How do I pick a color or finish for this lamp?

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The brass is wearing away. I just can’t figure out what kind of finish, color, etc I should choose. Funny story actually. Back in the 60’s my parents decorated the house with Early American furniture. Braided brown and gold rugs, medium warm maple furniture. This lamp is what is left of that era. Mom had replaced the lamp shade with an accordion one, nothing but a dust collector. Anyway, I always kidded her about it and never really liked the lamp, although she loved it. Well, she passed away a few years ago. And, now I love the lamp. :) I replaced the lamp shade immediately!!! Now, we have moved and simplified. I’m eclectic. You can see from the picture that I still have my plum sofa and chair. The quilt is one my mom made, funny. It has the exact colors I’ve been aiming for to redecorate. It was in the storage until we moved and I’ve been going through things. I’m going to put a large clock on the wall behind where the lamp is on the table. I guess I’m liking the farmhouse sorta style because I want a large metal clock. Anyway, I’m afraid of painting the lamp. Can you guys give me some suggestions? I love the mercury glass look, but not sure what that would look like.

q how do i pick a color or finish for this lamp
q how do i pick a color or finish for this lamp
q how do i pick a color or finish for this lamp
q how do i pick a color or finish for this lamp
  9 answers
  • Beth Beth on Nov 17, 2018

    I have a similar one. What about spray painting the "brass" parts silver metallic paint and painting the wood parts black satin? Use a black shade.


    Are you sure it is brass? Never known brass to flake off... put a magnet to it. Brass is not a metal found in nature but a mix of metals, and therefore magnets won't stick to it. This is how you test to see if it is real solid brass. Always drop a fridge magnet in your purse when you go antique -ing so you can tell if the dealer is truthful!


     If it is not real brass, then be sure to brush off/remove all flakes before painting.

    • Susan Susan on Nov 17, 2018

      I never thought of using a magnet to test it, but just did. Magnet doesn’t stick. It’s not really flaking, more like wearing away. I like your idea. I do have other black things in the room, curtain rods. Anyway, can you send me a picture of your lamp?

  • Joyce Holden Joyce Holden on Nov 17, 2018

    Get brass colored spray paint or give the mercury/ silver a try. It's only paint and you can repaint it if you don't like the first color. Mask off any areas you don't want painted, using painters tape and then spray away. If you want a two tone look, spray the first color (like black), let it dry totally and then dry brush the second color (like silver or gold) so it only hits the surface areas, not the deep design.

    • Susan Susan on Nov 17, 2018

      I like both of those ideas. Getting a vision in my head is half the battle. Thanks!

  • Hyacinth Hyacinth on Nov 17, 2018

    I think it looks GREAT the way it is!!!

    • Susan Susan on Nov 17, 2018

      Wow! That’s just what my girl friend said. Thanks.

  • Oliva Oliva on Nov 17, 2018

    Try spraying WD 40 only on the metal parts. Wait 5 minutes, then wipe with soft clean cloth. You can purchase paint in antique brass or bright brass colors, then apply where you prefer, using a Q-Tip.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Nov 17, 2018

    Hi there, It would fit right into my home just as it is, as I have some of it's cousins about, but I understand with your colour scheme you would want it more of a pewter or silver look, but not in your face bright. Could always use an antique wax over it after silvering to"knock the brightness back".

    • Susan Susan on Nov 17, 2018

      I really like the pewter look idea. There is wood pieces, too. One piece is between the base and the bottom or the pitcher. The other is the piece from the mouth up to where the socket is. If I changed the metal to a pewter color, what do you suggest I do with those?

  • Dee Dee on Nov 18, 2018

    I would clean it really well, then spray paint it with Rustoleum brass spray paint. You can also antique it with Rub and Buff. You can find that at Michaels. They have one specifically for brass.


    I do not think the pewter look would work well. I also think you should paint the wood parts either dark brown or oil rubbed bronze. Actually Oil Rubbed Bronze would look great on that lamp.

  • Jessie Jessie on Nov 19, 2018

    I was going to say something funny like " don't do anything and send it in to me".. but then I read your backstory... I bet you wouldn't part with it for a million dollars... I think it's beautiful, and if it were mine, I'd paint it a pretty soft cream color and buff off the color from the nook and crannies, so there more pronounced.

  • Jan Loehr Jan Loehr on Nov 19, 2018

    Rustoleum makes a large variety of spray paints in different colors and special finishes...I have used them for many projects ranging from metal to wicker and foam planters...WalMart has the whole range of them in their paint department...the finish is displayed on the covers of these spray cans so you can see the final result by the cover color...go check them out to see what appeals to you before you buy anything....they work so very well...

  • Kate Kate on Nov 20, 2018

    You can also get a tube of gold or pewter burnish. I think that's what it's called. I have a tube of gold, you just wipe it on and it gilds the metal. worked on an old mirror of my grandmother's.