Paint an old lamp white for a brand new look! First, some back story: upon merging our households, Joe wanted to throw most of his furniture away. I allowed it with three pieces: A 1960s round coffee table made of particle board that looked about ready to collapse and two (very old) upholstered chairs, one was an orange rocker (that was broken and on its literal last legs) the other was a big green giant that was mostly held together with green duct tape. My aunt snatched the coffee table before it could be tossed (thank goodness because I was feeling really bad about that) but the two chairs got tossed and I remain pretty disgruntled about it… I mean… we certainly could have put them in the garage for a hang out spot… totally should have saved them. I know, its a sickness, but I’m just not any good at throwing anything away! Anyway, when he tried to toss this lamp I just shook my head at him. It was outrageously gaudy and grungy and not our style in any conceivable way but I knew a little bit of painting might just transform it.
I started by taking the shade off and grabbing my can of white paint that I’ve used on everything at this point. Its a flat acrylic ceiling and trim paint and, I figured, if I didn’t like the flat paint I could always add a coat of clear poly to the lamp to make it shiny later. It took five coats of paint for this lamp to totally cover. I did a little scuffing on all of the gold and glass with a fine grit sand paper before painting it. (Note: Spray painting would have been a far better option but we have no place to spray paint here in the winter.)
Looking at the very plain white lamp base when I was finished I remembered I had a roll of twine left over from a couple of other projects and thought, “What the heck.” I really didn’t see how I had anything to lose at that point so I got to wrapping the lamp in two separate places. I think the twine really completed it and gave it the whole new look that I was going for. In fact, now with the blue shade, I think it has a little bit of a nautical look that I really like.
On planning this lamp project I was in Walmart one day with my mom and we browsed through the lamp shades for a few minutes. I honestly didn’t have much preference except that I knew I couldn’t do an off white or an “almost” white because the base was VERY WHITE. I needed a lamp shade that would be bold enough to stand up to the total whiteness of it all. This blue shade caught my eye. Fast forward a couple of weeks, with the lamp done and ready for a new shade I took Joe with me to Walmart to pick it out. I told him nothing of my previous trip and he headed into the aisle first (who knew I’d find a guy who would get excited to pick out a lamp shade lol) he immediately announced, “Oh I found the one!” and he picked up the blue shade I had already picked out. (Its these moments that make marriage pretty darned cool.) I just laughed and told him, “Great. Put it in the cart!” He said, “Really? You like it too?” I do love that man.
The lamp shade from Walmart was about $12 and, besides that, I already had the rest of the materials so, all in, this was an incredibly cheap project and, I think for the little bit of time it took and the little bit of money in cost us, it may be our most spectacular before and after yet. Truly, it is amazing what a little paint will do! The flat look of the paint has really grown on me too, I think it almost gives it a kiln-fired or clay quality, like an old pitcher.
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