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Free Ultimate Furniture Painting Guide

Black & White Check Candlesticks

How many times have you come across home décor that stopped you in your tracks? It captured your heart immediately, only to be shocked at the price tag, leaving you with disappointment as you walked away without it?


Me too!

Apparently, a lot of you have experienced this as you have asked me time and time again to create high ticket item "knock-offs" which sounds so negative to me! LOL!

I prefer to call this work "inspired by...".

Allow me to introduce the Black & White Check Candlesticks Makeover!

MacKenzie Childs-Inspired candlesticks and home decor using DB paint and checkered patterns

My client left NINE household décor items (mirror frames, candlesticks, and wall plaques) on my doorstep in hopes of a makeover! I'd say it's better to leave them on my doorstep than on the doorstep of your local donation station!

This way, my client gets them back just the way she imagined them!

You can see below the photos she sent to me. It is my hope that this blog will get those creative wheels turning for you, and have you updating and glowing up any of that "just not so great" home décor in your space (without breaking the bank).

That's what inspired me to do this makeover in the first place!

Click the link to watch this week's tutorial!

This week's YouTube video is a goodie. Watch it here.

It is important to clean your items well prior to priming, but it is also very important to NOT use a regular household cleaner that might contain oils or chemicals that will get in the way of proper paint adhesion.

To prime, I use White Lightning by Dixie Belle. It comes as a small jar of granules and you just add a teaspoon or two to a large bucket of water. This will remove all dirt, grime, and oils and even will de-gloss the item.

candlesticks being primed with spray primer from home depot

I almost always prime my home décor items. It doesn't take long to take that extra step and it really sets your project up for success. I usually brush on BOSS by Dixie Belle, but in this case (with SO many items that are curved and heavily carved), it made sense to take them outside and spray them with a spray can primer. It was fast and easy, and allowed me to get closer to the detailed painting which is NOT fast and easy!

Once dry, I painted all items in Fluff white. I knew all the pieces would be black and white, so I chose to lay down the solid coat of white as my base coat.

Painting candlestick with Fluff colored paint over primed project

PRO TIP: When you are painting heavily carved pieces that you can lay flat (like the wall plaques here), it is very helpful to either thin you paint prior to brushing, or paint it on and follow with a large spray of water!

This allows the paint to flow through all the carvings naturally! It is possible to spray Dixie Belle Fluff with a paint sprayer and this would have been a good time to do so for the base layer, but I am not a fan of paint sprayers so this is my best work-around tip for the day!

Now it is time to bring in the black detail for the stripes and checks! I use a Sharpie marker to lay out both my stripes and my checks. I usually free-hand this, especially on items like these. The curves and carved spaces on the candlesticks are nearly impossible to tape off successfully! And how on earth would you tape off the mirror frames?

Painting stripes onto candlestick with Dixie Bell chalk mineral paint
Freehand painting stripes onto home decor mirror using Dixie Belle's chalk mineral and silk paints

This is a time for you to just GO FOR IT! Have fun with it!

PRO TIP: If you are not comfortable doing this freehand, maybe use a pencil first and then trace over your pencil stripes with the Sharpie.

Don't forget:

When creating stripes and/or checks in a circle, you must always create them with an even number of spaces (6, 8, 10). This lets your black and white pattern finishes as it should: black/white/black/white! If you only dray out 9 spaces (when you make it around your circle), you will have two of the same color next to each other and your pattern will be completely blown! Learned this the hard way!

I use Silk Paint in Anchor for my black, and leave it full strength!

Using a flat square brush in either 1/4" or 1," I paint most of the stripes before filling in most of my checks with a small angled brush (sometimes a 1/4" flat), and a detail brush.

PRO TIP: It's a good idea to have all these brush types on hand before you get started!

After stripes, I decided it was time for some bling for our Black & White Check Candlesticks Makeover!

Painting posh gold pigment in Vintage Gold onto candlesticks for embellishment

While black and white are chic and trendy, I decided I wanted to add gold to ALL the pieces!

It's easy. Just scoop a tiny bit of powder into a cup or bowl. Add a squirt or two of the top coat. Stir and paint!

It's opaque with amazing coverage!

Once all detail in black, white, and gold has been painted, I top coated these pieces in Dixie Belle's Satin Topcoat. I wanted to seal my chalk paint and create a sleek surface to add a bit of black wax. I prefer to top coat prior to using dark wax because it allows me more play time with the wax and is much more forgiving! Basically, it keeps your piece from turning completely dark!

Completed painting of candlestick with stripes and checker pattern

I added black wax to both mirror frames and all three wall plaques. This added depth to floral carvings and made the pieces more believable (if you will). It keeps the décor from appearing too juvenile by giving it a light-aged appearance and really brings out the detail. It can be really scary to cover your freshly painted piece in dark wax, but it's so much fun to do!

Just brush on, and wipe off! I use baby wipes to remove the wax until I get it just the color I am after!

The wax will cure and does not need a top coat. The waxed areas are just the deep crevices, so it wouldn't need a top coat anyway. It will cure on its own in 72 hours!

And that is that! Our Black & White Check Candlesticks Makeover is done!

Finished paint design of MacKenzie Childs-inspired candlesticks and home decor

These candlesticks look amazing!

And how about those two mirror frames?

They are truly unique and one-of-a-kind now!

They are bright and happy and vastly different from their heavy and dark appearance of before!

Remember to make this YOUR project!

Maybe black and white is not your thing. Use the same steps but in your color palette!

Maybe use solid colors without any detail at all!

I have NO DOUBT you have at least one item in your home you could try this on!

My hope is this inspires you to try your hand at revamping something! What will you makeover next?

Courses that teach you the techniques used in this blog!

Checks and Color Blending Tutorial

Tracey's Fancy Grandfather Clock Tutorial

Similar Projects

Nutcracker Makeover by Tracey's Fancy

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