a stitch in lime

stumbling into creativity

Lamp revamp


I don’t really know why I haven’t learned my lesson about spray paint projects yet. But alas, here we are.


My revamped lamp: before (left) and after (right)

I found this lamp at one of my local thrift shops, and needing something to illuminate our otherwise dark second bedroom (it’s the kind with no overhead light, where the light switch controls a plug in the room instead), I snatched it up. I didn’t love the brassy brassy it had going on, but did like the lampshade part and the general shape of the base. So I decided I’d try my hand at repainting the base. With spray paint (again, why?). I figured that, while my last spray paint project was kind of irritating, I learned some lessons from it and so perhaps I could do better this time. Or maybe I just forgot about all the lameness over the last year. Quite possible. Or maybe it was just that I had my grubby little hands on some novelty crackle paint (on sale!) at Michael’s! “Novelty crackle paint?” you say? Why yes. It’s the stuff of dreams nasty chemicals that stink up your house for days. Maybe that’s why it was on sale…

Anyway this is what my bare-bones lamp base looked like before I gave it a makeover:

And this is a close-up of the base after painting happened:

So, a couple things went wrong with this. First, the amount of crackle this paint produces is directly related to the weight of the coat. Said simply, goopier parts made bigger crackles than more thinly-sprayed parts. This is a problem because of all the grooves and weird angles involved in painting something this shape.

Second, I couldn’t paint the brown cord or the still-brassy-brass sections of the bits on top that hold the lightbulb. I didn’t want to mess with putting weird chemicals near a heat source, nor did I want to get stuff all up in the mechanism that turns the lamp on, or on any important electrical bits. I did spray the nub that screws the shade on, but there are many visual angles that reveal pretty blatantly that there were these “missed” spots. Purely out of hubris, I have not photographed them for display here. I prefer even my shitty projects to look nice in photos.

What did I learn by doing this? Very little. Except that I still hate spray paint’s guts. And perhaps that I should avoid using it, even when the perfect opportunity to make a mess presents itself (read: we ripped up our old flooring and, for a few days, I had bare concrete that did not need to be kept nice and un-painty).

Oh well, I shall just bask in the wonder of all my DIY misadventures in the light of my new lamp…

4 thoughts on “Lamp revamp

  1. Looks good in the pictures though.
    I’m fairly convinced that one needs a yard with lots of open space (air circulation) to really have spray painting turn out and not be so much of a pain in the butt. That, and copious amounts of cardboard.

    • Agreed, although the downside to doing it outside is all the outside airborne crud that gets in the drying paint!! I’m pretty convinced there is no winning. Unless you have a garage or warehouse with industrial ventilation.

  2. looks like a great project, regardless. i’m left wondering this: you ripped up your floors? whatup widdat??!

    • Oh yeah! We ripped up all our carpet and existing hardwood and got all new hardwood floors put in. Partly for allergies, partly because carpet is a bitch to clean (especially with a kiddo on the way).

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