Thrifty Lamp Makeover with Spray Paint


Hi guys…this is going to be short, but very sweet.  It’s a cold Friday night here in Michigan, and my husband and I have a nice fire burning after a long day of work and chores.  I am ready to chill, and do nothing, how about you?  I can’t do that though until I tell you about my “Thrifty Lamp Makeover with Spray Paint”.  If you have a lamp that you want to change the color of there is no need to buy a new one.  All you have to do is spray it with spray paint.  I give a full step-by-step tutorial at the bottom this article  if you want to skip right to that.

I found these rusty dusty twins way up high on the thrift store shelf for $10 each.    I fell in love with the curvy, large, mid-century modern shape.  The photo below shows what they looked like exactly when I brought them home, but they are missing the wooden finials that I had unscrewed to transport these in my car with the shade off..
Step by step tutorial: Thrifty Lamp Makeover with Spray Paint! Go ahead and paint that ugly lamp!

I don’t think these ladies are that old.  The shade looked to be the original, but the color of the lamp base was ugly to me, so I took them home and sprayed them both a deep navy blue (exact paint is listed below).


Step by step tutorial: Thrifty Lamp Makeover with Spray Paint! Go ahead and paint that ugly lamp!

Sylvia likes it, how about you?  I feel it looks fantastic on the vintage sewing machine table I saved a few weeks ago, and it almost matches my new blanket perfectly 😯 .

Step by step tutorial: Thrifty Lamp Makeover with Spray Paint! Go ahead and paint that ugly lamp!

This was very easy to do, so I did both of them, and the other one is on my desk which is in the same room.  Stay tuned because this is all part of a huge transformation in our living room.  If you look closely, there is a hint in the mirror up above in the photo Sylvia is in.

Step by step tutorial: Thrifty Lamp Makeover with Spray Paint! Go ahead and paint that ugly lamp!

*** Some of the links in this post may contain affiliate links for your convenience.  Read full disclosure policy here.


  1. Prepare your lamp by cleaning off all dust/dirt and removing the lamp shade.
  2. Tape areas that you do not want painted with blue painters tape including the cord (CLICK HERE FOR PAINTERS TAPE).
  3. Use tin foil to cover larger areas that you don’t want to tape.
  4. Place lamp in well ventilated outdoor area on a drop cloth away from any heat source.
  5. Wear all safety equipment including a mask, gloves, and goggles.
  6. Shake spray paint can vigorously to make sure it is well mixed (CLICK HERE FOR EXACT BLUE SPRAY PAINT USED).
  7. Read directions on can to know how far to spray away from object.
  8. Sway back and forth when spraying and don’t expect it to cover in 1 coat.  I did 3 coats and let it dry thoroughly in-between each coat.
  9. If you get a drip, sand it lightly and re-spray.




Step by step tutorial: Thrifty Lamp Makeover with Spray Paint! Go ahead and paint that ugly lamp!


Step by step tutorial: Thrifty Lamp Makeover with Spray Paint! Go ahead and paint that ugly lamp!


Step by step tutorial: Thrifty Lamp Makeover with Spray Paint! Go ahead and paint that ugly lamp!

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29 Responses

  1. Oh my goodness! She looks like my Jazz (cat)

  2. ColleenB.~ Tx. says:

    Great find / bargain on them lamps.
    Oh, my, much prettier color for your new found lamp. Amazing what a little spray can do to change things up a bit. Makes your lamp look so much better and looks there sitting upon your sewing cabinet

  3. Dad says:

    I am handy around the house with ideas, but you have me beat my a long way, love, Dad in NY The lamps turned out great.

  4. Denise Kovacs says:

    Great job , love the lamps . Smart idea

  5. Debra M says:

    Omg! These are beautiful! What a lucky find!

  6. Susan says:

    The color is amazing! Great upcycle. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Shelley says:

    They look like expensive designer lamps! Kudos!
    Plus I love the deep blue! I’ve always loved a blue and white color scheme, but the lines of these lamps and the color blue you chose made it so updated and sophisticated!

  8. Chrystal says:

    The lamps go perfect with your decor. Paint is wonderful for making a big change.

  9. Cheryl Wilk says:

    Beautiful!! Lamp is stunning.
    How does Sylvia not shred that gorgeous sofa?

  10. Colleen says:

    Hey Redhead, Perfect timing on this post for me. I am looking for new lamps, but have some in a box marked donate that I like the shape of and Wondered about painting them. You’ve inspired me but the shades are not in as nice shape. Any tips on how to find new shades when reviving old lamps?

    • Julie says:

      Hey Colleen! I tried painting a lamp shade once and it didn’t do much because of the light that shows through it. I have ordered shades on line a couple times. They have every shape you could ever imagine. Target has some, too!

  11. Julie says:

    Beeeutiful! love that shade of blue too. I tell my friends instead of spending crazy money at the furniture stores re living room accessories, you’ll be surprised what you can find at resale/thrift stores for a little of nothing. All my floor lamps and table lamps, with exception of two, have come from yard sales/thrift stores! You’ve got to look past the current appearance and visualize what it COULD look like. Some can do it, and some not, and yet lucky the ones who can! I’m sure like you, Julie, I have so many different colors of spray paint it’s like my box of crayons!

  12. BETTE QUERIN says:

    Hi again:
    This time you have outdone yourself! Lamps are gorgeous.
    I just gave two of 25 year old lamps to my son and I am thinking of asking for them back and try this. Mine have a glass bowl in the middle which I could fill with flowers etc.
    Thanks Julie

  13. Wilma says:

    I have those exact lamps sitting in my storage room and last week I was wondering if I could possibly spray paint them. Thanks for the great idea.

    • Julie says:

      No way!!! ?

      • becky says:

        Hi Julie! ~ Seems like every time you do something creative, Sylvia is right there to give you her approval! ~ I love the gorgeous curves of these beautiful lamps! I didn’t realize you could spray paint ceramic, great to know! ~ I once painted an old lamp shade with craft paint, (50 cent bottle from Walmart) & it turned out great! (instead of a spray paint) &, I love how the shades of blues are flowing into each other so well…..aren’t those vintage Avon cream & powder containers on your sewing table?
        Stay warm back in Michigan… has been 75 during the day in No. California…teasing us with Spring, which is still really about 50 – some days from now!

        • Julie says:

          You have an amazing eye! You are the first person to notice the AVON jar! It is from my Mom and I fill it with buttons. I use to go through her makeup and jewelry drawer as a little girl so that jar is one of my favorite treasures. It still has sent when you open it! The other one is just a candle from HomeGoods that reminded me of the original ? Had to have it. Have a great day, girl!

  14. Lynn says:

    Hi Julie – Wisconsin here…where do you spray paint in the winter? I have lots to do but thought I’d have to wait till spring. No basement and the garage is unheated.

    • Julie says:

      Hi Lynn, great question! My garage isn’t heated, but it was 35 out and was close to 50 in garage. 48 to be exact. Anything below 35 out though I wait until it warms up.

  15. Kyle says:

    Love your lamps! Perfect! Love the kitty too!

  16. Ivory says:

    OMG Julie, these lamps are fabulous. I love, love, love the color you selected. perfect match to your couch. I am 100% not surprised that you nailed this DIY, because you never disappoint in you designs.

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