The Ugly Lamp No More

This is my ugly lamp before.                                    This is my ugly lamp after.

Who are you calling ugly? Great, now I'm a lamp with low self-esteem :(

Who are you calling ugly? Great, now I’m a lamp with low self-esteem 🙁


I am no longer ugly!! I'm SEXY!!!!!! YOU'RE ugly. :p

I am no longer ugly!! I’m SEXY!!!!!! YOU’RE ugly. :p








I have to admit I’m kind of impressed with myself. For a spray painting, lamp DIY-ing virgin, I think I made Martha kinda proud. The only thing I do need to do (a project for the future!) is obtain a new lampshade. Or make one. Or DIY one. Who knows? All I know is that I feel like I deserve a trophy for best DIY by a DIY virgin. Wait – doesn’t the lamp sorta look like a trophy? Sweeeeeet! Now, I know you are asking how I achieved this amazing feat of DIY awesomeness and I’m going to show you. Again, I did a bit of reading online – several different sources give different methods. I was looking for something metallic, so that left the spray paint route.

Step 1: Clean the Lamp

Clean the lamp. WELL. And then clean it again. Make sure it’s totally dry before you start.

Step 2: Frog Tape!

Frog tape is awesome!

Frog tape is awesome!

You want to frog tape everything you don’t want to  be silver (or whatever color you are painting the  lamp). I taped off the cord and the light switch.

 MISTAKE ALERT: I didn’t tape off enough of the  cord (or the switch). Make sure to cover further  than you think on the cord and switch! Wound up  not a big deal (I mean… could I make the original  lamp uglier? No.) 

Frog-taped switch

Frog-taped switch

Step 3: Set up

I live in a townhouse, so all of my projects must be completed in the great outdoors, far enough away that I won’t get wind-blown paint on anyone’s house. Thankfully, I have an end unit and I set up this cardboard box trick I learned in my scrapbooking days when using spray glue. In the future, I’d like to have something plywood, but for now, this lovely Amazon box (below) will have to do.


I used two old stools with a found board across  (I  scavenge  lumber from construction sites). and that’s  my work table. Then I used an old sheet as a drop  cloth. The lamp was heavy enough to hold the box  up.

 Step 4: Primer!

Repeat after me: Primer is my friend! The better you                                                       prime, the easier and smoother the paint sticks. Thankfully I primed this Vase6 enough I only needed one coat of the spray paint  with a few light sprays to touch it up and that was it. I wound up putting on about 3 coats – light coats and the directions were easy. Had to let it dry about 5 minutes in between coats. Then when done, it has to sit at least an hour before you can paint it.  Cost: about $4.00. Used about 1/2 the can, so $2.00!Vase5


I thought the lamp looked great just with the primer! Like I said, anything was a massive improvement!

Step 5: Paint It!

I was amazed how quick this part was. Literally after one coat, it looked incredible. You would swear it was a metal lamp. I did a few touch ups in a 2nd coat and that was it. I let it dry outside for about 2 hrs though the instructionsThe paint: Valspar Brilliant Silver #66010

The paint: Valspar Brilliant Silver #66010

stated 1 hour to handle (it just didn’t look dry enough to me). After 2 hours it was fine to touch. I brought it in and let it sit overnight on a drop cloth. That was it! Couldn’t believe how easy it was. Cost of paint: $6.00 and I have at least 3/4 or more left in the can, so I’ll estimate $1.50 for that.

Total Cost: $3.50Vase9b

Total Time: Priming: 30 minutes, then had to sit an hour

Painting: 15 minutes, had to sit at least an hour after.

45 minutes active time!

Bam… I have lost my spray paint virginity, and now I’m looking at what else I can paint… Hmm… to be continued!



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