Monday, May 23, 2011

The $1950 Light Fixture I Attempted to Sell on Craigslist for $50


Even if nothing else about the trip to NYC proved to be beneficial (which wasn't the case), it would have paid off in this way: I now know the value of my light fixture. And I am just a little surprised!


An identical brass light fixture is currently available through Arteriors for $1950. I paid around $190, snatching up a floor sample a few years ago. A good move on my part for making the purchase! But then I took a misstep and covered it with a layer of black spray paint. Why on earth did I do such a thing? Because I just wasn't that into brass way back then...were you?


Afterwards it hung in the kitchen nook for awhile. But eventually I took it down, never completely happy with the look of it, having lost much of its luster with its new finish. The fixture lived in the garage for an extended time, and I even listed it for sale on Craigslist in its paint covered condition for $50. I didn't get any bites. Thank goodness, a second misstep averted. (Can you imagine how I would have felt spying this fixture in the showroom last week had I managed to sell it on Craigslist?!)


Later when looking for a fixture to hang in the dining room, I realized if only I could figure out how to remove the paint I'd have a wonderful contender. These posts show that journey of discovery. Through trial and error I eventually found success with Smart Stripe...and oh am I glad I did!



{mid paint removal}

Yes. Identical. Wow. Happy Me. 

The fixture is all clean of paint and has just returned from the lamp shop, getting a longer wire to allow it to hang from the high ceiling above the dining room table.

So now I'm curious, do you have a story of a great find, of regretting altering a piece, or of an averted misstep? Please do share!

(p.s. This experience has furthered my resolve to be mindful of what I paint in the future!)

40 comments :

  1. wow! glad it was all good in the end. I saw a very similar fixture recently in an antique shop and fell in love with it - but didn't need it. While I was still shopping in the store - another lady came in and snapped it up!

    donna

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  2. ha! That was soooo funny when you saw that! I'm glad you were able to remove the paint. And now you're ading crystals to it? It's going to be even more fabulous!

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  3. I can't believe no one snatched it up, even painted it had a great presence.

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  4. I'm so glad you did not get any bites...you would have been sick to know the real value of that piece that got away. I scored two double arm Remains Lighting sconces at a antiques/thrift type of store, valued at over $3000, for $25 each! Again, loved meeting you in NYC!

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  5. So glad you were able to get the paint off! It's a beautiful fixture.

    Lori
    www.lorimayinteriors.com/blog

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  6. Yes, I have a regret. We USED to have a chair & a half with a matching ottoman in our living room. It took up a lot of space. Since it was my husbands chair he had the final say on wether we could get rid of it. I made him a deal & said he could pick out any recliner if we could get rid of his space eater. He went out & bought a leather Lazy Boy & gave away his monster chair & ottoman. Now I'm stuck with his ugly Lazy Boy.
    I don't know of his chairs is worse!
    Lesson learned. Don't let my husband do the furniture shopping.

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  7. the word SERENDIPITY comes to mind! love that fixture!

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  8. Janell, that's a beautiful fixture, so glad the paint came off! Yes, I do think we get paint happy these days & might regret some of those decisions later on. You saved that one beautifully, it's classic & gorgeous. Some brass needs to be shown off! I'm actually kind of giddy that brass is making a comeback, at least the good kind. Not the builder's grade kind. :) I still have plenty of gold touches in many of my accessories.

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  9. Janell...I love the clean lines of that light fixture, so that was a true score. The fact that you were able to remove the black paint is indeed a plus because if you had seen it in the showroom and had already sold it then you would have had a sad face :(

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  10. I love it when you see something you got for a steal full price. It makes me feel sorry for the people that pay over the odds for it.

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  11. Yes, seriously, $1950?! If you've read this blog for anytime you know very well I wouldn't pay that price for a light fixture!! But I'm glad I have mine! :) Janell

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  12. it's a very nice fixture...and I like the brass as well as the clean lines...and I like your price better...and you got a great post out of it too....win-win..
    maureen

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  13. I can only imagine how you must have felt on seeing the price tag at arteriors..looking forward to the big reveal..have a lovely monday, janell..xx meenal

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  14. I was on the receiving end of a great deal on a Arteriors Louis Chandelier. I bought it at Habitate for Humunaity for $40! The cheapest I can find it is for $1,678! To see it on my blog go to http://anythingologyblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/louis-6-light-ironwood-chandelier.html
    All that hard work you did to get it back to the brass paid off. It looks beautiful!

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  15. eclecticrevisited: Yes! Isn't it funny, as a blogger, how there is great value in stumbling across a topic to POST ABOUT?!? Janell

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  16. Oh Janell, I have followed along with the paint removal and I was so glad to see that you got it all off. Love your fixture and now that you found the true value I can only imagine it makes you realize you have a great eye for style and quality!! I think sometimes paint is needed to improve an object and sometimes it is better left alone. This proves that point very, very well.
    xo Kathysue

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  17. yay! it was destiny that it didn't get sold. It was meant to be in your house after all! :)

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  18. The fact that it didn't sell means that it was meant to be yours all along! So glad you were able to remove the paint. I likely would have painted it too before brass made its new debut again! :)

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  19. fabulous save! glad to know about the smart-strip as I still have a scar from stripping an old buffet (in Portland!) years ago. Are you having the chandelier rewired at Naomi's?! Loved that shop-in fact I owe it a huge debt of gratitude since it was from going in there and seeing the open repair/lamp making that Dan decided he could learn to do that himself (after pricing rewiring!) They also had the best shades.

    congrats on your un-do!
    joan

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  20. I'm glad to see you got a tenfold return on your money (and elbow grease,) Janell.
    I have been looking and looking for the perfect chandelier to hang above my new dining room table. It turns out the perfect one was in my garage!
    http://media.restorationhardware.com/is/image/rhis/prod1319065_av2?$PD$
    I bought this in 2007 from Restoration Hardware, but it arrived in the wrong color. My life was hectic then, so I stuffed it on a shelf. When we moved, I almost gave it away, but luckily, instead, I hauled the box to Portland. I was more than happy to open it up and see that it's just what I want for the new dining room. I hope to get it hung this week.
    Oh, the other good news: I paid $399 on sale in '07, and it's retailing for $625 now.

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  21. Janell I just wish I had spotted your listing on Craigslist. I love your chandelier and what a score you made years ago. A few weeks ago I spotted a kitchen in a magazine that had a gold faucet and knobs. I was jumping for joy. I've fancied brass for about 4 years now, while everyone stated it was still out. You could just detect the trend starting to take ground. It was popping up often in European design magazines. As with all fashion/trends it just takes time to work it's way to the states, right?

    Hope you had a magnificent weekend?
    Cheers ~ Deb

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  22. Wow! Outstanding find and a super duper plus on getting that paint off. Although I like black!

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  23. Phew - that was karma - the chandelier was meant to be! I have never regretted painting anything but I wish I could score a chandelier like a few of the commenters have! Can't wait to see your hung up!

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  24. I'm amazed you were able to strip the paint! So glad you know to do your homework first before putting a piece on CL. A great lesson for us all!

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  25. Wow! That's incredible. Thank goodness you didn't sell it! It's a lovely light fixture.

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  26. What a great story!
    I have just the opposite. Years ago I helped my sister 'de-clutter' her house. She got rid of a ton of things she wasn't using. Her style had changed and she didn't want all the old vintage-y things... I encouraged her (you will never use these - they are taking up room). Now we are in the wedding business and find ourself out searching for similar things. At least we are laughing about it. ;)

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  27. It's a wonderful fixture...so glad you were able to get it back to the original!!

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  28. What a great story. It was fate that it didn't sell on Craigslist. Can you imagine how sick you would have felt? It really makes all of your hard work to get off the spray paint worth it. So wonderful.

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  29. Pure and utter luck is what that was. You'll cherish the light fixture even more now!

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  30. Although I am an antique dealer, I regret to admit that I have made similar mistakes: I sold an authentic Civil War foot locker as a coffee table for a steal! On the flip side, I recently scored several new lamps from Circa Lighting for $15.00 each!!!

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  31. It was fate!

    I think it is hilarious that you posted this

    Because I just wasn't that into brass way back then...were you?

    It wasn't THAT long ago that you painted it! Crazy how fast things change in the design/fashion world!

    Please tell me you are going to have this reveal soon, I can't wait!

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  32. Too fast, its becoming nearly like fashion! This trend will break all of our bank accounts if we try to keep up! :)

    The reveal, well, now waiting for the new chain to arrive. Two weeks, then get the electrician in to install. Please don't hold your breath. I've got other projects in the works in the meantime...

    Janell

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  33. Holy Toledo on that price tag. Nice save my dear. You really have me thinking twice about what I paint.

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  34. Wow - you are a lucky girl! It looks fantastic, by the way.

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  35. That's awesome! I really do love that fixture though. It's so pretty!

    I don't have a story nearly as awesome as yours, in fact, it's a little the opposite. I was bidding on a typewriter at an auction because I want one to sit around but the aesthetic wasn't exactly right for me and so I let it go when the bidding was fairly low--around $20 or $25--then found a similar one in an antique store for $200 the next day. Lots of comforting thoughts and I think I've chalked it up to just a funny auction story.

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  36. Maybe it's good that I've been slow to paint everything. lol Glad it all worked out. :)

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  37. I was just reading someone elses blog the other day where she found an Artieriors chandelier at a thrift store for like $40!!! amazing! So glad you didnt sell yous! b/c its just beautiful. And Im also glad to know we can un-do our spray paint errors. :-)

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  38. My daughter's French Provencial bed was $60 on craigslist...I know it's got to be worth more than that! It has a furniture stamp from the 60s.

    And don't tell me that about paint...I'm waffling about painting my brick in the living room. Brick is def something I cant go back from. and I too sprayed my brass chandy black. only a year ago too?!?!? do our tastes really change that quickly?!?

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  39. Recently I discovered a brand called Delightfull lighting. The brand is inspired by the iconic creations of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. I was amazed. You Already know? I think it is a brand that will interest you , is sublime. See and comprove it…
    www.delightfull.eu

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