$10 Lamp Upcycle

by Laura Carrozza, Sep 13 2016

A few months ago, my neighbors were having a yard sale so I decided to take a peak at the goodies they were purging. I also like to see the weird things people are getting rid of too...hehe. I stumbled across a set of matching lamps that were pretty funky looking and by "funking looking" I mean they were ugly, dirty and the lamp shade had water stains on them. BUT! They still worked! As my boyfriend decided he was ready to go, I pulled out my wallet and gladly paid the $3.00 for both lamps. $3.00!!! 

$10 Lamp upcycle

The boyfriend looked at me like I was crazy and I had to remind him that one ladies' trash is another ladies' treasure. Unfortunately, those lamps sat in my carport for a few weeks because I really wasn't sure how or what I was going to do with them yet. Then I saw that Plaid released a new collection of Folk Art Home Decor Chalk Ultra-Matte Paints and just like a light bulb (pun intended), it clicked and I knew exactly what I was going to do. And it only cost me $10.00 to do this.

This is what you'll need:

  • Old lamps
  • Folk Art Home Decor Chalk Ultra-Matte Paint (I used Imperial red)
  • Folk Art Home Decor Wax in Clear
  • Primer
  • Paint brush
  • Jute twine (2 or 3 rolls)
  • Hot glue gun
  • 120 grit sandpaper


Step One:

I started by cleaning off the lamps with a damp clothe and letting them air dry. After they are dry, grab that sandpaper and buff off the paint or any shine that your lamp may have. You want to buff off some of the paint or gloss but it's ok if you don't remove it all. It's not necessary to remove it all. You just want it to look rather dull. Lucky for me, my boyfriend is the owner of DH Industrial so I went down to his wood shop and had him sand the lamps for me.

Step Two:

After the lamps were sanded, I wiped them down again with the damp clothe and took them outside to paint them with primer. I used a spray paint primer which worked wonderfully and dried quickly. I allowed the lamps to dry over night before moving on to the next step.

Step Three:

That next morning, I began painting my lamps. I put three coats of paint on each lamp and I allowed them to dry for 2 hour in between each coat. After they were dry and I was satisfied with the paint coverage, I painted a layer of the wax on the lamp. The wax adds a very light gloss to the paint which is very chalk-like. I let the lamp sit over night before moving on.

DIY lamp upcycle

Step Four:

I wanted my lamps to have a rustic, weathered look to them so I took them back down to DH Industrial's wood shop and I used the sandpaper to buff out some areas. If you would like to do the same to yours, start off by gently buffing the area and then put a little more muscle in to it if you want more of that "worn" look. Next, I put the lamps to the side and started on the shades.

Step Five:

I gently wiped down the lamp shades to try to remove any loose dirt that was stuck to it. I set up my hot glue gun and unraveled some of the twine and got to work. I started at the bottom and worked my way to the top. I secured the twine in place by dabbing a little glue to the back side and then wrapping the twine around the lamp shade. I had to do this every time the twine went around at first to make sure it wouldn't unravel or slip on the shade. I continued wrapping the twine around the lamp shade and occasionally dabbed some glue on the shade and twine to keep in place. Once you make it to the top, you will want to secure the last strand of twine all the way around with the hot glue gun. I used two balls of twine that were 190ft long. 

$10 Lamp upcycle

Step Six:

Set up your lamps, add light bulbs and take pictures of your beautiful DIY project! Enjoy your new lamps!

Lamp upcycle for just $10

Follow me on Instagram for more fun stuff. Visit my blog at Jersey Peach Designs.


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