Wild Sparrow Designs
Wild Sparrow Designs
  • Hometalker
  • Glen Head, NY

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Lamp Makeover


These beautiful brass lamps were lovely, but my client wanted to give them a more modern updated makeover. We both loved the look of the lamps we'd seen in catalogs like Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn and of course Restoration Hardware but we didn't want to spend the money on new lamps. I decided to try to recreate the "greige" finish on these brass lamps and we both were thrilled about how they came out!
diy restoration hardware inspired lamp makeover, lighting, painted furniture
Here is the before. I cleaned them thoroughly before priming them with a shellac based primer. My favorite is Zinzer primer.
diy restoration hardware inspired lamp makeover, lighting, painted furniture
I made sure that I let the primer dry very well in between each coat.
diy restoration hardware inspired lamp makeover, lighting, painted furniture
Then I applied 2 coats of Sherwin Williams paint in a matte finish. The color I used was Virtual Taupe.
diy restoration hardware inspired lamp makeover, lighting, painted furniture
The next step I did was to make my own liming wax. I used Johnson's paste wax mixed with white latex paint. I used a cheap chip brush to kind of dry brush the liming wax all over the lamps. I let the wax kind of settle into the brush marks of the base coat. I wiped off any excess with a blue shop towel.
diy restoration hardware inspired lamp makeover, lighting, painted furniture
Here is the finished product! The lamp is totally transformed!
diy restoration hardware inspired lamp makeover, lighting, painted furniture
diy restoration hardware inspired lamp makeover, lighting, painted furniture
Since there were two sets of lamps, I decided to make the other set darker. For this set, I also made a diy wax but instead of using paint I used dark stain. I used the same technique, dry brushing the wax on and then removing any excess.
diy restoration hardware inspired lamp makeover, lighting, painted furniture
And here it is finished! For more photos and information click the link to go to my blog!

Suggested materials:

  • Sherwin Williams paint  (Sherwin Williams)
  • Johnson's Paste Wax  (Home Depot)
  • Minwax Stain  (Home Depot)
Wild Sparrow Designs

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 11 questions
  • W.h11716075
    on Sep 14, 2016

    What's the purpose for the wax?

    • Wild Sparrow Designs
      on Nov 30, 2016

      I added some white paint to the wax to make it a liming wax. The wax over paint gives a whitewash finish to the lamp and mimics the texture of stone.☺️

  • Dgq27773154
    on Jul 13, 2017

    Can you tell me the color of the dark Minwax you used to mix with the Johnson Wax? Thank you.

  • Hea28925324
    on Aug 9, 2017

    This project is at the top of my to do list with a pair of lamps I found at an auction. However, I'm having a difficult time finding new shades that I like. May I ask where you found the ones in this post? They are just what I have in mind! Thank you!

Join the conversation

2 of 118 comments
  • Wxw
    on Jun 9, 2018

    I had a pair of Stiffel lamps that looked exactly like this. I wanted to paint them or change out in some fashion, my husband not so much. So, in the basement they sat. Time to clean out so I gave them away . . . For Free! Lesson learned, follow my instincts, stick to my guns and do projects when he is not looking or out of town. Assume they can be changed as styles change. They looked amazing.

  • Lancegs
    on Sep 22, 2018

    A fantastic transformation. I too gave away heavy brass lamps to GoodWill.

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