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updating an old lamp

May 25, 2011

after scanning through a recent Crate & Barrel catalog, I wrote a post highlighting some of the inspiration found there.  And part of that inspiration was to give a makeover to a lamp I’ve had since I was a teenager.  No kidding. 

This is the end result and I couldn’t be happier.

But this is where it all began.

My goal was to move this to the bedroom and lighten it up.  Something in a pale shade of blue or green. 

The first step in my process was to cover the lamp with primer.  Spray Kilz.

Next, I selected a soft aqua for the main part of the lamp base.  I couldn’t locate a spray paint color I liked, so I selected flat latex paint and applied two coats with a foam brush.

I selected a dark oiled bronze color for the metallic portions, so after the aqua paint dried, I taped a dry cleaning bag over the base and applied the spray paint to the metal portions. 

Oh, one cautionary note stamped in bold lettering across that dry cleaning bag.  THEY ARE NOT TOYS.

Yes, thanks for clearing that up that age old question.

I had to purchase a new lampshade.  Lamps Plus is my favorite source for a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

And now it’s right at home.

Even though this lamp has a new look, it still feels like a part of my distant past.  I’m so thankful to all the DIY bloggers who motivated me with their successes, in particular, Anna’s lamp re-do at Take the Side Street

Thanks so much for dropping by – I’m incredibly happy to share this little project 🙂




Linking to

Blogger Block Party at Debbiedoos

Be Colorful

The Girl Creative

Handy Man, Crafty Woman

Coastal Charm

Finding Fabulous

Chic on a Shoestring

The Shabby Chic Cottage

All Things Heart and Home

Savvy Southern Style

26 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2011 2:33 am

    That’s such a great makeover! I love the color, and the shade is perfect for it.

  2. May 25, 2011 2:43 am

    You GO, girl!!!!!!

    Diane, this turned out faaaaaaabulous!

    I adore your taste in style. Simple, clean, and very classy! To me, less is more, so the after photos compared to the before photos ROCK!

    And it looks wonderful in your bedroom!

    “Oh, one cautionary note stamped in bold lettering across that dry cleaning bag. THEY ARE NOT TOYS.”


    Hope you had a terrific Tuesday, my friend.

    X to you and C!

  3. May 25, 2011 6:02 am

    It looks great with your bedding and room! The lamp before was funky, and now it’s peaceful and lovely. Amazing job!


  4. May 25, 2011 7:38 am

    How special to have given something with childhood meaning a new lease of life. That’s lovely, Diane. I really like it – and espercially the shape of your new lampshade – you really do have awesomely fantastic taste.


  5. May 25, 2011 12:29 pm

    What an amazing make-over…very clever and I just love the ‘new’ lamp! When I think of all the lamps I’ve sent to the op shop over the years….Robx

  6. May 25, 2011 2:59 pm

    Wow, that was quite the lamp you started with, hah! Looks great!

  7. May 26, 2011 3:31 pm

    Wow, what a transformation! Love it! I can see that you’ve got vision & the ability to see potential in old items. Thanks for sharing your skills! Thanks for the blog visit and comment love 🙂

  8. May 26, 2011 6:19 pm

    Hey, that looks great! Way to go with the painting, it looks like a totally different lamp 🙂 And I’m flattered that my aqua lamps were part of your inspiration… this validates my unhealthy obsession with paint, I have to rush right out and tell my husband that it’s a GOOD thing to own 700 cans of paint. Win/win, baby!

  9. May 30, 2011 8:28 am

    holy schmoleys! what a huge difference you made. thats an awsome make over!

  10. June 2, 2011 4:31 am

    Great way to update an old lamp. Love the color.

  11. June 2, 2011 9:59 am

    I’ve been meaning to revamp a boring old lamp and you’ve just given me the kick up the proverbial so thanks!

  12. June 6, 2011 2:19 pm

    I was so happy to feature you! You did an amazing job and I LOVE the painted pink redo in your other post!!

  13. June 6, 2011 7:01 pm

    Diane, this lamp turned out beautifully! I have an ugly gold colored lamp that I need to repaint, but like you, have not found the right color spraypaint!

  14. June 12, 2011 6:03 pm

    This is such an incredible change up. Looking at the original lamp a lot of people would have chalked it up as a lost cause and could have even tossed it. You had the vision and I am amazed at how well it turned out. Very very pretty. Thanks for sharing it on Motivated Monday at BeColorful

  15. June 20, 2011 12:16 am

    FUN!!~ Amazing what paint can do, I love it.

  16. June 20, 2011 5:08 pm

    Terrific makeover.

  17. June 20, 2011 7:01 pm

    Wow…what a fabulous transformation…its hard to believe that its the same lamp! Looks gorgeous!

    I also like that ball of twigs besides the lamp…did you make that too?

    • June 20, 2011 7:13 pm

      Hi Neha – thank you for your kind comment about the lamp. I know. I’ve been hanging onto this lamp for YEARS and just hadn’t much liked it for perhaps 20 of those years. What was I waiting for? Yes – the bleached driftwood ball is probably something you could make, but I found it at a decorative shop in Rockport TX called The Bay Window. I think it was about $8. They appear to be glued in strategic spots and then others pieces are just wedged in between the glued pieces. It is about 5 or 6 inches across.

  18. June 21, 2011 6:16 am

    I love the new lamp shade and I love the new color although I must say I liked the base before as well.Glad you are so happy with it.I think the floral pillow slip on your bed is so cute love the pattern!

  19. June 21, 2011 4:41 pm

    Terrific makeover! I love bringing life to old lamps, too. Check my blog for a pair that really needed improvement. Thanks for mentioning spray Kilz, I’ll look for it.

  20. June 22, 2011 12:56 pm

    such a pretty lamp – great work!!

  21. June 25, 2011 1:35 am

    Great job…love the new color!


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