DIY: Spraypainting with a Purpose

Posted on by HabitatAdmin

How to Redo an 80s Brass Chandelier

with Rose Szabo

When Ira, the new marketing coordinator for my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore asked me if I wanted to write a DIY tutorial, I was deeply flattered but not sure what I’d write about. “Maybe just let me come by the store and see what you have,” I said. And when I got there, I discovered that what they had were lots and lots of chandeliers.

The ReStore is about to receive a large donation of new pendant lighting, and they were looking to unload some of their older, more traditional brass chandeliers. You know the kind–five to eight arms, a bulbous ball on the bottom, faux candles, that whole thing. If you want one, now’s the time to get one at the ReStore–the prices are reasonable, and Ira and I figured out a great way to kick one up a notch–remaindered spray paint, also available at the ReStore (although we had to hunt around a bit to find a nozzle for the spray paint). Here’s what we did:


Step 1: take off all the fixtures that you don’t want to paint.


Step 2: tape over anything you can’t take off, especially the inner workings/wiring.


Step 3: Go nuts with your spray paint! You’ll want to spray in thin, even coats. We had a combination paint/primer, but if your paint doesn’t come with primer, be sure to prime first.


Step 4: Wait in between coats for your hardware to dry. If you want, it can be really cool to use two colors–just be sure to tape off when switching colors!


While we were painting, a ReStore employee came looking for the spraying sound he heard, concerned that he was about to catch two graffiti vandals. He said he was relieved we were “spraypainting with purpose.”


Step 5: Put your hardware back on the chandelier. You can add an optional coat of clear gloss at this point, just to make everything extra shiny and durable.

Voila! You have a custom chandelier! And you can find everything you need at the ReStore.



Chandelier: $20

Can of spray paint: $5 each (total $10)

Clear gloss: $5

Total: $35


Kasey Kahne Volunteers to Build a Home in Richmond

Posted on by HabitatAdmin

On Thursday, August 25th, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Kasey Kahne volunteered his time to help build a home for Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity.  Kasey joined other local volunteers, the CEO of Richmond Habitat, Jane Helfrich, and the future homeowner, Chaquitta Barbee.

Here are a few photos from the event:

IMG_4124    IMG_4123    FullSizeRender (19)

AmeriCorps Spotlight: Build-A-Thon 2016!

Posted on by HabitatAdmin

jennwilson3Comparing Build-A-Thon New Orleans and Build-A-Thon Wake County is like trying to put a square peg in a round hole, it just doesn’t happen.  Each experience is uniquely different, and more importantly, uniquely moving.

In New Orleans, we were building for the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina; the devastation in New Orleans is still vast, and over 10 days, 400 Habitat AmeriCorps members built 10 houses.

Wake County is a completely different story.  First of all, about 10% of the entire population of Wake County is living in poverty, which equates to over 100,000 people. 100,000 people is the population of some small counties in Virginia.  Raleigh, which is in Wake County, is one of the wealthiest localities in North Carolina; Raleigh is also in Wake County.

 The Partner Family whose home I was a part of building’s name was Andrea Thorton.   She is a mother of two with a baby due in September.  She is an amazing woman.  She was out working on site with us, while pregnant, getting her hours in.  Now, she was not doing anything labor intensive.  I had the privilege of teaching her how to cut Hardie Plank siding.

jennwilson1My biggest challenge for the week was that I broke my finger within hours of being on site on the first day.  (I know, BIG shocker there right).  But I did not let that stop me.  I went, got my X-Rays, got my splint, and went right back to work.  In the end, it wasn’t about me and my silly broken finger, it was about Andrea, and her two daughters, and her baby boy growing inside of her, who were counting on the Green Team to get that house done, so she would have a decent place to live. Needless to say, I did a lot of cutting.

I was so fortunate to work with an AMAZING team of AmeriCorps members, crew leaders, weekday crew members, and local volunteers.  Our team had the smallest amount of people on the house, but we got it done! By the end of the first day, we had raised the walls, set the trusses, and sheathed almost the entire roof.  By the second day, the roof was sheathed, the house was insulated, dead wood was put all around the top of the house, and we started the baffles. By the end of the third day, the house was shingled, blue board was up, doors and windows were installed, and the sheetrock had been installed and mudded.  The fourth and fifth day were siding, painting, and finishing the deck.  It was the most intense blitz build schedule, but it was so enjoyable.

jennwilson5The team worked so cohesively together, there were no fights about “well my affiliate does it this way so you are wrong” – which can happen when you have many leaders in one place, it was just mutually sharing ideas on the best way to accomplish our task, and get it done. We were one unified team with the same mind-set—that makes the work so much easier!

At the end of the week, in 4.5 days, we completed something I did not know that we could.  We built a house starting with just a foundation and a sub-floor. And June 30th, Andrea and her daughters will close on that house and get to move into their forever home.  Bunk-beds and all.