Living Room Lamp Project

If it’s possible to obsess over just the right lamp for the living room, I was doing it.  I couldn’t find the exact right lamp so I bought some spray paint instead.  Everyone in the craft blogosphere has a lamp project.  I read enough tutorials to finally convince me that I somehow possessed great spray painting abilities.  Here goes nothing!


I started off with what the husband called “a perfectly good” lamp.  This is code for he wasn’t sure if this was going to turn out like it was in my head. Oh, bother.

I decided to keep the dark brown ring around the base of the lamp. I taped the bottom, cord and top of the lamp off with blue painter’s tape.

I told him I would spray paint him and post it on my blog if he didn't move out of the way.

Next, I used grey spray primer.  I’d read enough lamp painting tutorials to know that it’s better to spray evenly in light layers to avoid drips.  I almost followed this advice to the letter.  I learned the following:  if you get any drips, lightly sand them away and try again.

The primer dried pretty quickly and I repeated the technique with the blue.  I used Rustoleum gloss in Spa Blue after some paint color negotiation with the husband.  Yes, I know I’m lucky because he cares.

The paint also dried quickly, but I left it outside for a couple hours.  Spray paint generally dries to the touch pretty fast but can take a full day to cure.  Now I’m starting to sound like an expert.

I brought it inside, peeled off the tape and added my lampshade, which is a nice off white.  I thought about recovering the lampshade, but since there is no overhead lighting in my living room, I needed a bright lampshade to let as much light through as possible.  Brandi over at Don’t Disturb This Groove recovered her lampshade when she redid a lamp.  Check it out here.

Now that I’ve done a lamp, I’ve got my sight set on all sorts of things I can spray paint, like a mirror, a pair of shoes or even cabinet knobs!

Tips & Ideas

  • Use painter’s tape to protect parts of the lamp such as the cord and light socket.
  • Always use primer!
  • Use primer that’s generally close in color to the finished product.
  • Spray the paint from several inches away and in several layers to avoid drips.
  • Lightly sand away drips after they have dried.
  • Looking for a way to recover the lampshade?  Check one out here.

4 thoughts on “Living Room Lamp Project

  1. hi Nat, you did such a great job on your lamp. i love the color you chose. nice and bright. thrift store makeovers are the best. makes me never want to pay retail prices again. thank you so much for including a link to my blog in your post. that was very kind of you. hope you’re having a great week. xo Brandi

    • Thanks! Give some of the color credit to the husband because he deserves it. I’m starting to turn into a regular thrift store hound. Good to “see” you again. I hope you are doing well!

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