Give Old Ugly Lamps New Life

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Introduction: Give Old Ugly Lamps New Life

In this instructable you will learn how to turn your old, ugly, gold or brass colored lamps into a modern usable lamp.

After breaking both of my lamps in the living room, I decided it was time to buy some new lamps. Never having gone lamp shopping before, I was quite shocked to see just how much it cost for a nice lamp, garage sale time. While searching garage sales most of the lamps were old and quite ugly, or as my mom would say "Ugly as sin". They were the type of lamps that if you cut in half would make quite a nice Gold sports trophy.

2 weeks later and tired of living by the glow of my 20" monitor, I picked up some ugly lamps at a garage sale for $5 as temporary lamps. Then a thought came to me, why not just paint them? and add a new shade. And so started this project.

Step 1: Tool's and Supplies Needed

For this instructable you will need:

- A Lamp
- 1 Can of good quality spray paint
- Some denatured (or rubbing) Alcohol (for cleaning)
- A rag
- Masking tape
- New lamp shade

Step 2: A Clean Lamp Is a Happy Lamp

Time to prep the lamp for painting.

All that is necessary is to clean the lamp of all oils and dust. To do so you must use some kind of degreaser, an alcohol works nice for this.

I used some rubbing alcohol, but I would have rather used a denatured alcohol if I had some.

Clean the entire surface with a rag and cleaning agent, and let dry in the sun.

Step 3: Removing and Masking

After cleaning the lamp it's time to remove any hardware that you don't want painted.

In this case the lamp had a switch at the base, and was very easy to remove.

Also be sure to wrap the cord with a strip of masking, so that it doesn't catch any over spray.

Step 4: Paint

Now it's time to paint.

I chose a Krylon brand gloss Almond color.

Painting should be relatively easy, be sure to hold the can at least 8" away from the object, and use a sweeping motion back and fourth and up and down to cover the whole lamp.

Don't try and do it all on one coat, use multiple coats and let dry at least a half an hour between.

If a drip does occur, be sure to deal with it right away. Use a wet cloth or your finger to whip it off before it dries. Then repaint the area.

I found 3 coats was sufficient, be sure to look at the lamp from many angles to check if you got every part painted.

Step 5: All Done

The painting is done, make sure you leave it to dry for 6-12 hours before bringing it in your house. When it is fully dry it will no longer smell like spraypaint fumes :D


Step 6: Final Touches

Now that the lamp has been painted and allowed to dry we need a new lamp shade. I found one at walmart for $10.

After the shade has been installed the lamp looks much better. Your all finished! just sit back relax and read something by your new lamp.

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24 Comments

Look amazing! I spray paint almost gosh darn everything, so glad I’m not alone!

Paint makes almost everything look good!!

When I spray paint cabinet knobs, I unscrew them then put the screws back in, so you can hold them while using steel wool to rough up the knobs, then I use the screw, still attached to the knob, and put it in styrofoam to hold them in place then start the spray paint.

Beautiful job. I find myself to be severely spray painting challenged. I wonder if epoxy paint might stick to the metal better.

I've heard it helps if you stand back a bit and spray in horizontal up and down non-stop motion

Thank you. I will try that. I painted a plastic three tiered parts tray other day and used a large cardboard box and that seems to have helped a bit. It kept the wind from blowing paint spray. It made access a little difficullt at times but I think a bit larger box would solve that.

ya, well, ya think ya could 'ave told me that part before ;0) ? lol When I did try-and I made a mess by the way-the wind came out of no where, I was spray painting my stuff way too close and it was disasterous! The grass was spray painted, I was covered in paint... (it was my SIL that told me how I should have been spraying the way I suggested LOLROTF) ;0)

You might also try scuffing up the surface a bit with some steel wool, or a fine grain sand paper as others have suggested. This (in most cases) will help the paint stick better to the surface that you are painting. Also, just remember to keep back the recommended distance on the can and make sure you are always moving while spraying (in a sweeping motion). Remember, Its better to take it slow and do lots of coats then trying to get it all in one shot.

I do tend to get too close and want to do it all at once. The last things I painted I worked a bit farther from them and worked with lighter coats and it really made a difference. Having something to block the wind also really helped.