it before hanging it on the ceiling, it’s still SO EXCITING when it comes on.

So. Pretty. The size of the medallion and the size of the chandelier work so well. Either one would seem too big if the other was any smaller.

Can you find the Lions and Griffins and Rams in this picture?


I sprayed the candle covers gold to match the fixture, and to make the candelabra sockets feel a little less weird. Because they’re upside down, and the candle covers are meant to be a little loose, I wrapped a touch of electrical tape around the cardboard insulator to work as a pressure fit.

The shades are shirt-lived until we start the ceiling wood moulding project. But I wanted to see them up! I’ll take them down when we start the ceiling work, to avoid any chance of breaking anything.

Iridescent crystal chains add just the right amount of sparkle. This was the only change I made to the fixture. There were empty chains here before. I still have them, if I ever want to revert to the original.

She has really good curves.

I’m so in love with this in this space. When we originally found this piece, I thought it would go in the Entry Hall. But there, it would have had to cede attention to the stairwell. Here, it gets to be the star.

So Happy!!!!!



  1. Wow! This is absolutely stunning! Its amazing seeing all of the work come along so quickly! The library is looking so beautiful!, can’t wait to see the final result, I love how the ceiling medallion and the chandelier go together, the match is perfect. Quick question, I am attempting to repair a pair of circa 1930s art deco sconces, with the help of my family, I was wondering what it is the best way to get the wire through the long pieces of arms, as I have been having a lot of trouble doing so, especially considering that the insides are slightly rusted.

    1. Sometimes if that’s a problem, I tie a thin string on the end of the wire, and use a shop vac to suck the string through. And then use the string to pull the wire through. If that makes sense!!!

  2. It’s all gorgeous, but I can’t believe how much I adore the addition of those iridescent crystal chains. Perfect!

  3. Wow. A spectacular fixture for a spectacular room. Can’t wait to see your progress — and your finished photos!

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