Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Updating a Thrift Store Brass Lamp

Check out my pretty new lamp! I've been seeing a lot of really cool and fun lamp revamps lately in blogworld and had been wanting to give it a try myself. And I'm tired of the lamps in our house anyway.

I found a brass lamp at the thrift store for $5 that I liked the shape of. Sorry, I forgot to take a before picture but imagine a plain brass lamp similar to this one which I found for sale on Craigslist (really, if you've ever been to a thrift store, you've seen them) -

After I got it home, though, I got a little overwhelmed and confused - so many options. I love all of the antique mercury glass lamps that I've seen but didn't really want to go out and buy more products. I wanted to use what I had on hand. So, finally, I just broke out the spray paint and started spraying. I mean the lamp only cost $5, how bad could I really screw it up?

First, you will want to tape off the electrical parts of your lamp - the light bulb socket and the cord:

Then, I pulled out these 3 colors of spray paint:

Before I started spraying, I took a bar of soap (good old Ivory soap) and ran it along some of the edges and ridges - this will keep the paint from adhering in spots. (You can see the bits of soap in the last picture here). Then I started with the Lagoon blue, spraying lightly - I wanted some of the original gold/brass to show through.

After that was dry, I, again, lightly, sprayed on some of the Ivy Leaf and metallic gold to get a layered look. Finally, when everything was dry, I brushed on just a touch of Valspar's Antiquing Glaze and took a soft cloth and wiped off the soap residue.

Then, I added a new shade (thrift store $2) and a new finial (thrift store 99 cents). The finial might be my favorite part -

And all done:


  1. Hi, I found your blog on the Cotton and Curls refashion nation and I love it!
    Hope your having a good day =)

  2. Your lamp turned out really cool. I would never guess you used spray paint. Cool technique!

  3. This turned out wonderfully - way to go!

  4. I LOVE how your lamp turned out. Such a pretty colour choice :)


  5. Great job--always looking for ways to make brass look better!

  6. Very cool, it turned out so well. Love the layered colors you used. Looking at my brassware with new eyes, now.