Updating Thrift Store Lamps

4 Materials
2 Days

I found a great set of lamps at our local Habitat for Humanity Restore! They have a great Jug like shape and were only $10 each! They were missing their lamp shades, but fortunately, that is an easy fix!

I was not a huge fan of the pink and purple painting on them, so this is what I did to update them and make them fit better into my home.

Clean them with a damp cloth. Tape off anything you do not want to get paint on! Everything! You will not believe where spray paint will get into! I used painter's tape to tape off the wooden parts at the base and then press and seal (or you could use Saran Wrap) to cover the harps and the light switch.

Tape off the part of the cord that connects to the lamp. Use Press and Seal, Saran Wrap or a plastic bag to cover the entire cord to prevent paint from getting on it.

Now you are ready to prime! Paint outside or in a place that has good ventilation. I painted these in my basement with the door open. I used a spray paint primer first.

After the primer is dry, I sprayed 3 thin coats of this spray paint. I waited for each coat to dry before applying another coat. Make sure your coat is dry before spraying it again. I like to wait several hours in between coats to make sure it is dry. So, depending on how many coats you apply, this make take 2-3 days to allow for drying time.

This is the spray paint I used, but any spray paint will work- just pick the sheen and color you prefer!

Once your paint is dry and you are happy with the coverage of the paint, carefully remove the tape and plastic wrap.

If your lamp did not come with it's original shade, then you will have to find one that you like. Amazon and Target are great places to find a wide variety of color and sizes of lamp shades.

I love the little wood piece at the top!

Now I have a quality set of lamps that look brand new! Always check the lamp section of your local thrift store. Do not worry about the color, rather look at the shape! Anything can be fixed with paint! Oh and one final tip...check to make sure the lamp works before you purchase it icon

Suggested materials:
  • Painter's Tape   (Hardware Store)
  • Plastic Wrap/Plastic Bag   (Grocery Store)
  • Primer Spray Paint   (Hardware Store)
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 1 comment
  • Flipturn Flipturn on Mar 02, 2022

    The base looks new and more modern. I would suggest to now add some trim to the plain shade. Doing this would give energy to the lamp and have it look more high end.

    Here are some examples of how you can easily embellish a lampshade.