Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Lamp-post

This is not a revolutionary DIY post.  In fact, I am sure many of you have upcycled lamps before... many, perhaps even better than I .  But, alas... many may have not.  This post is to show just how easy it can be to transform a thrifty find into a terrific treasure for not-a-lotta cash-ola. 

I liked the size and that they came with shades.  They were filthy but I thought I might be able to salvage them (the shades that is).   Note:  Lamp bases can be relatively easy to come by, at least that has been my experience.  It is the shades however,  that can be hard to come by and even harder to find at a thrifty price.  
Here I began to remove the ugly, filthy 70's accordion style wrap.
There was a little corrosion, but nothing a little RustOleum Satin Black paint won't fix.   I chose this paint because it covers without a primer and I love the finish it leaves.  
A little side by side comparison.  One down, one to go.  As a side note I must say, I love those who are more daring than I.  I wish I had the gumption to choose a brighter,  'funner' color.  But, I haven't had great luck with that.  The last time I painted some lamps I chose red, didn't like it.  Tried blue, nah.  Eventually went back to black.  But, if you can pull it off I say, " Go for it!"
After I finished painting, I decided to move onto the lampshades.  I have been wanting to decoupage something for a while now... I thought this might be a good time.  To decoupage, really all you do is paint the glue or Mod Podge on the surface that you are decoupaging, in this case the lampshade, then place your paper on the spot and then paint more glue or Mod Podge over it.  
Here it is finished.  "Eh" was my response.  I didn't like how the overlap showed through when I turned on the lamp.  So, I painted the inside of the lampshade black.
It accomplished my goal... You could no longer see through the shade, but now there was just something about the shape of the shade I didn't like.  It reminded me of Po in Kung Fu Panda for some reason.  So, I decided to hit some local retailers.  I looked at probably 100 lampshades... I decided on the following 2 contenders:

So, the big question is which one would you pick???  
I know which one I like, but I would love your input.  Leave me a comment and cast your vote.  


  1. I love what you did with the shade! Nice work!!

    Audrey @

  2. the Ross shade gets my vote...
    It would have been tough to cut the map to fit, but then, at least you wouldn't have had the overlap issue.
    I read your post because I love maps and I have been thinking of using some I have. I have a shade that needs some work, need to do some planning and thinking.

  3. Your lamp looks great! The "map" shade is so unusual and really looks expensive on the pic. I didn't know you could remove the accordion stuff. I like the classic look of the first shade, but the second shade has a contemporary sassiness to it that really makes it look updated and very appealing. So I lean toward the second look! Linda

  4. I liked the map shade. But if I had to pick from the other two I would pick the more traditional first choice. And it is cheaper than the Target one, so that's a bonus.

  5. The Map shade is nice! Between the other two I like the 7.99 one--more curves! Thanks for linking to my Share the Love link party!

  6. I like the lamps. I can find lamp bases galore, but shades always set me back. I still get off cheaper than buying new lamps though. I am however jealous about the discount card. We don't have those here. Of course GoodWill is a little out of my price range here in CA at least where I live. I have another thrift store I like better with better prices.
    Now that I've rambled quite a bit, I personally like the rectangular lampshade. Not a shape I usually go with, but it looks so right on that lamp for some reason. I also like the black. Gotta run. Have a great day. Thanks for sharing.

  7. What a great makeover! They look so nice now. I like the shape/curves of the shade from Ross best!

  8. I personally like the Ross shade, it has more shape to it. The Target shade seems more contemporary.

  9. The shape of the Ross shade is congruent with the form of that lamp base. The Target shade is more geometric; its design is better for a simpler shape lamp base.

    I thought it was pretty ingenious for you to paint the inside of that shade black when you realized you didn't like the translucency of the decoupage, though. How did you know that would work?

  10. Hi Jamie. It's always fun to see several options for a makeover and then get to vote! So, I like the third option best. It looks very expensive AND up-to-date.

  11. One more comment! Just had to add that I love eclectic interiors, so I think that's what I like best about the last shade. It has a little tension and contrast, which is always so interesting.

  12. Ooooh this is AWESOME! I'm following you now =) When I see one great project you get invited to my party, two great projects and I'm hooked lol! Please if you would link this up too! I want to make one for my loft/office! I would be delighted to have you join my VIP party today =)

  13. I really love the lamp shade with maps, too! And good thought on spraying the inside.

  14. I love the first one you bought from Ross!!! I would choose that one!

  15. Well, I actually really love the map shade but what do I know??!! :-) If I had to pick between the other two (while still loving the map one) I would pick the Ross shade. I think you won't go wrong with whatever you decide cause when ya got good taste, ya got good taste, you know? :-)
    Thanks for linking up last weekend to Inspiration Friday!

  16. I like the Ross shade...the curves look amazing with the roundness of the base. I am a new follower--found you at The Speckled Dog! :)


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