Lamp Loveliness

This is another one of my finds from the fabulous estate sale. The one where I regret not buying more. I got this on day 2 and so my $5 lamp cost me a whopping $4. It's hard to tell from this shot but it's pretty darn tall. How could I pass that up for $4? I could not.

The wiring was pretty old and looked like it was covered in fabric. It originally had two bulbs with a brass fitting. I'm not sure what the shade would have looked like but it's getting a new and bit more modern one put on.

The base is 14" in diameter and pretty scuffed up. But I loved the shape of it. So, I thought I could try to make it beautiful again.

The socket just unscrewed. No, my knuckles are not hairy. My husband did the wiring.That whole socket is going to be replaced with a 3 way socket. I guess I could have reused that one but I really like 3 ways. Lamps that is.

Here it is with the new wiring threaded through. He attached the end of the wiring with blue tape to some stiffer wire to help it thread easier through the base and out the top. Now, if it was me I would have just taped it to the old wiring before pulling it out. But whatever. I let him do it his way.

Then I had to use a little wood glue and some clamps. The pole was split, which I split even more while getting it into the car. But having it it two pieces did making threading the wire easier. I let it dry overnight.

I gave it some sanding. I was trying to smooth out some rough spots and then I filled a couple of gouges that were bugging me. Always sand last with something fine so that you have a smooth finish to work with. I put on about 3 coats of creamy white paint. This was a Lowe's color that I was wanting to use up because this little sample can was getting cruddy. The name has the word tequila in it, funny how I remember that.

After all that painting what did I do? I sanded it yet again. Here and there. Sometime too much here so then I would go back over it with the tequila and lightly dry brush it so it was more subtle. Because there was still some dents and rough spots I figured I should just go with it. I then mixed some of light tan color that looks like melted chocolate ice cream with some glaze. This is the best way to get a sheer color. It gives you time to work with it and if you don't like it, wipe it off.  I then added some burnt umber at the end and dabbed it in the little crevices. I wasn't crazy about how the base looked in the picture below. So, once again I went over it lightly with more tequila. There is no science to it. It's all matter of what you like and that is why this is forgiving. Just keep your colors handy and go back and forth. I like to let each layer dry so that it doesn't get muddy but I wasn't working with dark colors so it wasn't bad if I rushed it a bit.

This is what I wanted. Sheer color and some sheen.

I'm leaving the plastic on the shade until I decide if I like it. I love the shade. It has a nice nubby texture. I feel like it's still too small and I was hoping for some opinions. The lamp is just so tall. Ignore the dead leaf in the corner. I'm not having a green thumb lately on my indoor plants.

So, what do you think? Bigger shade?

Update: I just wanted to add that I have been looking all day online for a extra large shade that doesn't cost a gazillion dollars. I found this one from Pottery Barn. Bottom 17", top: 14", height: 10.5. Opinions?? Not big enough? Too white? If anyone has an idea on where to look please let me know. Thanks so much!

I am linking up with:
Meridian Road Re-do Private Party
Domestically Speaking Power of Paint Party


  1. That shade does look rather small. It almost looks as if it is the same size of the base, and that just looks small to me. But, I am only one person. I love your makeover of the lamp, very nice.

  2. That's a great makeover! It looks like a completely different lamp. And for $4, too! Very pretty!

    I think a bigger wicker or rattan shade would look awesome on it. Something really textural. But the one on it isn't bad. A little small, but nothing people will point at, you know?

    Thanks for linking up!

  3. Hi Anita,
    Great redo on your lamp! It looks like a million bucks now! I agree with you, the shade does seem on the small side for the size of the lamp, but I like the style. And I really love your wicker chair and that gorgeous pillow, too!

  4. Anita I LOVE it....WOW....$4- tiny bucks....You made it look like a MILLION....!!

    I bet it makes you smile every time you look at it....!!

    Cheers from Oz,
    Tamarah :o)

  5. Love the standard lamp, I have a couple in my home too, that I have painted in a similar colour. Mine have the old fashioned shades on them, one is ducky pink, the other sage green. I think that the shade you have on it is a nice shape and colour, but too small. I love the quilt and cushion in the picture too, by the way!
    xx Karen

  6. lol I meant dusky pink,,,what the heck is ducky pink, duh, lol!

  7. Love the lamp makeover. Also like the pottery barn shade IF it's big enough. Nothing worse than a lamp with too-small shade. To economize you could find a cheaper plain shade and embellish it yourself with trim to match your decor. I've done that before.

  8. That lamp turned out BEAUTIFUL!! I have lamp envy! I agree; bigger shade would make a better impact and I really like that one you saw a Pottery Barn but clearly your skills could be used to fix up a plainer one, too! Good luck!

  9. Wow, great find! It looks so pretty now! Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek at my table project!


  10. The lamp came out great. I do think it needs a bigger shade. I like the one you selected but if you could find one that had a dash of green - that would make it pop. Love it...and I love your starfish on the mantle. I have the same sugar starfish scattered throughout my house...

  11. I love the way you explained how you did the painting. It looks great. I was thinking that the pottery barn shades would look good because they have the white color, along with that little twine strip that would look nice with your wall color.

  12. I love how you painted the lamp base! Very pretty. I also really like the shade but it does look a tad bit small. I have the same problem over here! I'm looking for a new shade for a floor lamp but they are all too short. I hope you find something that fits!


  13. Very nice job as always, Anita. I love the light distressing, and if that PB shade is reasonable, get it!

  14. Great makeover! It could use a bigger shade-I know what you mean about the cost though, so much money for so little. Have you considered a color besides white? A contrast might be nice and could open up the possibilities of find one at a good price.

  15. I agree that the lampshade is too small. Is there a "prfessional" lamp shop in your area?
    Take the lamp in there to get their opinion. I recently did that and was very happy with their advice. (Only I paid way too much for the shade)
    I saw some really nice ones at Ross and Target recently. Good luck and congrats again on your fabulous paint job.

  16. Hi! Love the lamp, I have one in my living room that is very similar, the shade is striped beige and white. I do agree that the shade is a little too small, easy fix tho. I saw a great idea this weekend at the Flea Market, it the shade was a round barrel shape, and the artist had covered it with old fashioned barkcloth with a vintage tropical theme. It was way cool - and looked fairly easy.

  17. Oohh I want a lamp base like that for my bedroom.. They're pretty expensive, but you've now inspired me to have a go myself!! Lx

  18. Love how you redid that old lamp...yep, I think it does need a bigge shade, love the pottery barn ones!!!


  19. Your lamp looks fantastic! Lots of work, but fun, huh?
    It looks great in your room.

  20. What a great deal & what a beautiful job painting. I'd vote for a larger shade & I LOVE the PB shades you showed.

  21. Beautiful job with your lamp...what a transformation! I love it in the white. I'd also vote for a bigger shade. Nice Pottery Barn lamp shades. Your lamp looks wonderful behind your chair and next to your fireplace. Nice and cozy!

  22. Great make over on your lamp and thanks for the details of adding tan color with the glaze.I agree the lampshade would probably be better a little bigger,(longer but not a bigger circumference.You may find one at overstock or home decorators online.
    Have a great week-end, Annette

  23. I got a lamp exactly like that one. I pulled out its old fabric cord and glued and clamped it...crooked!!!

    Now, I have a slightly wonky lamp pole with nothing on it! Not sure what I will do now. I think I gave $9.00 for mine.

    I do love the new finish on yours.

  24. Very nice paint job on the lamp and do get a bigger one. The PB ones would look good. I have the PB drum shades on most of my floor lamps. You need the large one. It should be as large as or wider than the base of the lamp so it won't look awkward. I have bought mine on sale or on ebay.

  25. I think a little bigger would be better. Do you have an Old Time Pottery?

  26. Shut UP! I love that lamp, and what a great makeover you did. It's perfect w/that little bit of glaze. I had one like that at one time, but didn't have a hubby to help w/the rewiring & ended up selling it at a yardsale :(
    I really like the shade you have on it, and the one from PB too.


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