Thrift Store Lamp Upcycle.

3 Materials
20 Minutes

I turned a thrift store lamp into a show stopper with chalk paint and some white wax.

I have been loving the look of concrete lately. I have spied a few beautiful concrete look lamps at Pottery Barn that I absolutely love but they are $300.00 and I just didn't want to spent that much on a lamp.

I found this very 80's lamp at my favorite thrift store. It had the perfect shape and size and worked perfectly. The best part was it was only $5.00!

I started by removing the lamp harp, wiping it down with soap and water to get all the grime off and get it ready to paint. I taped off the light socket to keep that paint free.

Next, I started painting the base with some charcoal colored chalk paint I had left over from another project. I applied it with a foam brush to keep the strokes smooth.

What I love about chalk paint is you can just start painting!

After the first coat, there were a few streaks so I knew it would need a few coats. I let the paint dry completely between coats.

I gave the base a total of four light coats in all to get it completely covered.

After it dried completely, it was time for wax. I had some white wax left over from another project. I decided to use an old sock to apply it.

I just applied the wax all over the body. I applied it pretty heavy and just kept wiping off and adding until I got the look I wanted.

I let the wax dry completely when I was done.

Finally, I found a lamp shade that worked. I had this one on hand from another lamp that I had upgraded the shade on.

I really love the way it turned out! This was a super simple and inexpensive project!!

Now to find another! I need a matching pair!

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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 5 questions
  • Linda Linda on Jun 01, 2020

    What did you use for the base of the lamp?

  • Alex Alex on Jun 02, 2020

    What's a lamp harp, please?

    And I love how it turned out. Much better.

  • Patti Patti on Jun 04, 2020

    I just painted the lamp base. The color is perfect and I love it. I bought liming wax but don't know exactly what that does to the finish. Does it lighten it since it is white wax? Does it give the color a faint shine?

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3 of 41 comments
  • Cindy Cindy on Jun 05, 2020

    Great job ! 🎍 I too purchased a thrift store lamp that is perfectly round and a bunch of white rope...but I love your idea better ! I was not aware you could paint ceramic with chalk paint. I really wasn't trying for a nautical look, so painting I can get behind. Now a shade...hmmm.

    • Leslie Leslie on Jun 01, 2022

      Hi Cindy, if your lamp is round look into "coolie hat" or just "coolie" lamp shades. Good luck.

  • Liz Liz on Sep 21, 2020

    Love the lamp. I was thinking of getting new lamps but after seeing this project, I’m doing this instead. Thanks