Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How to Paint a Lamp (and Get a Tan in the Process)

I've been looking for a lamp for our guest bedroom for a while. I finally found a small cheap one at Ross the other day. Here's how I took it from chrome-alicious to a pretty blue hue.

First of all, here it is with the chrome finish base. It's not really bad at all, just not my style.

I do like the natural texture in the shade. 

Step #1 is to decide on a paint color. This lamp is going in our guest room which has an orange comforter and some vintage style Hawaiian prints on the wall. So, I pulled in the blue from the prints and decided on Peacock Blue from Glidden (I'm on a peacock blue kick this week! I've got a few other projects involving the color!)  Normally I wouldn't use this kind of paint on a lamp but I couldn't find a spray paint in the color I wanted. 

Step # 1.5 --Turn on some tunes to get you in the groove. Maybe some Jack Johnson on Pandora?

Step #2--Take the lamp shade off, set it aside and prime the base. Remember to spray on the grass if you don't want to end up with paint on your patio (did you spot my unintentional artwork on the patio floor in the photo above??)

This is the kind of primer I use. 

Wait about 10 minutes for that to dry. Check your Facebook. Throw in a load of laundry. Whatever

Step #3-- Apply the first coat. Glidden has these great 2 ounce sample pots you can buy for a few bucks at the store. I picked up a few of those and since I'm not a perfectionist and I like to do things the hard way sometimes... I painted the whole lamp with this itsy brush. I know, ridiculous. Don't feel obligated to do anything the way I do it. 

Here's what the first coat looked like. 

Let that dry for, I dunno, maybe an hour. Make yourself some lemonade. Put some mint leaves in it. Sit out in the sun in a pink polka dot bikini and read a good book. At least that's what I did. 

Step #4-- Ok, time for the second coat. I ended up doing 3 coats to get it as dark as I wanted. I let each coat dry about an hour in between. 

Here's what I ended up with. The blue is not as inky as I thought it was going to turn out, but I like the end result anyway! 

Do you like it? Do you think I should have stuck with the chrome? Have any DIY projects on your to-do list? 


  1. Love how the lamp looks in our room! I know others who we share it with will love it too. Also think the white grass matches the white paint on the patio nicely :)

  2. Linsday, you are absolutely hysterical. I love your little posts and little lamp. The chrome was cool but it is totally better in peacock blue!!! Isn't everything?

    xoxox, erin

  3. Though it's not peacock blue, the bench that Jake and I built in high school is on the block for a sand-down and a new NAVY blue coating...thinking it will be a nice touch for the front porch :) With your inspiration, maybe I'll take on the project while he's away this weekend so it will be a surprise for when he gets back :) (unless he checks this and reads my comment, that is)

  4. I prefer the white bedrooms, they just look so much cleaner

  5. Lindsay, I know I don't comment much but I LOVE reading about all your little home improvement projects! I haven't had the time this year to start on any of my own, but it has encouraged me to start thinking creatively! Once June comes I hope to start sprucing up our decor. :-) God bless!

  6. I am jealous of your ability to see something in one condition but be able to visualize it as something else and then to actually carry out that visualization into fruition. What a gift! I'd have seen an ugly chrome lamp stand and passed by, you saw its potential and look at the beautiful result!!

  7. Thanks for the sweet comments! I love sharing my projects with you guys!

  8. P.S. I know I'm late on commenting on this post, BUT I love reading about your projects too. They're quite inspiring. You know that I've never spray painted anything???? Gah! There's so much potential out there!

  9. Hey Leah Michelle--It's never too late to comment on a post! I love people reading all my posts and I love getting comments on old posts! That's why I link back to alot of them in my new posts! :)

    You should definitely find something fabulous to spray paint soon. It's so fun to turn something blah to something great. And then it's uniquely you!

  10. Lindsay... You make me smile... Love your blog... With love always ~ Cheryl

  11. Catching up online...I agree that your vision is inspiring. And I may have to actually get around to spray painting the deck furniture this summer. You do help me feel like I could do it!
    My next projects will be to learn how to fiberglass patch holes in the new Boston Whaler hull and refinish the wood bench seats to it!


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