How To Refurbish A Metal Desk Lamp The Spruce

July 13, 2018 4:03 am by sandiego
How to refurbish a floor lamp
Top 100 creative and intriguing table lamps for modern interiors
How To Refurbish A Metal Desk Lamp The Spruce

Jenna went all-in with a brass lamp she picked up from a thrift store by painting the base a lively shade of turquoise. The metal lamp base accepted the paint beautifully, resulting in a smooth, professional-looking finish.

Sonya knows that lamps can get pretty pricey, so she opted to make over a five-dollar find instead. Again, gold spray paint got this lamp ready to shine again; but, some preppy black-and-white wrapping paper sporting cabana stripes really brought the lamp to another level. A classy black shade ties the project together.

Would you believe this gorgeous goose neck lamp was once Kelly green and cost just five bucks? Carolyn found a pair of these desk lamps on clearance and instantly saw their potential to be transformed with metallic spray paint.

Materials2 in 1 spray primer/paint (provides the best coverage)Painter’s tapeNewspaperPrep the Old Metal Desk LampBefore you paint the lamp, wipe off the surface with a rag to remove any dust. Don’t use a dusting polish or oil since they can cause the paint to not stick properly.

If there is any sticky residue or a heavy coat of dust on the lamp’s surface, dampen the rag with a gentle cleanser and water and wipe the area until it is clean. Re-wipe with a dry rag or paper towel to remove the cleanser and water.

Make sure the lamp is completely dry before continuing on with the refurbishing process.After you’ve cleaned the lamp, tape off any sections you don’t want to be painted. This should include the electrical outlet and any other electrical components, such as the light socket or switch.

Use newspaper to cover larger areas and use painter’s tape to tape down the newspaper.Paint the LampTake your lamp outside or to another well-ventilated area, such as a patio or garage with the garage door open.

Lay down newspaper or a drop cloth to protect any flooring or other surfaces. Place the lamp in an upright position and begin applying the primer/paint spray. Apply the primer/paint in thin, light coats.

This may take some time, but it will give you a smoother finish and prevent the paint from running or bubbling.Tip: Wait 15-30 minutes between each coat to speed up the overall drying process and to help further prevent the paint from running or bubbling.

Screw in a light bulb and check to make sure the lamp works correctly. Then, place the lamp in a room of your choice to add additional lighting.

If you are painting a wooden lamp frame, refer to How to Paint Wood for more detailed information.

And finally, the power of spray paint to transform an object never ceases to amaze, and yet it’s practically effortless. By simply changing the color of a lamp base and topping it with a stylish shade to match your style, you can turn a lackluster lamp into something special. 

Floor lamps are a great way to provide lighting to your home. If you’re looking to revamp an old floor lamp or you have one that is just not your taste of color, refurbish it to match your decorating style and fit your personality.

When Kristi inherited a pair of brass and crystal lamps from her grandmother she was thrilled to have them, but felt they needed an update to fit the style of her bedroom.

While you are waiting for the primer and paint to dry on your lamp frame, start refurbishing the lamp shade. You can refurbish a lamp shade in the following ways:

First, she sprayed the inside of the shade copper, which would certainly look gorgeous when lit. Then, she painted the outside of the shade with a riotous color combination. Finally, she unified the project by mirroring the…MORE colors of the shade in some hand-painted stripes on the lamp base as well as pom-pom fringe.

Lamps are on of the easiest things to transform with a can of spray paint for a couple of different reasons. First, you will get a lot of bang for your buck. Most lamps would take less than one can of paint to cover. In addition, outdated, unattractive lamp bases are easy to find at thrift stores and yard sales, which means you can pick up several for a song. 

Metal desk lamps not only provide lighting for your home, they’re also timeless home accents that can easily be refurbished to fit a room’s decor. They provide just ​the right amount of lighting without brightening the whole room.

Gold spray paint has an amazing ability to turn ordinary objects into expensive-looking home decor. In this case, a coat of hammered gold gave this desk lamp a much more sophisticated feel, and mimics the look of trendy swing arm lamps for a fraction of the cost. 

Handan’s first instinct when regarding an old lamp living in her basement was to spray paint its base; however, she would still have to search for a shade to replace the outdated, ripped one. So instead of spray painting the base, she wrapped it with rope.

Let the paint completely dry. This can take overnight or longer. For best results, carefully bring the lamp indoors or in an area protected from the outside elements. If the paint is still sticky or tacky the next day, let the lamp dry for an additional day.

Finishing Touches

After the lamp is completely dry, gently remove any newspaper and painter’s tape. Make sure there is no wet paint or pieces of painter’s tape in any of the electrical components or on the socket. Always use caution and be careful when working with electric items.

This floor lamp originally had a fussy, Victorian-vibe with a dark iron base and a rose-colored tapered shade with fringe. After this clever blogger revamped the lamp’s base with spray paint, she turned her attention to the shade.

Industrial…MORE Lamp with Rope Base from The Navage Patch 

The brass sections of the lamp base and their original, tailored shades really dated these hand-me-downs. By spray painting just the brass parts with a glossy white paint and leaving the crystal parts intact, Kristi was able to retain the lamps’ original beauty and elegance. The modern silhouette of simple linen drum shades…MORE further updated the look of these inherited lamps, allowing a new generation to enjoy them.

After you sand the lamp frame, apply a primer and paint in multiple thin coats. Make sure you select the right kind of primer and paint for your lamp frame.

If you are painting a metal lamp frame, refer to How to Paint Metal for more detailed information.

But spray paint still had a part to play! Handan ripped the fabric off the lamp shade and spray painted its frame black–along with the rest of the lamp’s metal parts–which gave the lamp the industrial feel she was going for.

If the shade is made of plastic, you can use the same water and vinegar solution you used on the lamp frame.If the shade is covered in fabric, use a vacuum to clean thoroughly.Prep for Painting

To clean the lampshade, wipe it down with a slightly damp rag to remove dust and cobwebs.

Apply any primer or paint in a well-ventilated area. Make sure you let the paint completely dry before putting everything back together. This can take anywhere from a couple hours to overnight. Just make sure it is no longer sticky or tacky before bringing it back into your home.

If you have an old metal desk lamp that needs updating or you’ve picked up a used one that has a bit of wear and tear, refurbish your lamp with a new coat of paint. Pick a bright and vibrant color to make your lamp an accent piece to a room or pick a neutral color to blend in with any existing decor.

By now you know what an effect a can of spray paint can have on a lamp, but what about a bottle of juice? It’s possible to change the very shape of a lamp base by using empty bottles that have been disguised with spray paint. To complete the fake-out, the finial and a washer from the hardware store were painted gold for a glamorous touch. Here are the step-by-step instructions for making a trendy gourd lamp.

Old lamps collect dust and cobwebs. Before you begin refurbishing your floor lamp, remove the lamp shade(s) and set aside. Then, clean the lamp frame thoroughly with a cleansing wipe or a solution of water and vinegar on a rag. Be careful not to get any water or moisture in the light socket.

After all the paint has dried and your shade is ready for re-assembly, remove the painter’s tape and newspaper covering the light sockets and power plug. Then, place the shade(s) back on the lamp and screw in a new light bulb (or bulbs).

But spray paint isn’t the only thing you can use to completely change the look of a lamp. These clever bloggers altered lamp bases with other materials such as rope, wrapping paper and even an empty juice bottle!

Secondly, lamp bases are typically made of either metal, ceramic or wood–three materials perfect for spray paint because they require…MORE little to no sanding and accept paint very well. If you’re a newcomer to DIY or upcycling home decor projects, starting with a lamp will result in a project you’ll be proud of, giving you confidence to try other things. (Here are some spray painting tips to get you started.)

Note: Before you begin refurbishing your floor lamp, make sure it is not plugged in and all light bulbs are removed.

The lamp was missing its shade, but Jenna saw this as the perfect opportunity to add even more personality with this red and yellow bird-patterned lampshade.

Here’s another example of how quick and easy it is to give a lamp a lift with gold spray paint. This candlestick lamp was nothing special until it received the Midas touch. Its new look called for a new shade, of course. A rectangular shape keeps the lamp from looking too traditional and the crisp white of the shade makes a statement against a dark wall.

Cover any light sockets and power plugs with newspaper and/or painter’s tape. You do not want any paint to get in the mechanical parts of the lamp.Sand any wood or metal portions of the lamp frame to remove some of the old paint and prep the surface for the primer and paint.

Tip: Wear a painter’s mask and goggles to prevent any of the sanding dust from getting into your nose, mouth, and eyes. Wipe off the frame to remove any of the sanding dust.Prime and Paint

Before painting your floor lamp a new color, you must perform the following:

How to Refurbish a Metal Desk Lamp Paint an Old Lamp to Give it a New Look

cover the outside of the shade with fabricapply buttons or other embellishments decoupage paper or wallpaper on the outside of the shadepaint on stenciled letters or designsapply ribbons in a variety of patternscover in gold leafPut it Back Together

If your lamp has a dingy or old shade, don’t throw it out. Refurbish the lamp shade as well to save money and make it your own.

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