Old Lamps Made New

So, last week I promised to show you pictures of my new-old-lamp sitting in all it’s apple green glory on my nightstand.  The old brass lamp I’d found at my local Goodwill was spray painted and ready for it’s big moment….but was surrounded by piles of books, laundry, mismatched pillowcases, several backpacks, and a thick layer of dust.  Yep, that was the sad state of my bedroom, last week.  Thank goodness I got around to making our master bedroom bright and shiny again over the weekend.  Now I’ll show you the pictures.

Want to see how this

became this?

Sure you do!  It’s an incredibly complicated process.  NOT!

I have a specialized refinishing studio just off my deck.

Mmmmhmmm.  Reeeeeally special.  It is furnished with all the supplies necessary for a complex lamp refinishing project:  old cardboard (to protect the {dead} grass, blue painter’s tape (for masking),  and surgical gloves (to keep paint off my hands).  In the name of full disclosure, that is not a greasy, old pizza box.  It’s some other kind of box that the Bionic Man used during an oil change.  We’re all about recycling, over here.

Note the spray paint, just in case you happen to love the color as much as I do:  Rustoleum Satin Apple Green.

After wiping down the lamp with a wet cloth and then drying it, I moved it out to my “studio”

and taped down all the parts that I didn’t want to be apple green.

It’s the most complex part of the whole process.  Observe how I carefully piled blue tape all over that cord.

As as side note, now that I’m looking at the pictures, I’m wondering why I bothered to protect my dying lawn?  A little green paint might have improved its appearance significantly.  Oh, well–hindsight is always better than foresight!

Then I shook my can of paint and sprayed that lamp.  Note that I don’t have pictures of this process.  It’s spray paint, folks.  If graffiti artists do it, so can we.  My spray painting tips?  Spray in the same direction the breeze is blowing, turning your lamp if necessary (another good reason to put it on a piece of cardboard).  Try to spray evenly.  If your lamp has some embellishment, you’ll want to make sure you coat those curves well.

This is exactly how I painted the original green lamp in my bedroom, and it has held up really well over the last year.  Unbelievably easy.

The day I spray painted was very hot, so I didn’t wait long before I checked on the lamp.  With the lamp being metal, I was afraid if I left it in the sun too long, the lamp would get hot and the paint would melt off.  This lamp was completely dry in less than an hour, and needed only one coat of paint.  I peeled off the tape, took it upstairs, added a lightbulb and the shade, and plugged it in.  Ta-da!

Now, I have two apple green lamps, one for each side of the bed.

I love that they aren’t exactly the same design, but their height and color match.  (Their lightbulbs, on the other hand…let’s just say now that I look at the pictures, I realize that I have two different types of bulbs in there.  Huh.)

Allow me to profess my love for brass lamps.  They take spray paint beautifully.

They are extremely durable.  I dropped one lamp twice during the “before” photo shoot, and you can’t even tell.  

Luckily, I didn’t drop it on my foot, or you would be able to tell, because I’d be on crutches.  Brass lamps are extremely heavy.  In other words, it’s going to take more than a toddler throwing a ball at a brass lamp to knock it over.

Another great thing about brass lamps?  People are getting rid of them like crazy.  They are easy to find at thrift stores, garage sales, and estate sales…

…making it really easy to find and custom paint your own “matching” pair.

So, let’s recap:  I found one brass lamp and a canvas shade at Goodwill a year ago, for a whopping $9.48.  I found another brass lamp at Goodwill recently for $7.99, and purchased a new canvas shade from Target for $24.00.  Rustoleum’s Satin Apple Green spray paint was $3.50 from Home Depot, and it took less than one can to paint both these lamps.  Total cost of my pair of lamps?  $36.98.

That’s a pretty good deal, considering it’s unusual to find a good-sized single lamp without a shade for less than that price, new.

Next project for this room:  make something artistic to fill up that big, blank wall over the bed.  Any suggestions?

I’m linking this to:

Whipperberry Friday Flair

Sugar Bee Crafts Take-a-Look Tuesday

Visit thecsiproject.com

I {Heart} Naptime Sundae Scoop



  1. These are such a fun pop of color!!! They turned out fabulous!

  2. Oh, I know EXACTLY what you need over that bed! You need a fabulous canvas portrait of your kids wearing tans and creams with little hints of apple green – a big grassy field, perhaps? The frame could be the same finish as your bed. It would make you happy every time you walk in the room, I promise!

    • Ooh, great idea, Kris! I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a family portrait in an apple orchard, this fall. Maybe we need to pose next to the trees with green apples, instead of red?

  3. It’s amazing what paint does, isn’t it? I like the fun green color!

  4. the lamps look fabulous! you did a great job. love the color you chose.

  5. The color looks amazing … I love it. What a difference a little paint makes.

  6. What a fun pop of color!

  7. Absolutely ADORE the HAPPY green!

  8. Hey! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues
    with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks
    of hard work due to no back up. Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

  9. This is a good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere.
    Short but very accurate info… Thanks for sharing this one.
    A must reaad article!

  10. A wide range of interesting game titles now aare out there for all ages, with capabilities tbat remarkably make remarkable adventuures in close proximity tto
    too reality. The online games encourage practical movement scenes owing
    to their very well-made graphics andd types.

  11. Hello i am kavin, its my first tjme to commenting anyplace, when i read
    this post i thought i could also make comment due to this sensible paragraph.


  1. […] tuned–I’ll show you how I painted the lamp, tomorrow! Filed Under: A House in Holland Tagged With: brass lamp, canvas, DIY, Goodwill, green, green […]

Leave a Reply to brandi Cancel reply