DIY Vintage Brass Lamp Makeover

DIY Vintage Brass Lamp Makeover

I see versions of this project more and more frequently- someone finds an outdated lamp at the thrift store (often brass) and they give it a lamp makeover with some paint and a new shade. And then ta-da, a completely new lamp, for very little cash! So OBVIOUSLY I had to give this a go.

A local thrift store was moving to a new location not too long ago, so the entire store was 50% off- super score! I bought a lot that day, and snatched up this heavy brass lamp for $2.25.

Outdated vintage brass lamp to be upcycled with paint for a lamp makeover by Sadie Seasongoods /

Tall and brassy!

Jon and I both wanted a fresh color for the lamp- something complimentary to, but different than, our living room which is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Silver Sage. I decided to hand-paint the lamp instead of spray painting it, since I wanted to be more selective in my color decision. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

So I prepped for painting- well, “primering” first. instead of just painters tape, I used tin foil around the electrical parts of the lamp- the socket and plug- to keep them from getting covered in primer and paint.

Preparing for a lamp makeover by spray painting white primer on vintage brass lamp from the thrift store by Sadie Seasongoods /

Foil as a crafting supply? You betcha!

Preparing for a lamp makeover by spray painting white primer on vintage brass lamp from the thrift store by Sadie Seasongoods /

Foil wherever you don’t want spray primer to go!

Since the lamp was a smooth, shiny metal, I needed to use special metal primer in order to get the paint to stick, so I used my favorite brand.

Using metal primer before handpainting a thrift store lamp makeover by Sadie Seasongoods /

A MUST-DO before painting on metal…

I gave the lamp two light coats of the primer (which is great stuff, by the way) and let cure overnight before painting.

Preparing for a lamp makeover by spray painting white primer on vintage brass lamp from the thrift store by Sadie Seasongoods /

Just white for now…

And I know it’s difficult to see in this photo, but I painted the lamp in a nice shade of lilac.

Hand painting with latex paint for a DIY thrift store lamp makeover on a vintage brass lamp by Sadie Seasongoods /

A pretty lilac!

Once the paint (2 coats) dried completely, I finished it off with some clear enamel spray.

Last steps- unloading the massive harp (14”, really??) and getting a nice, sophisticated shade to top off my newly transformed lamp. The wonderful folks at Greenville’s Lamp Crafters set me up with a smaller harp and a gorgeous drum shade, and I tell you what- the lamp is brilliantly unrecognizable.

How to do a thrift store lamp makeover on a vintage outdated brass table lamp by Sadie Seasongoods /

Ta-da! All done.

How to do a thrift store lamp makeover on a vintage outdated brass table lamp by Sadie Seasongoods /

I love how subtle the detail is…

The newly transformed lamp now lives beneath our Gallery of Vintage Frames that I blogged about a few months back. I love how the lamp makeover turned out and I love that it looks like a boutique purchase… without the boutique price tag.

Upcycling vintage picture frames and painting frames into gallery wall frames for simple home decor

And yes, there will be another lamp makeover (or two) in my future!!

Craft on!


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  1. Such a pretty makeover! Thanks for sharing at Think & Make Thursday 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for attending week 6 of #PureBlogLove and linking your fantastic blog post. This looks really great. I think even I could make this one! Looks really pretty 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you have in store for our party next week Thursday 8 PM EST- Sundays at midnight. Your post has been added to the #PureBlogLove Pinterest board for all to see 🙂 Have a great day!

  3. Stopping by from the Craft Frenzy Friday link up. The lamp turned out great! Was always wondering about the paint actually staying and not chipping off. Good to know about the metal primer. Have a great weekend.
    ~Sierra & Faith
    @Winks and Eyerolls

  4. Sadie, you’re amazing. Love the Lamp. I’m sure your fellow partiers will love it as well. Thanks so much for stopping by #theWeekendSocial. I’ve pinned your link. I’ve also followed you on twitter and Instagram and liked you on FB. Hope to see you again Thursday 9:00 PM EST

  5. I found this post from Frugal Friday Link Up Party. What a great makeover. I love thrifting… I think I am going to pick up a couple of lamps the next time I go… 🙂

  6. distresseddonna says

    Lovely lamp revamp. I love the new proportion of the drum shade to the lamp base.

  7. Melissa @ Simply Sweets by Honeybee says

    Great transformation! I see a trip to the thrift store in my future.

  8. You have beautiful vision for refinishing projects. This lamp turned out so lovely!

  9. I just bought a big ole ugly brass lamp this past weekend at a thrift store. I can not wait to transform it, but it is for our new house, and I am not sure what room I am going to use it in, so not sure yet what color to paint it. Totally pinning this now for future reference!

  10. What a wonderful transformation; that’s a great color and the shade is a perfect fit! Loving you wall of vintage frames too! Thanks for sharing at VIParty.

  11. The lamp came out great! I desperately need some lamps in my living room. I was planning a trip to TJ Max, but maybe I’ll go to the thrift store instead!

  12. dwellinginhappiness says

    SO pretty! Love the color you chose. I love a good lamp makeover! 🙂

  13. It turned out wonderful…Looks great….Sheryl….Red Tin Inn visiting from Paper and Fox Link party # 17

  14. iwantadinosaur2014 says

    I LOVE this SOO much! So awesome and creative! I might just have to do this! Stopping by from Motherhood & Merlot Thursday linkup! 🙂

  15. a lovely transformation and my favorite color too. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Fvaorite Things blog hop. Watch for your feature on Monday xo

  16. I love the color you chose for the lamp base. A wonderful up-cycle project! Good to see your lovely projects over at Make It Monday!

  17. What a difference, it turned out absolutely beautiful. Visiting from Merry Monday Link Party, thanks for sharing!

  18. What a great deal, love what you did with this.

  19. 1.What brand of clear enamel spray did you use after the paint had dried?2. Do you have a good tip on where to buy lampshades?3. I LOVe your lilac lamp!I’m off to good Will and sal. Army today, inspired!Thank you!!!

  20. distresseddonna says

    Thank you for sharing the thrifty lamp with the expensive shade on Make It Monday. So glad you came over.

  21. This lamp turned out so beautiful!!! Well done my friend!

  22. Love the color of paint you chose – the lamp looks great!

  23. This turned out beautifully! Thrift store light makeovers are always so much fun. 🙂 Love your style!

  24. $2.25…amazing. The thrift store is a perfect place for lamps and even shades that just need a little DIY love. Great find…and thank you for linking up to Found & Foraged!!

  25. I love it when we can make thrift store finds beautiful again! Thanks so much for sharing it! I hope you will stop by the Found & Foraged Linky Party next week too! (Saturday @ 8PM CST) Hope to see you there!

  26. It’s looking great now!

  27. This is so awesome! great project! Pinned! Hope to see you back at Found & Foraged Saturday night at 8PM! Thanks for linking up!


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