DIY: Lamp Makeover

By on February 4, 2014

I used to think the storage room in my garage was filled with lots of junk. I still think that, but recently, I’ve realized there’s treasure hidden beneath all the junk my family has collected over the years. There was an absolutely gorgeous mirror trapped in one corner before I pulled him out; I’m resisting the urge to paint the frame gold. I found a couple of end tables that I hope to fix up soon. And then I saw this geometric lamp.

I didn’t think too much of it at first; it was too boring to be ugly. But I needed a new desk lamp, so I grabbed it and decided to fix it up when I had the chance.

A few tips: Before you paint, make sure your object is clean. If it has a glossy surface, sand it just a little bit so the paint will stick better and not peel or chip off later. Use painter’s tape to block off areas you don’t want covered in paint. And as always, if you’re using spray paint or anything that gives off fumes, take it outside or to a well-ventilated area.

I spray painted the base of my lamp gold for two reasons: 1) everything should be gold, and 2) it was the only can that wasn’t empty. If you’re like me, you just want to pick up the can and start spraying everything in sight. Don’t be like me. Take your time. Use sweeping motions as you spray, and don’t get too close to your object. If you get too close, the paint will pool in that area and drip down, and it will dry that way. My lamp looks a bit like molten gold, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; but that’s generally not the look anyone goes for.

I had several ideas in mind for the lamp shade, and it took some trial and error before I ended up with the final result. At first, I tried painting it. But the paint and the fabric of the shade weren’t really getting along that well. There were brush strokes everywhere. Plus, it was taking way too many coats to block out the original pattern. I knew that eventually, the paint would just crack and peel off and be gross.

Then I had the bright idea to try fabric! I ended up using a piece of Kraft paper to make a pattern (any scrap sheet of paper will do). I placed the paper on the shade to find an area that would lie down flat, and I marked the top and bottom areas. I used a ruler to connect the lines, and then I cut the pattern out with an extra ½-inch border all the way around it; the added measurement allows the fabric to drape over the top and bottom edges of the shade and also allows each piece to slightly overlap and prevent the original shade from peeking through.

Using the pattern, I cut out the number of fabric pieces I would need to cover the entire shade. After that, it was as easy as hot gluing each piece of fabric to the lamp shade. I glued each side of the pieces down and then went back to secure the tops and bottoms.

Because the images on the fabric pieces don’t perfectly line up, I wanted there to be a sort of border between them. I went with two different ribbons, a black lace and a metallic gold. I was able to thread the gold ribbon through the holes in the black ribbon, and then I glued them on top of the fabric where the pieces overlapped.

And now, I have a lovely “Parisian” lamp to look at instead of focusing on my homework!

Total price: $0.00

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About Gwendolyn Pate

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