Table Lamp Makeover

Hi, all! It’s Jenn from Endlessly Inspired again. Thanks so much for all the great feedback Julie and I got from last month’s guest post. Hearing sweet comments from all of you always makes me feel so good!

I love makeovers. Like LOVE them, love them. People, clothes, houses, rooms, furniture, it doesn’t matter. When I see that a show is going to be doing makeovers, I go nuts. I have season passes set up on my DVR for Color Splash, Property Brothers, The High/Low Project and Renovation Raiders. {I’m also a tad obsessed with HGTV, in case you couldn’t tell.}

You know what else I love? Garage sales, flea markets, antique shops, thrift stores, Freecycle… you name it. If you can get cheap stuff there, I’m all in.

When I put those two things together and do a makeover of something I have lying around or got super cheap somewhere {and as a bonus, add in my new favorite DIY weapon: metallic spray paint}, well, just look the heck out.

Table Lamp Makeover

I’ve had this lamp for years. I think we got it at World Market when we first moved into our townhouse in Virginia. In 2004. Yeah. It’s a perfectly fine lamp, just not really all that, you know, exciting. It’s kind of vanilla. And there’s nothing wrong with vanilla — in fact, 99 times out of 100, I’d choose vanilla over chocolate. But sometimes you want a little Yazoo Sue with Rosemary Bar Nuts. You know?

So I decided to fancy this bad boy up a bit. {If you don’t have a snoozy-bore lamp lying around, check your local thrift store. I always see tons of plain, old, sad lamps sitting there forlornly, waiting for their fairy godmother to come and give them a makeover, Cinderella-style.}

I started with the base. One of the most important things when you’re spray painting is to make sure your surface is completely clean. I used a Swiffer cloth to get rid of most of the dust, then used Windex with Vinegar, then finished up with another round of the Swiffer cloth. Then I taped up everything on the top as well as the cord where it comes out of the lamp.

Table Lamp MakeoverThen I put the rest of the cord into a Ziploc bag to keep it clean and paint-free.

I started with a light coat of gray primer to help make sure the paint wasn’t going to chip off.

Table Lamp Makeover

Once that was dry, I hit it with two coats of my new BFF, Valspar Brilliant Metal Spray Paint in silver.

Another tip: when you’re spray painting, it’s important to do several light coats rather than one heavy one. The color will be more even, it will stick better, and it will dry better.

Now, here’s where I made my mistake. I sprayed the finished silver base with a clear gloss topcoat because I thought it would help protect the finish. What it did was take my gorgeous, reflective, metal-look lamp and make it look like a shiny, gray, spray painted porcelain lamp.


See the difference?? Weird.

Not sure why it did that, but it made me sad. Blah. So I waited for the topcoat to dry {this is a big deal for me, patience is not exactly my strong suit}, hit it with another coat of silver, and we were back in business. Moral of the story: Don’t use a topcoat over metallic spray paint. At least on ceramic.

I also jazzed up the shade a bit by adding some silk flowers to it.


Ta-dahh!! Looks like I bought a brand-new lamp — and since I already had everything I used for this project, it actually didn’t even cost me a penny.

Here are some shots of him in his new home {although I’m not sure he’s going to stay here — I think I might move him to my desk so I can admire him all the time}.

Table Lamp Makeover

Table Lamp MakeoverSo the next time you’re in a thrift store or at a garage sale and you see a sad, lonely, not-super-handsome lamp, think of this and imagine what a simple coat of spray paint could do!!

Thanks again to Julie for letting me be the DIY contributor for White Lights on Wednesday. I love having the opportunity to share some fun DIY ideas each month! For more from me, visit my blog, Endlessly Inspired, and follow me on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest and Instagram!

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    • Julie says

      I’m so glad Jenn. I L-O-V-E having you. I just get so excited about everything you bring each month. BTW, my gf loved the family name and date collage so much she wants one too. I told her to check out your tutorial. 🙂

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