Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spray Painting Lamps: Before and After

DIY inspiration struck again.

In a quest to graduate from furniture and accessories left over form our college years, I've been hungrily searching for lamps to replace these:

Collectively, I think I spent about $20 for both lamps and the missing shade. Please note: these lamps look better in this picture than in person.

When I have to shop for something, for the first time, I find that I lack any opinion and end up spending months pre-shopping before I feel prepared to purchase. Drapes? Shopped for about 22 months. Rugs? 6 months. Dishes? HA!

With visions of what the current-TV-room/future-office will look like in a few months (after removing wallpaper and repainting), I started getting excited, and feeling inspired. I wanted dark lamps with a clean, casual look.

The lamps pictured above were destined for the "donate" pile, as I started pre-shopping. I was looking for a dark base (to match the drapery rods I picked) and mica shade- in bloth a floor lamp and a table lamp. Most of what I found came in around $40 per lamp- ouch.

At Target, I was inspired to check out the lamps and shades that could be mixed and matched. This shade caught my eye:
I realized that I might be able to add new shades to my old lamps. Two shades were around $35 together (one large, and one medium). I couldn't find the exact shades on the Target website, but they are from Target's "Home" line.

At home, I found the shades did not fit *perfectly* on the lamps, and wobbled a bit. I made shims by wrapping strips of foil around the base of the shade, for a better fit:

A quick sanding, a few coats of spray paint, and the lamps were ready for their new shades. The brown spray paint did not come out as dark as I wanted, so I may repaint them, later. But for now:

Doesn't the little lamp remind you a child wearing a big hat? Not the most amazing lamps I've ever seen, but they will work for now. If I replace them, later, I will probably keep these shades, though.


  1. lame! I had a little dark lamp with Mica type shade that i got rid of awhile ago when we moved...
    For dishes, you should go to Rose's restaurant supply..nice plain white dishes for cheap and you won't be sad if you break one!