Learn how to upcycle old and unfinished candlesticks with chalk paint in 3 easy steps to create a beautiful fireplace mantel display.

Do you have old candlesticks tucked away in a closet or storage bin somewhere?

I’m going to show you how to upcycle those old, unused or forgotten candlesticks to create something beautiful.

When I was planning my fireplace mantel for Christmas I decided I wanted to style it with white candlesticks and pillar candle holders.

Since my fireplace is stone I thought the white would pop against the browns in the stacked stone. And also stand out against the greenery on the wood mantel.

After searching a couple of thrift stores I didn’t find anything I liked. And the candlesticks in the home decor stores were more than I wanted to spend on this project.

But I did find some unfinished wood candlesticks that were inexpensive so I grabbed two of them.

I also knew I had a trio of candlesticks at home that might work. But when I put them on the mantel they weren’t the right color so I decided to upcycle the set of candlesticks to match the pillar candle holders I had already refinished.

candlesticks on cardboard on kitchen island

Step 1: Painting Candlesticks with Chalk Paint

The first step to upcycle my old trio of candlesticks and the two new unfinished holders was to paint them with Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint in white with an inexpensive chip brush.

two unfinished wood candlesticks with container of chalk paint and chip brush laying on kitchen table

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Two coats of paint later and the unfinished wood candlesticks were covered.

I like to use inexpensive chip brushes for easy projects for fast clean up.

hand painting unfinished wood candlesticks on papertowel on counter top

My old candlesticks only needed one coat of chalk paint to cover the old finish.

Yay for quick projects!

hand chalk painting candle sticks laid out on cardboard on kitchen island countertop

The pillar candles were dark under the white chalk paint I applied so I was able to get a distressed look by sanding some of the edges of the freshly painted holders.

Since these were light colored to begin with I needed to to distress them differently.

I really liked the faux distressed finish on my original cream-colored candlesticks so I thought I could try to recreate it with a dark wax.

Step 2: Faux Distressing with Dark Wax

hands holding candlestick applying dark wax with small paint brush

I applied a dark wax with a small detail paintbrush along the creases and edges of the candlesticks.

I also added some of the wax to the middle of the candlesticks.

Then wiped off the excess with a papertowel.

hand using papertowel to wipe off dark wax to create distressed finish

I think they turned out pretty good and look similar to the original faux distressing these candesticks had.

You could finish the candlesticks with a coat of clear wax or polyacrylic.

I left mine like this since they will be up on our fireplace mantel so won’t be touched often.

five completed faux distressed candlesticks on cardboard ontop of counter

Step 3: Styling Upcycled Candlesticks

stone fireplace with wood mantel and chalkpainted candlesticks and pillar holders with christmas tree on side of fireplace

I’m really loving the upcycled candlesticks and pillar holders styled on my Christmas fireplace mantel!

The white chalk painted holders are bright against the stone of the fireplace and they pop nestled in the greenery on the wood mantel.

It’s just the look I wanted!

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!

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