DIY vintage pendant light rewiring

Rewiring A Light: A Cool Light and a Tutorial

As I am typing up this post it is snowing here in beautiful Louisville, KY… what is going on!!! On with the tutorial though!

OK, so I’m sort of thinking “who am I to give a tutorial on rewiring a light?”. I did just rewire a light so I can share that with you right? You just never know when this information will be handy for you…

First let me start off by saying I have never tried to rewire a light before. Honestly, I have just been a little afraid to try it, thinking I would mess up or get started and not know how to finish, but I took a leap of faith and did it anyway… It was SUPER easy and I will show you how just in case you want to try it yourself one day!

SO I started off with a pair of these AWESOME pendant lights I bought off Etsy over a year ago. I know… I know… I waited a RIDICULOUSLY long time to get to fixing them, but in my partial defense they didn’t have base plates (which cover the bottom wires) so I had to have those made. Pretty cool looking right?

DIY vintage pendant light rewiring

First thing I did was take it apart, this picture was for me to remember how to put it back together, a very important step!

DIY vintage pendant light rewiring

I taped off the bulb areas so I could spray paint the entire piece. Yes, the original finish is pretty awesome but the new base plates are black and don’t match the original finish.

DIY vintage pendant light painting

I chose to spray them with Rustoleum’s Hammered Antique Pewter, which looks pretty similar to the finish that was already on the lights. It took 2 coats to cover everything well.

DIY vintage pendant light painting

Now onto the electrical part!

After removing the old wire from the stem, which just pulls out after being disconnected from the light wires, I cut off the old ends (they were dirty and I got paint on them too) plus I have plenty of wire let over. I used the cutting area of my wire stripping tool for this.

DIY vintage pendant light rewiring

Then place the wire in the strip area, close the tool and pull, the rubber coating will strip right off leaving the copper wire behind.

DIY vintage pendant light rewiring

See how nice and clean they look now? So maybe I’m a little OCD about some things and this is not a necessary step, but it made me happy ok…

DIY vintage pendant light rewiring

I purchased this swag light kit from Lowes, it is about $12 and has almost everything in it I need, except for wire nuts but I had those already anyway.

Light wiring kit

After putting the light back together I inserted the wire through the opening in the tube at the top. ***NOTE*** Before this point if you are going to use the chain then thread the wire through the chain before inserting the wire into the lamp… if you don’t you (or maybe your Super Awesome Hubby) will have to open the chain links to insert the wire… and he (or you) may or may not be thrilled about doing it Sarcastic smile

DIY vintage pendant light rewiring

Just keep pushing it through until it comes out of the base then strip the ends of the wire as well.

DIY vintage pendant light rewiring

Now gather all of your black wires and one side of the new wire you just threaded through the lamp.

DIY vintage pendant light rewiring

Twist them all together clockwise in one bunch and attach a wire nut to the bunch screwing the nut clockwise as well. This step makes a connection between all the light wires and the plug wire.

DIY vintage pendant light rewiring

Then repeat the process with the white wires and the other side of the plug wire and you end up with it looking something like this… all nice and tidy!

DIY vintage pendant light rewiring

***Test your work by plugging it in before closing it up.***

Here is the cap I had made to hide all of the “guts”.

DIY vintage pendant light rewiring

Now I needed some candle covers. I happen to have some candle material on hand which I cut to size with the SUPER sharp saw seen below. I had to purchase the pipe on line, but you may be able to find it at a local lamp repair store.

DIY vintage pendant light rewiring

After cutting them to size I lightly sanded the edges with 220 grit paper to remove all of rough plastic.

candle covers

Because I wanted them to look like those SUPER expensive real wax candle covers I used my hot glue gun and made fake candle drips on each of the covers. My daughter Brie (who is 11 going on 16) was like WHAT are you doing? No candles burn like that… maybe she’s right, but I like the way it looks!

Faux wax candle covers DIY

Here is what they looked like after I was done.

Faux wax candle covers DIY

After the glue dried I painted them with a couple of coats of Old White ASCP, I could have used any off white color paint but I happen to have some OW leftover so that’s what I used. Brie says they look a little too “Disney” which I laughed at but I totally get!

Faux wax candle covers DIY

Now that the wiring is done I can hang these beauties! We are in the process of painting and decorating the guest bedroom in the basement and these pendant lights make perfect unique  bedside lighting.

DIY vintage pendant light rewiring

I hung the lights up by painting and installing wood corbels on the wall, using a cup hook from the corbel to hang the chain from. This solution worked perfectly for us and I just love the final results.

DIY vintage pendant light rewiring

Hopefully the weather next week will be better, hang in there Spring has got to be here soon right?

Thanks so much for stopping by… come again soon!

Until next time…


Linking up to these parties:

Between Naps on the Porch, The Dedicated House, A Stroll Thru Life, Elizabeth & Co., Savvy Southern Style, Domestically Speaking, From My Front Porch to Yours, French Country Cottage, My Romantic Home, Redoux Interiors


  1. Wow, what a great job! And the hot glue trick – genius! … And looking at the snow falling today, I’m not sure it’s really spring!


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