How to liven up a thrift store lamp

Today’s post is short and sweet: I bought a lamp for $3 at my local Habitat Store, it came with a shade but it was so hideous I “donated it back.” I’m super generous like that:


The brass was not working for me so I wiped it down, taped off the top and the wire, sprayed it with 2 coats of primer, then 2 coats of Rustoleum white in a satin finish. I also hit it with a coat of ModPodge clear acrylic spray to seal it just in case:

Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 6.56.48 AM

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I got a shade at for $18 (5% off, plus free shipping with your card!). It is fabulous, however the metal-lamp-shade-attacher-part was not working with it. To remove it I very professionally bent it back and forth until it broke off then just placed the drum shade right on.

And now, a picture parade:


For the regulars- no, that’s not Dutch. It’s his girlfriend, she came to stay for the weekend. 🙂

The best part of the lamp is the curves on it, which of course are impossible to capture on my camera.

The best part of the lamp is the curves on it, which of course are impossible to capture on my camera.

IMG_2543The shade is a little off white and the gray has just a hint of purple in it, but I may be just noticing that because I’m nitpicking. I picked the shade because it goes well with the stencilled wall right across from it, and so far I’m loving how this room is coming together. There’s definitely a few changes kicking around in the back of my head though, like adding a matching floor lamp to the other side of the couch… so stay tuned. 🙂


Linking up with: Inspire Me Please (via Liz Marie), and A Blossoming Life


11 thoughts on “How to liven up a thrift store lamp

  1. Finial- The decorative doodad that sits atop the shade ring and sticks an arbitrary amount up above the shade on the screw on the lamp harp. The lamp harp fits into the “saddle” thing just below the socket you just squeeze the harp sides together and they should pop out.

    For an easy lamp diagram:

    The shade must have a specific type of fitting to be used with the harp- “washer + Spider” is likely the one you wanted and the shade you picked at Target happened to be an “Uno”. I’ve mistakenly grabbed those too.

    Since a picture is worth a thousand words: Lamp shade fitting types

  2. The lamp looks great! I bought 2 thrift store lamps months ago… and they are still hiding in a closet, in all their brassy glory. They are SO jelly of your lamp’s new look. 🙂

  3. The lamp is as gorgeous like you……………and I would like to add that the doily under the lamp was made by your great great aunt Francesca that’s where some of your talents come from……..Nonna

  4. The metal-lamp-shade-attacher-part is called a finial. Why I can remember that and not where the hell I put my keys and sunglasses, I will never know! And pretty by the way!

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