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!
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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:
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!
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 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 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.
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!
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!
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?!
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!
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.
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!
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!