I had originally purchased this Pottery Barn chandelier to go over my bathtub… but when I realized how far we were from beginning renovations, this lighting fixture became a burr in my side. I wanted to play with it. I wanted it out of the box. I wanted to see what it looked like installed.
And all our ugly lighting fixtures began driving me crazy… particularly the ones that hung so low that I ran into them every time I walked through a room. I decided that my office was going to take the place of the previous owners’ dining room… if for no other reason that it would give me a good reason to take down the hideous lighting fixture.
True to form, I texted Erin to find out how they installed their lighting fixture. She said Sir did it himself and it wasn’t that hard. I became a woman obsessed…. and so, knowing my Husband would worry I was going to electrocute myself and tell me to just wait for a professional… I waited until he had a reason to be out for an extended period of time and I taught myself how to install a Pottery Barn chandelier… which really is a two-person job because dangit, this thing got REALLY heavy all by my lonesome. Since the instructions basically looked like greek to me (seriously – who writes these things?!), I thought I would share my experience with you all…
How to Install a Pottery Barn Chandelier
1. Most importantly, flip the power off at the circuit breaker. Luckily, my room had big windows I could open and use natural light from. If you want to get electrocuted (my mom almost did this to me once), leave the power on. If you don’t want to get electrocuted, flip off the circuit breaker. Ours is pretty primitive, so I had to go through a couple switches to find the right one.
2. Remove the current lighting fixture. For me, this was as simple as turning the mounting bracket, unscrewing the two mounting screws, and taking the caps off the wires to untangle them. This is the step where you need another set of arms because it gets heavy when you are trying to unscrew the existing light fixture. NOTE: I wore gloves to do this because I had no idea what might fall out when I removed the mounting bracket. I’m totally a girl. Once you take it down, you should have two or three wires – a live “hot” wire (black), a neutral wire (white), and a grounding wire (thin and not coated).
3. With the old lighting fixture out of the way, you can figure out how far down you want the new chandelier to hang. You’ll want to put the entire thing together before you do it. This didn’t make a lot of sense to me when I was looking at the directions, so I improvised to ensure they different layers didn’t swing too much. Make sure you thread it through the mounting bracket, so you get an accurate length of how far it will hang down from the ceiling. Again, this is where it would be helpful to have a second person. I eyeballed it while standing on a ladder. Using wire cutters, cut the plastic wires to the desired length. You will also need a strong pair of pliers to pull the chain links apart. I started getting really grumpy about this time – I’m clearly too weak for this business. I have zero upper body strength… oh the shame.
4. This is where things got really complicated for me. Pottery Barn says their live wire is the one with the ridges in the plastic coating and the neutral wire is the one with the smooth plastic coating. THEY FELT THE SAME TO ME. Moreover, stripping off the plastic was REALLY tough, but I used pliers to do it. You know that small hole in the middle of pliers? That’s apparently what it’s for – stripping the coating. Trial and error friends, trial and error.
5. Install the mounting bracket by using long screws to attach it to the existing lighting box. You should have two longs screws that hang down. Grab your lighting fixture (or make your partner grab it – again, this is a good use for more hands – or feel the burn yourself like me) for the electrical wiring. You will then thread your stripped wires through the middle hole. Twist your live wires (from the chandelier and the ceiling) together and cover with an electrical cap (the old-school ceramic ones are best!). Repeat this with your neutral wire. The green screw on your mounting bracket is where you will wrap your grounding wire(s).
6. Grab the screw caps for the mounting fixture and screw until fixture is tight against the ceiling. (See the gap between the ceiling and the fixture in the picture below – that’s not good – the tighter the screws, the more stable the fixture.)
7. Flip the circuit breaker back on, put a lightbulb in (pay attention to those maximum wattages… no one likes to burn their house down), flip the switch, and admire your handiwork.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional electrician. I’m just someone who can read instructions (kind of), simplify them, and apparently put up a lighting fixture that works without electrocuting myself. If you are unsure of how to do any of these steps, contact your own lighting professional. 🙂
yay!! It looks amazing!!
Biana @Blovedboston says
Oh it’s gorgeous!!! The detail on your ceiling is seriously stunning!! xo, Biana – BlovedBoston
Beautiful!! So impressive that you did it yourself!
This is gorgeous!! Love how it turned out 🙂 YAY YOU!!!
Lisa Loves John says
Absolutely LOVE this chandelier!! And I am even more impressed you did it all yourself!
Katie Elizabeth says
So I’ve been considering ordering this exact chandelier for our bathroom!! Great minds think alike 😉 Thank you for this, it will definitely come in handy!
Did your chandelier have an exposed grounded wire?? I just bought a chandelier from PB and the grounded wire, copper, was exposed so it would be seen.