Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Old brass lamp + spray paint= modern beauty

I've wanted new lamps for our living room lately as the ones we currently use were a clearance find when I was right out of college, and that was nearly SIXTEEN years ago. How did that even happen? How do I have lamps that old?! A husband, two kids, and many moves later I guess life just kind of flies when you are having fun and exhausted.

So, I set out to purchase new lamps. Lamps that adults would own. Lamps that were not on clearance. Or at least didn't have to be on clearance! First stop was a fancy lighting store I've just been dying to go into. That's when it happened. Sticker shock. I may not HAVE to purchase it on clearance but turns out I really WANT to! Next stop? A Goodwill store just down from my house and that's where I saw this ghastly beauty:

Note to self: Take better before pictures! This lamp was terrible enough without my not so great photography skills. But this picture really makes it worse. I was just too excited to bust out my spray paint! 

To buy a lovely tall white lamp and shade online, you are looking at spending $60-$100 or more! For this lamp, I paid:
  • $4 on the lamp
  • $4 on Spray paint
  • $6 on a lampshade (also from a thrift store!)
    Total: $14 and a couple of hours!
To do this:
  1. You'll need to wipe down the lamp with a degreaser or white vinegar to remove any old dirt.
  2. Grab some masking tape, painters tape, anything that isn't too sticky and cover the light socket and where the cord attaches to the base
  3. With a fine grade steel wool, lightly scuff the base of the lamp (this helps the paint stick!)
  4. Using short bursts, lightly cover the base with spray paint.
    1. Do not do a heavy coat! To get the best look, it's critical that you lightly build the layers.
    2. If you plan on painting outside be aware of the humidity. High humidity will cause your paint to bubble and you to curse. TRUST ME.
  5. I have chosen to not clearcoat my lamps and have not had any issues. Feel free to coat yours if you like!
Brass thrift store lamps are heavy and usually have great lines! Plus you have the option of having the exact right color without spending hours online and $$$ to get it!

Next time you are out at a yard sale or thrift store, don't pass up a lamp just because it's the wrong color or *gasp* BRASS.  Grab it, fix it up and send me your before and after shots!

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