Emily Counts
Emily Counts
  • Hometalker
  • Ankeny, IA

Thrift Store Lamp Makeover

9 Materials
$15
2 Hours
Easy

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Giving thrift store finds a makeover is a great way to decorate your home on a budget! I love shopping for secondhand finds and giving them a makeover. When I stumbled upon this large wooden lamp at my local thrift store, I just knew it had to come home with me.

My secondhand lamp is large and even came with a brand new shade (score!) but it wasn't exactly my style. To give it that modern look that I love so much, I painted the base and recovered the lampshade.

This is a thrifty project that is easy to accomplish and doesn't take long, both criteria for me as a busy working mom.

thrift store lamp makeover

First, I spray painted a metallic brass color around the top where the light bulb screws in. The brass was a great improvement from the old gold color.


Then I covered the lamp base with a primer followed by a coat of satin enamel paint that cures hard and results in a beautiful glossy finish.

thrift store lamp makeover

While the paint was drying, it was time to update the lampshade. I wanted to give it a little pizzazz and had seen velvet lampshades popping up online.


I remembered a bag of gorgeous blue velvet fabric I scored at the thrift store ages ago and there was just enough to use for my lampshade (don't you love when things work out like that?).


I traced the edge of the shade onto the backside of the fabric and then cut it out, leaving a small overage along the cut to allow for the fabric to fold over the edge of the shade.

thrift store lamp makeover

I used spray adhesive to adhere the velvet onto the lampshade. I found it worked best to work with the adhesive in small sections at a time.

thrift store lamp makeover

See how pretty this lamp makeover turned out! And it was such an affordable project thanks to thrift store finds and inexpensive paint.


To complete the lamp, I added a couple of DIY tassels around the neck. I think they are the perfect finishing touch!


If you love this DIY lamp makeover and want to see other thrifty projects, be sure to check out all of my thrift store makeovers on my blog!

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Emily Counts

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Marge
    on Apr 28, 2019

    What did you do with the edge of the material to adhere/hide raw edge? Not sure how you traced pattern enough to cover the entire old shade. I was thinking of using a lighter material, so light could show through. Would that work? Sorry I’m not very crafty. Great idea.

    • Carey
      on May 7, 2019

      If you are going to use a lighter fabric, it would be a good idea to test the spray adhesive that you are planning to use on another surface with the fabric. Some adhesives will show through and not be as pretty, esp. if you are wanting the light to show through it. You might find that the adhesive shows through the fabric when the light is on. If that happens, make your pattern and then use adhesive only where the wire is & the seam. Carefully adhering one edge in place, stretch the fabric around and then glue it in place at the same seam edge. Be sure to leave enough extra top and bottom to allow for error, since it can easily be trimmed off once the glue is set. Then get some trim that completes the look you are going for and glue it in place at the top and bottom. My husbands Aunt Molly, years ago, saw me working to cover a lamp shade & told me that when she was young she worked creating lamp shades, so she told me how to do it. I was starting with a bare wire form. She told me to make 1" wide strips of cotton (I used an old white Sheet), and wrap all of the wires. This makes it easier to keep the fabric in place and gave me something to stitch too. I hand stitched the fabric on the inside to the form at all the seams (two seams) Then I put a lining on the inside so that looks good inside and out! I found some black lace with Silver that I used to decorate it, stitched it in place and some long black fringe. The fringe was expensive but was definitely worth it. I covered the seams with some Black braid, glued the fringe in place and put silver filigree conch type metal to cover the joints of the braid on both sides. I do not know how to add a picture that actually shows the lamp. For some reason it cut my pictures down so much the the project is pretty much lost. All the expense was in new fabrics, braid and Lace for this lamp. I found the opal lamp in a garbage can one day as I was driving down the street and couldn't pass it up. I have an antique hanging lamp that matches it, that I have had for many years!! And I love the Opal glass!

  • Verlyn Olsberg
    on Apr 29, 2019

    Could I just spray a desired color of paint directly onto the shade?

    • Cathy
      on May 19, 2019

      I have a question how do you read paint ceramic lamps and get the paint to stick

Join the conversation

2 of 8 comments
  • Debbie
    on May 23, 2019

    that lamp loos like it was hundreds of dollars you paid for it. love it

  • Sue
    on May 28, 2019

    Way cool,I love it,especially the blue velvet,nice job.

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