How to Paint A Lamp

3 Materials
$10
20 Minutes
Easy

Have you ever donated a lamp or sold it at a garage sale because it was out of style? If you have then this post is for you! I’ll walk you through the steps to painting a lamp! This process works for metal lamps, plastic lamps and wood. Get ready to save money by easily updating your lamps with paint!

Supplies to Paint a Lamp


  1. Lamp
  2. Shabby Paints Lillian Gray .
  3. 2″ chip brush
  4. Small amount of water
Above is a picture of the lamp before I painted it! I purchased this lamp at an auction. I attend an auction where there are not many people that want old lamps. I’m pretty fortunate to pay about $1 for each lamp. The auctioneer plugs the lamps in so you know they work before you buy! Whoohoo! To begin wipe lamp clean with a shop towel. This will help to remove any dust or debris that may have collected.When lamp is clean you are ready to paint! I used Shabby Paints Lillian Gray as a base coat for this lamp. Dip your 2″ chip brush into your paint and apply one coat of paint to the lamp. Let dry and repeat the same process until the lamp is completely covered in Gray Paint.
TIP: Brands of Paint I have personally used to paint lamps are Dixie Belle, Annie Sloan and Jolie. These paints all adhere great to lamps! When paint is fully dry on lamp you are ready to add a whitewash!Add a small amount of water to a bowl. Dip your 2″ paint brush into white chalk paint or mineral based paint. You want to only dip the tips of the bristles into the paint. Not the entire brush. After the tips of the bristles have a small amount of paint on them dip the bristle tips into the bowl of water. You just want the end of the tips to have a small amount of water. After you have done this brush the the tips of the brush over the gray painted lamp. Going back and forth with your brush until the paint dries as you are painting. This helps to fade out the paint and prevents any brush marks from being shown. Keep repeating this process until you have white washed the entire lamp. Let lamp completely dry and seal with a furniture wax! I lightly sealed this lamp with Annie Sloan’s finishing wax. Place a lamp shade on top of your lamp and your lamp is ready!QUICK TIP: If you are missing the top screw/spindle (technical term is Finial) to your lamp you can use a wood drawer knob! I had some old wooden drawer knobs on hand from furniture projects. I was excited that It fit perfectly ontop of my lamp!
In the above picture I am painting the wooden knob the same way as I painted the lamp base. You’ll want to make sure this has dried before attaching to your lamp. 
Placing the painted wooden knob on top of the lampshade!! Yae! I was so excited for this discovery as I REALLY didn’t want to make a run to the hardware store for this missing piece. I hope this tip can help you too!
Completed lamp! This is a simple and very affordable way to update lamps in your home. You can TOTALLY do this lamp update in your home!Do you like the painted lamp? I would love to hear your thoughts! Comment below. :)
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Megan

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

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Susans
    on Jan 14, 2020

    Was the entire lamp wood? I have a lamp that is ceramic. Can you paint that?

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4 of 24 comments
  • Val
    on Jan 19, 2020

    beautiful job!

  • Louise
    on Feb 2, 2020

    Cool update! It looks fab. I also update my lamps with spay paint. Ive got a lamp its been 5 different colours so far ha. Thanks for sharing

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