Updating a lamp base with paint

Painting thrift store lamps is a great way to get a customized look for a lot less than retail.

I remember when I first discovered you could spray paint ceramic and metal lamp bases – it was around 2000 and I had two little kids, a city bungalow to fix up, and no money.

Decoupage is a paper decoration method: a technique for decorating something in which a design is made of pieces of printed paper cut out and stuck on a flat base, then coated with varnish.

A decoupage picture: a picture or other form of decoration that is made using decoupage.

And while I do have a small paint sprayer which is fine for furniture and wood, it wouldn’t produce the smooth surface needed for a lamp base.I have taken parts from discarded lamps and made new lamps, even drilled holes in a ceramic vase to incorporate into a "new" lamp; new wire and a socket are inexpensive.I have used hanging lamp globes from yard sale finds and made them into table lamps. I had a '70s lamp with a gold globe and this is what I did.I turned on the base light and it added to the decoupage effect.Decoupage glue can be purchased at any craft store.You better believe I grabbed these as soon as I realized they were the same lamp, even though they are different colors.And this is a good tip, because surprisingly I often see the same lamp in different colors at thrift stores: I’m actually in the process of updating our master bedroom by introducing a new color (coral – which I’m loving it right now) and had played with the thought of painting the bases coral, but guess what?It was awesome to be able to afford nice lamps based on design and size and not just if I had enough money.Over the years I’ve bought a lot of our lamps at thrift stores and they’re still my number-one spot to look for new lamps.Which is fine, really, though I’m not sure why the difference – maybe because the lamps were bigger?I did find out, though, that I needed to spray a clear coat on the bases so that none of the silver rubbed off, which I didn’t need to do on the pumpkin.

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