Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The ugliest lamp in the world

A couple of months ago, I picked up a lamp at the Bargain Loft thrift store in Herndon. It was pretty hideous and also broken. The harness was detached from the base, and though it was possible to shove it back in I highly doubted it would be safe to use as is. Also, the shade was enormous. But it was only $10, so I figured I could fix it all up and make good use of it. 


The ceramic base was a shiny brown and the faux bamboo was a matte cream. The combination was pretty dated and not in a fun, cool, retro way. In a seriously ugly way. But I figured I could fix that with my new bestie: spray paint! First, I had the harness fixed at a little lighting shop nearby called Lamp & Lighting Gallery in Fairfax, VA. They fixed it right up overnight for about $25. They did wonderful work and I plan to take in another one of my flea market finds in the near future.

From there, it was time to paint. I taped off the top and the cord so they wouldn't get painted and got to priming.


I used Rustoleum Ultra Cover primer after thoroughly wiping off the lamp with soap and water. One annoying aspect of spray painting in Virginia though is that you really have to pay attention to the weather. Spray paint doesn't dry well when it is too cold or too humid so I had to wait and wait and wait for a good day to do the painting. It was a little too cold the first day I sprayed primer and it stayed tacky and wet for several days. It finally dried, but it took much longer to cure than the can said it would.

And then I had to wait and wait and wait some more until another good day to add the color. I settled on a vivid green, which I think is going to work nicely in the office once I finally get finished decluttering in there. 


If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already saw this photo of Chester supervising the painting process last week. He reminded me to use very thin coats when applying the paint.

Don't mind Monroe there on the television.

Though I think this will end up more permanently in the office, I'm sort of liking it here for the moment. I also replaced the shade with one I found at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Chantilly for $2. They had piles of them in just the right size. I may recover it further down the line depending on what I end up with window treatment and rug wise in the office. This shade is definitely a better size than the huge one it came with. Plus I have other plans for that enormous shade now too.


So, for the budget breakdown, here's how it worked out:

Thrift shop lamp: $10
Lamp repair: $25
Rustoleum primer: free (left over from another project)
Rustoleum Painter's Touch in Gloss Meadow Green: $3.87
Thrift shop shade: $2
TOTAL: $40.87

Not bad considering even a ceramic lamp at Target will probably run close to $50 in this size. The base itself is 16" tall. With the shade and finial, it's closer to 27" tall. That's a serious statement for a lamp and I'm looking forward to getting it into position where it belongs once we start in on the office. We're decluttering up a storm in there, by the way. Just wait!

So how about you? Are you longing for nice days to do some spray painting of your own? I've got one more  spraying project to do and I just. can't. wait.
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