Recession Decor: Making the Best of Salvaged Goods

You’d be amazed at what people throw away. Drive through any neighborhood on the night before bulk trash pick up day, and you’ll find pile after pile of things somebody didn’t want anymore. And as they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Maybe you’ve watched some home decor reality television, and seen the amazing things that can be done with a little hard work and creativity. Maybe you also have thought that those projects look like a lot of work. Well it doesn’t have to be, I promise.

Take for example this chandelier I rescued from the curb this week. I didn’t have the forsight to take a “before” picture, but it was in approximately this condition. It had once been somebody’s indoor wrought iron electric chandelier. Then they had cut out all the wires and used it outdoors. It was rusted to the point of having some holes in the thinner areas, but the weight bearing structure was still solid and it had an excellent shape. Plus, I have been wanting a source of warm, soft light for our kitchen when it is not being used for cooking, a romantic mood-setter for dinners at home and quiet evenings.

I’ll cut to the chase and show you the pics first:



All it took was a $5 can of black matte spray paint, a self-drilling ceiling hook, and some candles. Spray paint makes these “refinishing” projects so easy. If you have a true antique on your hands, of course you want to take care of it and do the project right. If you have some junk on your hands that you want to make decent, just do it the easy way. I didn’t even mess with any rust clean-up, just dusted off the spider webs and went to spraying (even the chain). The whole ordeal took less than 30 minutes. I removed as much of the visible electric equipment as possible, then just added some paper rings to go under the candles to level everything out.

This is not a family heirloom or anything, but it did the job, and it did it for under $15! So keep an eye out when you see piles of “trash” on the side of the road. If you spot something with a nice shape, an object that could be very useful and just needs a new coat of paint, don’t be afraid to pull over and pick it up!


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