PROJECT: Lamp Makeover

In the mid-1990s, my sister and I moved into an apartment together, which we shared for a few years. We each had our own master suites at opposite sides of the apartment, which was fabulous! Within the first two weeks of living there, I bought a queen-size cherry sleigh bed, two square cherry side tables and two coordinating candlestick lamps for my bedroom.

A year or so later, I thought the lampshades were boring, so I dressed them up with fringe and beads. Yes, I know. It was a little over-the-top. But… they have stood the test of time… as have the bed and tables. What can I say? When I like something, I make it last….

But… recently I realized I was ready to update the lamps and give them a new life (and relocate them to my living room)! Here’s how it all turned out….


Before & After


Shade Details

shade-oldshade-newFinal Outcome

new lamp
Ahh. This is way more comfortable and less fussy. You can even see a glimpse of my table and bed in this photo…. 😉

White paint (I used acrylic)
Ivory paint (again, I used acrylic)
Sponge paint brush
Matte or gloss varnish (optional)
Lamp base
Decorative trim (optional)
Hot glue (or any glue, optional)
New lamp shade (optional)

No big mystery here. Just paint the lamp base with several coats, alternating the white and ivory (or whatever color you want to use) for depth. Let it dry. If you prefer a more rustic feel, you can use sandpaper to remove some of the paint. Seal with varnish. Dry again. Done!

If you want to add trim, simply measure the top and bottom edges of your shade. Buy that much trim. Glue it on. Done! OR… if you buy a flat trim and want to ruffle it, buy 2.5 to 3 times the length of your top-and-bottom edge measurement. For example, if your lamp shade measures 12″ on top and 24″ on the bottom (total of 36″), then buy 2.5 to 3 yards of trim. You will then need to run a simple running stitch down the length of the trim to gather it into your 12″ and 24″ ruffly lengths. Glue it into place.

I plan to makeover the tables, soon, as well. I don’t know exactly what I want to do with them yet, but the tops have been gunked up over the years from melted candle wax and water spills. They’re also quite formal and I’d like to tone them down so they feel more “friendly”. Can’t wait!

Your thoughts? Anyone, anyone....

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