This is the lamp in my living room.

old lamp

You may be thinking, “It’s not that bad”.  But it is.  Oh, but it is.   It’s one of those cheap resin-type lamps and the “paint” is chipping off.


chipping paint

Yes, I did say this was in my living room.  Don’t judge me.  I usually turn the base around so this doesn’t show as much.  It makes me feel not so bad.  (I said don’t judge.)


Confession:  I have had this lamp for 10 years and it has looked like this for probably at least 6 years.  It’s sad, I know.  I have had it so long that when I packed up the lamp for the big move, I totally forgot that it would break down into about 4 pieces.  (Yeah, it was one of those cheap lamps from the big superstore, so that’s the way they rolled…and the way I rolled…or still do.  Anyway.)  I had a total “duh” moment last week when I was inspecting the lamp to figure out what I was going to do to spruce it up and realized that I needed to tighten up one of the sections.  And you want to know the bad part?  Occasionally, over the past 10 years and about 327 moves, (I’ve not really moved that many times, but it has felt like it) I have had to twist down the middle portion.  And not once did it occur to me that I had held on to this lamp that could have easily came apart to streamline packing for any of our moves! Ugh.

I digress.

I decided that we were in need of a little lamp-DIY. What to do?  I’ll just paint it!  That easy.  Seriously.  Just watch…


Before I started. I took the little dangles off and had Mr. O take the air compressor and spray it down.  Just to get all the chipping paint off and blow all the dust out of all the crevices too small to clean with a Swiffer.


lamp-diy prep

To finish prepping the base for painting, I took off the shade, harp, and finial; then, taped up the socket and cord.

You like my painting booth?  It’s just a moving box.  I cut down two of the sides and left it attached at the bottom – just to catch over spray or whatever.  Yeah, I’m pretty proud of it.  It works great since I don’t have a space in the garage to designate to painting.  And this is just sitting on my patio table.  I can throw it in the storage room attached to the patio when I’m finished.


gloss white spray paint

I didn’t want to mess with paint and a paintbrush so I went with spray paint on this project.  I picked it up at my local home improvement store.  And I chose this particular type because I was painting over a dark material and this is paint and primer in one.  Which means less coats of paint.  And less work.  And we all like less work.  Plus, it says bonds to plastic, and as I stated above,  the lamp is resin.  Perfect!


first coat of paint

This is just one coat.  Awesome, right?  I ended up doing three coats total.  Just because I wanted it extra glossy.  (Now, I fought the gloss white trend for years.  Swore that I’d never give in to it and do what society said was “cool”.  Yeah, I totally caved on this one.  It just seemed like the perfect fit.  Especially since everything else in our living room is so dark in color.  I mean, honestly, our couch is dark leather, coffee table is espresso, end table is espresso, entertainment center is a dark wood color, the recliner is a darker tan…I just had to break away from the dark hole of decorating we had gotten in.)

Not to brag, but three coats of paint only took me a day.  And I even let it dry completely between coats.  Yeah, the perks of living in 100°+ weather.


finished lamp-diy

This is the finished project.  Complete with painted finial.

In the end, I decided to replace the lamp shade with a new one.  I just wasn’t feeling the creamy-tanny floral jacquard shade.  It’s a little big but, I like that it gives more presence to the thin base.

I did not put the crystal dangles back on.  I felt that it added nothing to final look.  Maybe down the road I will, so I’ll hang on to them.

Wasn’t that easy?  I’m pretty pleased with how the lamp turned out and I can’t wait to paint something else.  What should I do next?






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