Thrifted Lamp Makeover: Look for Less

Today I’m sharing a Look for Less - Thrifted Lamp Makeover Edition! You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a vintage inspired lamp, you can get the same look, for less!

Today I’m sharing a Look for Less – Thrifted Lamp Makeover Edition! You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a vintage inspired lamp, you can get the same look, for a lot less!

To watch the full video, visit my YouTube page here.

I’m so excited about this thrifted lamp makeover because I shared this find with you recently in my secondhand home decor haul. I’m sure some of you guys doubted me when I shared the lamp because it definitely had a 1980’s vibe. Let me explain why I brought it home!

I'm going to give this secondhand lamp a makeover!

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A few weeks ago a friend of mine was sharing some lamps in her stores on Instagram. I LOVED them and decided to swipe up on her link to see how much they were. I was completely shocked to see a three HUNDRED dollar price tag on this gorgeous lamp below: 

My inspiration lamp!

Don’t get me wrong, it is seriously a beautiful lamp. Sadly it was just waaaay outside of my price range. I just knew I could create a similar look for less if I found a thrift store lamp that was the right shape that I could makeover!

I go thrifting quite often and started looking over the lamp section each time I visited. When I saw this pottery style lamp for three bucks, I knew it had potential. I mean for three dollars, why not do some experimenting? Even if it didn’t turn out, I am not at all at a huge loss financially.

After plugging it in to make sure the lamp worked properly, I excitedly purchased it and brought it home to experiment with different types of paints and finishes to try to achieve the look I was going for!

A before shot of my thrift store lamp!

Once I brought the lamp home, that’s exactly what I did. I experimented! I’ll tell you exactly what I did below in steps, but I’m sure not every step is necessary. I just kept playing with paint until I achieved the look I was going for. 

Thrifted Lamp Makeover – Step by Step 

Step 1 – After cleaning my thrifted lamp, the first thing I did was give it one coat of a light gray paint (I used the color “Linen” by Jolie), the same color I used on my piano makeover.  

Step 2 – Next, I dry brushed the lamp with a dark gray paint that I had in my basement. Dry brushing just means that you barely dip your brush in the paint, and then you wipe off any excess onto a plate or paper towel. 

Step 1 - giving my lamp a makeover!

Step 3 – After applying the dark gray, I wiped the lamp in random places with a wet paper towel, blotting here and there for texture, revealing some of the original lamp color to give it more character.

Step 4 – The lamp still didn’t have the look I was going for, so I white washed it with some watered down white paint, wiping and blotting with more paper towel as I went.

At this point I tried the lamp in the corner where I had planned on putting it, but it didn’t quite seem dark enough for what I was wanting. I needed a bit more contrast. I took it back to the dining room table and began experimenting with it again. 

How to antique a thrift store lamp!

Step 5 – The next thing I decided to do was similar to the white wash technique, but with black acrylic paint, wiping and blotting the lamp with paper towel once more. The blotting of the paper towel added a lot of dimension and texture, which I loved. It was really starting to look like my inspiration lamp that I shared a picture of above!

How to age a thrifted lamp
How to give your lamp an antique finish

I tried to capture this process the best I could in pictures for this blog post, but be sure to watch the YouTube video above so that you can see all of these steps in action!

Step 6 – I let the black paint dry and then I took a wire brush to the finish to reveal some of the lines and texture original to the lamp. I loved using this technique and couldn’t believe how much texture the wire brush was able to reveal!

How to paint a lamp and make it look old!

I could have stopped here, but I still felt the thrifted lamp felt a little bit cold. I wanted to add some warmth, and that’s when I moved on to step 7. 

Step 7 – To finish it off, I used some dark wax by Annie Sloan all over the lamp. This was the perfect finishing touch! It gave the lamp this antique glaze sort of look…exactly what I was going for! I was so in love. Can you believe the transformation?!

How to give your lamp an antique glaze!

Finding a Shade for my Thrifted Lamp

Once the thrifted lamp was finished I needed a shade. I had some drum shades in my basement I could have used, but they didn’t look quite right, and I really wanted a shade similar to the inspiration lamp. 

I went to Walmart to discover that lamp shades were TWENTY dollars! What?! Since when are lamp shades so expensive?! After only paying $3 for the lamp, I wasn’t about to spend that much on a shade!

I went back to the thrift store looking for a shade, and happened to find one there for $1.25. The only problem? It was dingy and yellow, but it was the overall shape I was looking for and I decided to once again bring it home and try experimenting!

How to paint a lamp shade!

Once I had it home, I decided to chalk paint the lamp shade, which worked SO well! I wet the whole shade down with water so that the chalk paint went on smooth, then I gave the shade two coats of white clean chalk paint. 

My thrift store lamp makeover!

Since I already had all of the supplies for this project, that means I spent a total of $4.25 on this thrifted lamp. Pretty neat, huh? I love the way this project turned out! It was so simple as well and something that anyone could do!

How I made over my thrifted lamp!
How to add an aged patina to a thrift store lamp!
Look for Less - My thrifted lamp makeover!

So if you are in need of a new lamp, or you are just wanting to try a fun project, I encourage you to visit your local thrift store (or garage sales) and take a look at lamps that could potentially be beautiful! Most would have passed right by this 1980’s white lamp without thinking twice and I see this style in thrift stores all of the time!

What do you guys think of my thrifted lamp makeover? I’d love to know in the comments below! 


Today I’m sharing a Look for Less - Thrifted Lamp Makeover Edition! You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a vintage inspired lamp, you can get the same look, for less!


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  1. WOW! You are really so talented! Thanks for this inspiration! I’ll be heading to my local thrift store soon!

  2. Oh my!!!! So lovely.. and,I like your lamp much better than the inspiration one,so…much… better!!!

  3. I like your version a whole lot better, Andrea! And such a good idea for the lampshade. I have some thrifted lamps with shades that need a good revamping.

  4. You really pulled this off well! I like yours better as well, and the total price is just great! You had a vision and you knocked it out of the ball park!!!!
    Your husband should be so proud of you for saving so much money and making such a lovely home! I know I am! I never imagined that lamp would turn out so beautiful! Good to know you can paint a lamp shade! I have tossed many of them in the trash!

    1. Hahaha awww Shelly yes he is!! We are so like minded when it comes to saving money! Thank you so so much for the sweet comment! 🙂

  5. Wow, it looks amazing! You are so good with paint! This is inspiring. Thanks for sharing your techniques.

  6. It’s so awesome! I prefer it to the inspiration lamp! I’m looking for more lamps and this changed my idea! Thanks!

  7. Genius!!! This project turned out so well and I can’t believe you only spent $4.25.
    I’m also excited for the tip on how to renew/refresh thrift store lampshades. I will be using this.
    Thank you for sharing your stunning lamp and helpful tips with us.

  8. I like your lamp so much better than the 300.00 one. The style is so much nicer. Well done a lovely project!

  9. Hello Andrea. I honestly prefer the one you have made. I find it beautiful and it is very similar to inspiration. I wouldn’t pay that much money for a lamp either. The work you have done here is beautiful and easy to replicate. I will use your chalk paint recipe. Thanks for sharing. I send you many blessings and love

  10. Hi Andrea. I particularly love your version of the lamp much more. Also I think it is very expensive although the lamp is beautiful. I will use your chalk paint recipe to make it on my own lamp. Thanks for sharing the painting technique. blessings and love

    1. Aww thank you Rose!! I was happy to share, I’d love to see how your lamp turns out! I bet it will be beautiful! 🙂

  11. Happy Birthday Andrea 🙂 Your inspiration and ideas are so fresh. Thank you for for the opportunity to win your prints :))

  12. I was at the thrift store today and saw this same lamp tucked away in a corner and I thought ”that’s and Andrea lamp!” You bet I snatched it up. Now let’s see if I can even come close to how beautiful yours came out to be!

    1. That is so exciting!! Be sure to tag me in your updates if you post it on Instagram! I would love to see the results!

  13. Jut a amazing job Andrea .. you didn’t mention wether you buffed or polished the lamp after applying the wax … did you polish or just left it on like you showed with the brush ?
    Thank you

  14. This is one of several messages I’ve left you on Instagram, but I have never received a reply from any of them from you???? Don’t understand, but would really like to?? Several replies & questions about projects you’ve done, including this one. But again never any answers or responses from you. Please read them and respond I’d truly appreciate it😊❣️❣️ God bless & take care💖❣️❣️

    Totally OFF subject🤗 But where did you get the under “new rug” Rug, looks like Jute that’s braided with a banding border, it’s better that the one I finally decided on after looking for over 2 yrs??? I question if I’ve seen them all, compared them….ect😬 It’s enough to make my head hurt & I don’t want to waist money or try to ship return a large heavy rug, it’s just me without help😉❣️❣️ But that’s more of the kind & one I’ve been looking for?? texture,but unique? 💝❣️❣️

    1. Hello! I am so sorry I missed your messages, I truly try my best to respond to comments, but there are so many sometimes it is hard to get to them all. Sorry again for that! One feature I love to recommend to readers is the search area of my blog. If you go to any page, it is on the right side of any of the pages, you may have to scroll down a bit, but you can search any topic and it will show all of the blog posts I have written about that! This may be able to answer a lot of your questions about various projects and areas of my home. For example, for your rug question, I searched area rugs and this blog post came up and this explains where I purchased the rugs in my home! I hope this is helpful to you, I promise I really do try my best though to at least respond to comments! Thank you for following along! 🙂

  15. Hi, what a transformation, I like your lamp more than the inspiration picture. Just have a little query though, so in the second step when you dry brush dark grey paint, did you wait for the light grey paint to completely dry beforehand??

  16. I found two of the same type of lamps. They are vintage (you should see an inscription near the bottom of the lamp) 😊 They are selling on some resale platforms for $$ but coincidentally I chose to repaint my lamps also using the same inspiration you had for yours.

  17. Pingback: Decorating With Thrifted Decor Steals | Part 3 - Loving Grace Home
    1. Just slightly damp, not completely soaked. I believe if you watch the video, you should be able to tell. I hope this helps!

  18. K, I Love this! And…not kidding…as I drool over your lamp transformation, the lamp setting on the table next to me IS THAT SAME THRIFT-STORE LAMP. Came from my in-laws…my husband grew up with them in his home. Now we have two of them in ours…in all of their vintage 80s “glory”. I’ve thought of replacing them, but honestly, with 4 young kids, I appreciate these rather sturdy, hard-to-knock-over, lamps. Plus, they’re free! I’m super excited though to try my hand at recreating your awesome transformation on my two now!

  19. Hi I was searching for a tutorial on how to get this vintage look for a lamp I had just bought at the goodwill and I stumbled onto your blog and ITS THE SAME LAMP!!! I couldn’t believe my luck!! So I’m going to try my best to get the same look but I don’t have the exact colors and paint that you do so it’ll be trial and error til I get it 😁 Wish me luck!!

  20. This is perfect for me. My current bedside lamps need a refresh for sure. But not going out to buy new. This will do the trick for me. Thanks for all the good info.

  21. Could I pay you to make one for me? I adore this lamp but am 76 and past the point of crafting? Would you consider that, or is it not something you’re interested in? Thank you.

    1. Hello, that is so sweet but I don’t do work like this, I am sure you could find someone willing though, it is a simple enough project! 🙂

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